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Admissions

Newbridge College

Admissions & Participation Policy & Procedures

1.0    Mission Statement

Newbridge College is an educational community which, under the trusteeship of the Dominican Order, is dedicated to promoting, in co-operation with parents and guardians, the religious, spiritual, moral academic, aesthetic, cultural, physical, emotional, and social development of all the students committed to its care. Its principal means of achieving this aim is through the collaborative participation of students and staff in the college's curricular and extra-curricular programmes/activities, having regard to each individual's unique set of needs and aspirations.

2.0     Background and Ethos

The Dominican Friars founded Newbridge College in 1852 as a boarding school for boys. Today, still under the care of the Dominican Friars, Newbridge College is a Christian school in the Roman Catholic tradition, which is conscious of its Irish tradition and heritage in an increasingly united Europe. It is a co-educational day school, with day-boarding facilities, and with a student population in the region of 800 students.
Since 1984 a Board of Governors, comprising representatives of the Dominican Friars, parents, past pupils and teachers, has managed the College. The Principal's post has been held by a layperson since 1991.
As a Dominican School, it seeks to pass on to its students not only skills for earning a living but values for living in a way that shows respect for all that is noble and true. It acknowledges that each of its students is uniquely gifted and it seeks to provide each one of them with curricular and extra-curricular opportunities that are suited to his/her aptitudes and aspirations.

Our students are taught and helped to assess things at their true worth, to cherish only what is good, and to approach society in a generous and critical manner. This is in line with the Dominican tradition, reaching back to the insights of St Dominic, who founded the Order of Preachers in 1216.
Furthermore, our students are challenged to acquire an appreciation of the finer things in life – a particular emphasis is placed on art and music.
Overall, our hope is that our students may come to adopt as their own those values taught by Christ who is ‘The Way, the Truth and the Life.’

3.0    Operating Context

3.1 Underlying Principles
Newbridge College, within the context and parameters of Department of Education and Skills regulations and programmes, the rights of the Patron, as set out in the Education Act, and the funding and resources available, supports the principles of inclusiveness, equality of access and participation, parental choice, and respect for diversity.
While maintaining and consolidating its mission and ethos as a Roman Catholic school, Newbridge College also accepts applications from members of other Christian traditions and other faiths and none. In considering such applications the primary focus will be on maintaining the Roman Catholic ethos of the College.
It is a condition of the College considering an enrolment application that the applicant parents/guardians and the son/daughter for whom application is being made, declare their support for the College ethos as set out in the College Mission Statement and Background and Ethos Statement. Our Code of Behaviour may be downloaded here.
3.2     Resources
The physical and teaching resources of Newbridge College are provided by a combination of fees, fundraising, DES grants and teacher allocations, funds provided by the Dominican Order and by the generosity of parents, past pupils and other friends of the College.
Of course, the implementation of all the College’s programmes must have appropriate regard to the funding and resources available.

4.0    Admissions Policy

The College welcomes all eligible students who apply, including those with special educational needs.  The College is aware, in regard to admissions, of the principles and requirements of a democratic society and will both respect and promote respect for social diversity as regards values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life.  The College is also required by law to have regard for the efficient use of resources and will have regard to all these considerations in managing the admission of students.  The College is fully aware of its obligations to provide for maximum accessibility of students to the College and to promote the right of parents to send their child to the school of their choice. While bearing all these in mind, the College also has a legal duty to the patron and trustees to uphold the characteristic spirit of the school, which is stated at the beginning of this document.

5.0    Participation Policy

It is the aim of the College to enable each student to participate as fully as possible in all school programmes, both curricular and extra-curricular.  To enable this to happen, the Board has put in place procedures to keep students and parents informed of all school activities and opportunities.  These procedures are also aimed at facilitating the involvement of students in the operation of the school, having regard to their age and experience.

6.0    Current Fees

The fee per student for the 2017/2018 academic year is €4,225.
School fees are normally paid through a direct debit system and parents/guardians are asked to sign a direct debit form on accepting the offer of a place in the College.

7.0    Procedures


7.1    The First Year intake for 2017/2018 will be 144.

7.2    All applications for enrolment must be made on the prescribed Enrolment Application Form – copies of which are available from the College Enquiries Office or from the College website.

