Adopted by the Board of Management

Signed:   Mr. Ned O’Callaghan

Chairperson Board of Management

Signed   ________________________________

      Board Member

Date:      April 2016





The Board of Management of Presentation Secondary School, is publishing this policy as the official Admissions and Participation Policy of the school.  It should be read in conjunction with the Code of Behaviour and School Prospectus.


Section 9 of the Education Act makes it mandatory for a school “to establish and maintain an admissions policy which provides maximum accessibility to the school”, Section 15 (d) of the Education Act (1998) requires the Board of Management to “publish … the policy of the school concerning admission and participation in the school, including the suspension of students and admission to and participation by students with disabilities or who have other educational needs”

The Education Welfare Act 2000

The Equal Status Act 2000

The Education of Persons with Special Needs Act 2004

In this policy all references to gender are taken to be inclusive and the term “parent” is taken to include guardian.


This document sets out the policy of Presentation Secondary School in relation to admissions to the school in the following situations:

  • Students applying for a place in First Year
  • Students from outside of the school applying for a place in any other year groups or programmes
  • Students applying to transfer from another second-level school.
  • Students with Special Needs.
  • Students wishing to repeat a year.

This policy is informed by the school’s Mission Statement and by the philosophy and ethos of the Presentation Order.


Presentation Secondary School is a girls’ secondary school, which is based on the vision of Nano Nagle of bringing God’s love to all people and is dedicated to an all round Christian education based on Gospel values.

To further these aims we envisage the development of a community wherein –

  • Student and Staff members are valued, and their talents and abilities recognised and developed to prepare for changes in society.
  • Each person recognises his/her own responsibility in implementing agreed standards of conduct.
  • Good communication is maintained between all members and liaison with parents and local community involvement is encouraged.

Inspired by this vision we dedicate ourselves to the continued growth of this school.


Our school is now under the trusteeship of CEIST (Catholic Education, an Irish Schools Trust).  The CEIST trusteeship caters for Catholic Schools of five religious congregations including the Presentation Order.


A compassionate and just society inspired by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.


To provide a holistic education in the Catholic tradition.


The school is subject to all legislative requirements and regulations set down from time to time by the Department of Education and Skills.  The school is funded by the DES and is provided with staff in accordance with DES staff allocation systems.  The curricular programme of the school is governed by DES regulation in accordance with sections 9 and 30 of the Education Act of 1998.

This policy aims to ensure that appropriate procedures are in place to enable the school

  • To make decisions on all applications in an open and transparent manner consistent with legislative requirements and with the Presentation Ethos and the Mission Statement of the school and of CEIST.
  • To make an accurate and appropriate assessment of the capacity of the school to cater for the needs of applicants in the light of the resources available to it.
  • To put in place a framework, welcome evening for Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of First Years / Mass for First Years, which will ensure effective and productive relations between students, parents and teachers when a student is admitted to the school. Induction may help to foster a positive environment in this area.

Presentation Secondary School is a grant-aided Catholic Voluntary Secondary School for girls within the trusteeship of The Presentation Sisters and following the Religious and Educational Philosophy of Presentation Schools (Ireland 2002) and of CEIST.

The school supports the principle of equality for all students regarding access to and participation in the school.  The school respects the diversity of traditions, values, beliefs, languages and ways of life in society.  The school acknowledges the right of  parents to send their children to a school of the parents’ choice, subject to the resources available to the school including, classroom accommodation, class size, teaching resources and financial resources and subject to the capacity of the school to provide for the needs of those who apply for admission.  Where the school lacks the necessary resources to meet the needs of any applicant or student it will make every effort to secure those resources  The school is managed by a Board of Management which operates under the Articles of Management for Catholic Voluntary Secondary Schools and the CEIST Charter.

All of our programmes, activities and actions are informed by our Mission Statement and by the Educational Philosophy of Presentation Schools (Ireland 2002) and of CEIST.  All members of the school community are expected to work in accordance with these principles.  Faith development in the Christian Faith is a central feature of school life.  The school reserves the right to promote and uphold the Catholic Ethos Presentation Secondary School.


