Ethos & Policies

Statement of Ethos and Enrolment Policy

Blessington No1 National School is under the Church of Ireland patronage of the Archbishop of Dublin; Bishop of Glendalough.  The religious ethos of the school is therefore Anglican.  Daily prayers are held and the Church of Ireland Religious Education Syllabus is taught. The Church of Ireland Rector is Chairperson of the Board of Management and attends the school on a regular basis.

The Board of Management is accountable to the Patron for upholding the characteristic spirit of the school as determined by the cultural, educational, moral religious, social, linguistic and spiritual values and traditions which inform and are characteristic of the objectives and conduct of the school.

(Section 15, Education Act 1998)

The content and teaching of the school’s curriculum and the conduct and management of the school are developed in the context of doctrines, moral teaching, traditions, customs and practices of the Church of Ireland.  This is reflected in the operation of the school as a whole and not solely during the times allocated to the religious education of each pupil.  Christian principles as understood by the Church of Ireland provide the basis for all our activities.

By enrolling their children as pupils in the school, parents are aware and are deemed to accept that this ethos is a fundamental principle in the school’s operation.  The teaching of SPHE (Social Personal Health Education), English, Irish, the arts, and drama are influenced at least in part by this ethos. The Anglican tradition underpins the provision of all school activities.

The school aims to provide a caring and secure environment in which each child can develop according to his or her ability.  Each child is encouraged to reach his or her potential academically, physically, culturally, spiritually and socially.  Each child will be assisted in acquiring interpersonal skills and in learning respect for himself and herself as well as all others in the school community, and the environment in general.

Enrolment Policy   (with effect from March 2009, until further review by the Board)

 The enrolment policy of the school has been formulated by the Board of Management in accordance with the provisions of The Education Act 1998 and the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and other relevant legislation and with reference to the ethos of the school.  The policy is regulated by the Board of management and administered by the Chairperson and the Principal Teacher. Blessington No 1 National School is under Church of Ireland patronage of the Archbishop of Dublin; Bishop of Glendalough. The ethos of the school is Anglican.

Initial enquiries for application should be made in writing using the standard Form of Enquiry, available from the Principal, following which a full Application Form will be made available at the appropriate time.  Completed application forms must normally be returned to the school before the pre-Easter meeting of the Board of Management in the year of proposed entry.  Decisions on enrolment applications will be made by the Board within 21 days of receipt of the Application Form, at which time parents/ guardians will be informed in writing. Under the Education Act 1998 parents/ guardians have a right to appeal the decision.

New pupils to the school will normally be admitted on the first day of the New School Year.  Exceptions to this rule may be considered, in exceptional circumstances, at the discretion of the Board of Management in accordance with the advice of the Department of Education and Science.  This also applies to children attending neighbouring schools who have applied for a transfer.  In such cases a letter of transfer, including information concerning attendance and educational progress from the Principal of the child’s current school, will be required before the application can be considered.

In the case of applications for enrolment of a child with special needs, the Board of Management will request a copy of the child’s medical and/or psychological report or, where such a report is not available, request that the child be assessed.  Upon receipt of such a report the Board of Management will assess how the school might meet the needs specified therein. In the situation where further resources are required, the Board of Management will request them from the Department of Education and Science.

Decisions in relation to applications for enrolment are normally made by the Board of Management at its pre-Easter meeting each year.

Criteria for admission of a child to the school (order of priority):

Having regard to the overall numbers in the school, and class sizes in particular, places will be allocated according to the following criteria:

1.         Members of the Church of Ireland

2.         Siblings of children already in the school.

3.         Members of other Protestant denominations resident within the Group of Parishes.

5.         All other denominations and none.

Ratified by the Board of Management on 5th March 2009