7.3    All applications for enrolment will be acknowledged by the College, either by mail or e-mail, where an email address is provided on the completed application form.

7.4    All completed applications should reach the College on or before 1 September of the year before the young person is scheduled to begin secondary school.   Notwithstanding this, those submitting late applications may be offered places, where places remain to be filled after all for whom first year applications were submitted on or prior to the closing date (1 September) have been allocated places.

7.5    A first round of offers of first year places will be made within 21 days of the 1 September closing date and the parents/guardians of those offered places will be required to advise the College, in writing, that they either accept or reject the offered places, within 14 days of the offers being mailed to them.  Where the College does not receive a response to an offer of a place within the stipulated 14 days, the College will assume that the offer is being rejected, and the College may proceed to offer that place to another applicant.

To facilitate those making application for enrolment being informed as soon as possible after the 1 September deadline, the College reserves the right to commence offering places to applicants on the priority listing (see 8.0 below) prior to that date on the strict understanding that such ‘early offers’ shall not limit the entitlement of any applicant under the terms of this policy and procedures. 

See also 16.0 below for details of how the College will, each September, update parents/guardians on the way first year places are being offered and accepted.

7.6    Contingent on the take up of the first round of offers, a further round of first year place offers will be made by 15 October and, again, the parents/guardians of those offered places in this round will be required to advise the College, in writing, that they either accept or reject the offered places within 14 days of the place offers being mailed to them.  Where the College does not receive a response to its offer of a place, the College will assume that the offer is being rejected.

7.7    Subsequently, by 21 November (though some first year places may remain to be filled) all parents/guardians of those for whom applications have been made for admission to first year for the following school year, who have not at that point been offered places, will be advised of the situation that pertains in relation to their enrolment.  They will also, in this communication, be informed:
•    that their application will be kept on a waiting list, if that is their wish;
•    of their entitlement to appeal the failure to enrol to the Board of Governors, and
•    in the event of the appeal to the Board of Governors being unsuccessful, of their right to appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills (DES), under the Education Act 1998: such applications must be submitted to the DES within 42 days of the parents/guardians or applicant receiving written confirmation that the Board is refusing to enrol. 

7.8    Appeals made to the College Board of Governors regarding a failure to enrol shall be made within 21 days of the applicant or the applicant’s parents/guardians being advised in writing that an application for enrolment has been unsuccessful.  Furthermore, all appeals to the Board of Governors shall be made by means of a written submission to the Board setting out the grounds for the appeal.  On receipt of such an appeal, the Board shall arrange for the appeal to be heard within 14 days.  Following the Board’s hearing of the appeal, it shall advise the applicant, in writing, of its decision within 14 days.

7.9    In every application for enrolment the parents/guardians making the application are deemed to be giving to the College an undertaking that they and the student for whom they are applying, will cooperate fully with the ethos of the College and will abide by the College Code of Behaviour.

7.10    In the process of accepting an offer of a place, the parents/guardians will be required to:
a)    provide a written declaration that they and the student for whom they are applying, will cooperate fully with the ethos of the College and will abide by the College Code of Conduct; and
b)    pay the College a non-refundable deposit - the amount of which will be determined, from time to time, by the Board of Governors and advised as part of the offer.
Failure to comply with these provisions will entitle the College to refuse to enrol a student. 


7.11    With the exception of enrolment applications for students to whom scholarships or bursaries are being offered, enrolment applications received later than one year prior to 1 September in the year that the applicant is scheduled to commence his/her studies at the College will not be entitled to the priority stipulated at 8.0 below.

7.12    It is open to all young people who meet the requirements (as determined by the Board of Governors from time to time and set out in the scholarship application form) to sit the annual scholarship examination.  Details of the examination (including the registration process) are provided to the parents/guardians of all for whom enrolment applications have been made for them to enter first year in the College in the following September.

7.13    Where a young person for whom an enrolment application is made to the College is not offered a place, the young person or his/her parent/guardian is entitled to appeal the decision to the Board of Governors, and, in the event of the appeal to the Board of Governors being unsuccessful, to appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills, under the Education Act 1998. 

7.14    Appeals to the Board of Governors shall be initiated by the person for whom the application for enrolment has been made or his/her parent/guardian by making a written submission to the Secretary to the Board of Governors, within 21 days of being advised that the enrolment application has been unsuccessful, setting out the grounds on which the appeal is being made. 