The school is funded by the Department of Education and Skills as part of the Free Education Scheme.

The school is staffed in accordance with the standard pupil-teacher ratio sanctioned by the Department and any additional teaching hours sanctioned by the Department in respect of curricular concessions, special needs, special programmes etc.  The school operates within the regulations laid down by the Department and will operate in accordance with any regulations which may be introduced by the Department of Education and Skills.

The capacity of the school to implement its desired curriculum, its range of educational programmes, its extra-curricular activities, its school plan and policies is dependent on the resources it receives.  Consequently, in determining its activities and programmes for any school year, the school must have due regard to the teaching, management and administrative resources and the accommodation, equipment and funding available to it.

The School Prospectus and the Student Journal contains relevant information about the organisation of the school.  In addition the school issues a number of information bulletins and a Newsletter for parents each year setting out relevant information for the current year including holiday plan, dates of parent-teacher meetings etc.


The school offers a broad curriculum designed to meet the needs of a wide range of abilities and aptitudes.  The details of curriculum on offer are set out in the School Prospectus which is distributed to all who apply for admission and which is available from the school on request.  The curriculum is subject to change from time to time as deemed appropriate by the school.  The school also provides a range of extra-curricular activities.


The school requests parents to make an annual contribution towards administrative costs.  This helps to meet the expenses involved in photocopying, term reports and other administrative costs.  The sum which parents are expected to contribute is reviewed annually.  Allowance is made where more than one member of a family is in attendance.  Due consideration is also given in situations where, due to circumstances, families may not be in a position to make a contribution.


All students are required to pay an annual insurance charge.  It is essential that all students pay this insurance premium.


The objectives of this Policy Statement are:

  1. To define clearly the procedures to be followed by parents in applying for the admission of their child to the school:
  • On transfer from Primary to Post Primary School
  • On transfer from another Post Primary School
  • On seeking admission to a particular programme or course e.g. Leaving Certificate, 1st Year, Transition Year.
  1. To define clearly the criteria to be applied in the consideration of applications in the event that the number of application exceeds the number of available places.
  2. To define clearly the means by which enrolment decisions may be appealed to the local school management and/or the Department of Education and Science.
  • School capacity
    • The maximum number in a general subject class is 30
    • The maximum number in Science and practical subjects is 24.
  • Students intending to enrol must attain the age of 12 years by January 1st in the calendar year following the student’s entry into First Year.
  • Students on enrolment must have completed Sixth Class in Primary School in Ireland or its equivalent elsewhere.
  • Application forms for admission may be obtained from the school office during normal working hours (9.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.)
  • An Open Day/Enrolment Day is held each year. Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of pupils intending to enrol shall submit a completed application for enrolment form by the 31st March of the relevant year. Additional information may be sought from applicants if considered necessary.  All applicants will be informed within 21 days of the result of their application.  Admission of new students is subject to the parent(s)/guardian(s) and the student giving written acceptance of the School Code of Behaviour.
  • Access to student records from previous schools attended including Educational Psychological Reports will be sought in advance of entry. An application to the D.E.S. for support resources will be made as appropriate.
  • Applications may be made seeking to transfer from another Second Level School at any time subject to:

(a)       Schools Admission Policy

(b)       The school being satisfied with the reason for transfer.

(c)       The school regarding the transfer to be in the best interest of the student.

(d)       Advice of the Education Welfare Officer if appropriate.

  • Decisions in relation to Admissions are made by the Board of Management based on its Admissions Policy.

The Board of Management reserves the right, in exceptional circumstances, to refuse an application for admission.  In such case the Parent(s)/Guardian(s) will have the right to appeal under section 29 (1) of the Education Act 1998.

Appeal Procedure
  • Parents (and students who have reached the age of 18) have a right to appeal their refusal to the Board of Management.
  • Appeals must be made within 2 weeks from the date that the decision of the Principal was notified to the parent (or student) in writing.
  • The appeal shall be made in the first instance to the Board of Management of the School.
  • Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 provides that an appeal may be made to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills in respect of a decision by a Board of Management, to refuse to enrol a student in the school.
Behaviour Code

Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of all new entrants to the school will be provided with a copy of  the school’s Behaviour Code and will be required to sign and return a statement attached saying that they have read and accept the said Code (Education Welfare Act 2000 Section 23 (1).  Students shall also be required to sign their acceptance of the school’s Behaviour Code.


The school caters for girls from all primary schools within the catchment area.  Students from outside the catchment are welcome provided that places are available and that applicants are willing to accept the criteria for admission.  Should the situation arise that the number of applications for admission exceeds the number of places available, priority will be given to applicants in the following order.

  • Sisters of existing students.
  • Sisters of past students.
  • Children of current school staff.
  • Children of past students.
  • First come, first served.

Presentation Secondary School welcomes students with Special Needs and will endeavour to meet the requirements of all provided that we have the resources necessary to deliver the education which is required.  The school will apply, as necessary, to the Department of Education and Skills for allocation of resources needed to meet the requirements of students with Special Needs.  The school will use the resources both financial and personnel provided by the DES, to make every reasonable endeavour to accommodate such students so that they are free to participate in the life of the school in so far as is practicable.

Special Needs students are free to participate fully in school life unless participation in certain activities presents a danger to the health and safety of the student or that of other students.

Parents/Guardians of students with Special Needs should refer to the school’s policy on Special Needs which is available in the school.

The Parents/Guardians of students with Special Needs must provide the school with access to any relevant reports or information in relation to the student concerned.

Having given due consideration to all supporting information, the Board may refuse an application should it consider the applicant to be a threat to the safety, health, welfare and general well – being of other students attending Presentation Secondary School, Castleisland.


The Board of Management needs to be satisfied that the student’s previous school is (i) aware of the students’ intention to transfer    (ii) willing to allow the student to transfer.

In the case of an application to transfer from another school the Board of Management of Presentation Secondary School will need to ensure that it has a place available in the subjects and levels required by the student who wants to transfer.  Once this has been established the Board of Management will require written permission from the Parents/Guardians to allow for access to the records of the student held in the previous school attended including access to information on behaviour, attendance, educational progress, examination results, psychological or other special reports and  any other relevant information which the Board may deem necessary in order to enable it to decide on whether it is in the best interests of the student that the transfer should be allowed to proceed.  The Board may consult with the Educational Welfare Officer if it considers this to be necessary.

Once the Board of Management is in possession of an application and if all the information required by the Board it shall inform the Parents/Guardians in writing, within 21 days, of its decision in relation to the application for enrolment.

Should an application for admission be refused the Parents/Guardians have a right to appeal the decision of the Board of Management under Section 29 of the Education Act (1998).  The Board of Management will write to Parents/Guardians to inform them of its decision and will state clearly the reasons why admission is being denied.  Any appeal must be lodged within 42 calendar days from the date the decision of the Board of Management was notified to the Parents/Guardians (Circular 48/01)

Appeals should be forwarded to:

The Secretary General,

Appeals Administration Unit,

Department of Education and Skills,

Marlborough Street,

Dublin 1.

An Appeals Application Form should be completed and must contain the following

  1. The decision which is being appealed.
  1. The grounds of which the decision is being appealed.
  1. The date on which the Parents/Guardians were informed of the decision to refuse admission.
  1. Any other relevant information.

Parents/Guardians who intend to lodge an appeal must inform the Board of Management of the school, in writing, of their intention to appeal.  The school Principal is Secretary of the Board of Management and correspondence should be addressed to the Board via the Principal in his role as Secretary to the Board of Management.


Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of students wishing to repeat any year of study should notify the school authorities as early as possible preferably by May 1st.

Students who wish to repeat a year are covered by Department of Education and Skills regulations which are set out in a number of Department Circulars M57/87, M33/89 and M2/95.  The school has limited authority to allow students to repeat a year.  Where more than 5% of a year group are applying to repeat, their applications must be submitted to the Department of Education and Skills for approval.  In any event certain criteria have to be met before a student is granted permission to repeat a year.  The following is a brief synopsis of the grounds on which consideration of requests or proposals for pupils repeating a year at post-primary level will be based:

  1. Prolonged absence from school for a valid reason such as ill-health.
  1. Serious illness which does not necessitate prolonged absence from school but

        which has a seriously damaging effect on the pupil’s academic performance

  1. Serious family trauma (e.g. death of a parent, separation of the parents,

        violence in the home etc.) which the school authorities can show has had a

seriously damaging effect on the pupil’s academic performance.

  1. Very poor academic record which requires regular remedial treatment and where

there is sufficient evidence to establish that the pupil can benefit from the extra


  1. Change of school in the following circumstances:-

        (a)    change of residence where pupil needs to repeat a year in order to follow a new


        (b)    taking up a revised course of study.


This is allowed but students wishing to repeat the Leaving Certificate are required to pay increased course and examination fees.  Pupils whose parents or guardians hold a current Medical Card will be exempted from payment of the course fee on production of the Medical Card for noting by the school authorities.  In addition only ordinary examination fees will apply to those pupils.


The implementation of the Admission Policy is the responsibility of the Board of Management.

Policies reviewed by the Board of Management at least once every three years by the Board of Management or by a committee nominated by the Board.  The policy will be made available who have applied to enrol and will be disseminated every year through the Primary Schools in the catchment/boundary area.   It will also be available at all times from the school office.


PATRICK’S SECONDARY SCHOOL, Castleisland, Co. Kerry.



Presentation Secondary School, Castleisland is  a secondary school for girls which is under the trusteeship of CEIST and whose mission is to provide a holistic education in the catholic tradition based on the vision of Nano Nagle.

St. Patrick’s Secondary School, Castleisland is a lay secondary school for boys of catholic ethos which strives to provide an inclusive and holistic education for its whole school community. The school operates under a unitary management system.

This Educational Partnership brings together the many individual and unique elements of both schools and collectively provide new and worthwhile experiences for both school communities, (staff, students, parents and management bodies) and at the same time recognise, respect and value the identity of each school as an individual provider of education.


The primary objective of this educational partnership is to expand and broaden educational experiences for the whole school communities of the schools named in this partnership by;

  • Providing a wider range of subject choices
  • Providing a variety of extra- curricular activities
  • Providing a transition year option
  1. Curricular options

Year 1 of this partnership will see the provision of,

For 5th year students                            Chemistry for boys                                             DCG & Ag, Science for girls.

For 1st year students                            Home Economics & Art for boys                     T. Graph & MTW for girls

For 1st year students it will be a 10 week module – January to March.

A joint production of a school musical

The development of a transition year programme for 2013/2014 school year.

Curriculum options for 2nd & 5th year in the school year 2013/2014.

A number of subject options will be offered to 2nd year and 5th year students for 2013/2014 and availability will depend upon the number of students opting for the subjects offered.

  1. School Policies

Code of Behaviour, Bullying & Child Protection.

Each cohort of students will respect and adhere to the principles of the above named policies of the school which it exchanges with and will also adhere to the policies of its own school while involved in any form of activity of the cooperating school.

Toilet facilities will be provided in each school for those students that will attend is cooperating school for the purposes of subject and extra-curricular provision.

  1. Admissions

Each school named in the partnership will add the following clause to its admissions policy

All elements of the educational partnership defined by the attached memorandum applies only to the schools named in the partnership and all aspect of the partnership are available only to those students that are enrolled as full time students in Presentation Convent Secondary School and St. Patrick’s Secondary School.

  1. Standardisation

The following areas from both schools will be standardised over time;

Assessment, Parent Teacher Meetings, School reports and timetabling.

Provision of Continuous Professional Development for all teachers.


All activities which are undertaken as a joint venture between both schools will be done by shared finance and transparency. Any concerns, suggestions or issues by staff pertaining to the partnership will be addressed jointly by the Principals and management of both schools.