7.15    The appeal to the Secretary General, in accordance with Section 29 of the Education Act (1998) must be made within 42 calendar days from the date the decision of the College was notified to the parents/guardians by the Board – following the Boards determination of the appeal.

7.16    Final decisions regarding enrolment applications are made by the Board in line with current legislation and with the resources available to the College.

7.17    The College is a fee paying college and a student is not entitled to attend the College if fees are in arrears.

All young people scheduled to commence the first year of their post primary education are invited to participate in the College’s first year summer camp in the August prior to commencing their studies.  Participation in this camp is a critical element in the college’s induction programme for first year students.

8.0    Order of priority in admission to first year

8.1    Recipients of scholarships/bursaries.  The Board currently awards up to two academic scholarships annually, on the basis of the results obtained in a scholarship examination.
8.2    Brothers and sisters of former or current students, ranked by the date on which applications were received.
8.3    Sons and daughters of College staff, ranked by the date on which applications were received, where the term ‘staff’ refers to persons who have been employed by the College for at least 11 hours per week for more than 12 months.
8.4    Nephews/nieces of Dominican Friars or Dominican Sisters/Nuns, ranked by the date on which applications were received- see 8.13 below.
8.5    Sons and daughters of past-pupils, ranked by the date on which applications were received - see 8.12 below.
8.6    At the discretion of the Board of Governors, applications which exhibit special circumstances (family health/welfare or special educational needs) - see 8.14 below.  Not more than four such special discretion places shall be available in any year.
8.7    All other applications, ranked by the date on which applications were received – subject to the application of the provisions set out at 8.8 below in relation to applications for those resident in the greater Newbridge area.
8.8    In ranking applications by the date on which they were received by the College (see 8.7 above) applications for admission by or on behalf of persons resident in the greater Newbridge area shall be treated in each case as though the original application had been submitted on a date 24 months prior to actual receipt.  For the purposes of this provision, ‘residency in the greater Newbridge area’ shall mean being a resident in the parish of Newbridge, or attending school in the parish of Newbridge, and/or being resident within four miles of the front/main entrance to the College.
8.9    To qualify as a resident ‘in the greater Newbridge area’, the young person for whom the enrolment application is being made shall be resident ‘in the greater Newbridge area’ one year prior to 1 September in the year that the applicant is scheduled to commence his/her studies at the College.
8.10    In relation to 8.8 and 8.9 above, it shall be sufficient, in the first instance, for the person making the application to provide a written statement to the effect that the young person for whom the application is being made ‘resides’ in the ‘greater Newbridge area’.  However, in the event of any query regarding this statement, the bona fides of the residency claim shall be determined by the College and its determination on the matter shall be final.
8.11    The implementing of this order of priority in enrolment shall take account of the need to maintain an equal number of male and female students, both in each intake and in the College as a whole.
8.12    In the case of 8.2 and 8.5 above, the onus is on parents/guardians to establish a past pupil’s attendance at the College and to advise the College, in writing, of this fact at least one year prior to 1 September in the year that the applicant is scheduled to commence his/her studies at the College.
8.13    In the case of 8.4 above, the onus is on parents/guardians to establish that the young person for whom the enrolment application is being made is the nephew/niece of a Dominican Friar or Dominican Sister/Nun and to advise the College, in writing, of this fact at least one year prior to 1 September in the year that the applicant is scheduled to commence his/her studies at the College.
8.14    In the case 8.6 above, the onus is on parents/guardians to establish (to the satisfaction of the Board of Governors) the special circumstances or special educational needs of the person for whom the enrolment application is being made by making a submission in writing to the Board of Governors at least one year prior to 1 September in the year that the applicant is scheduled to commence his/her studies at the College.  However, where there are extenuating circumstances, such as where the special circumstances or needs only emerge after the 1 September deadline, the Board reserves the right to waive the 1 September deadline.

9.0    Transfers from other second-level schools

9.1    The College accepts enrolment applications on behalf of students wishing to transfer from other second-level schools and, since such applications can only be considered in the event of a vacancy occurring, a waiting list operates in respect of all these applications.
9.2    All such applications for enrolment must be made on the prescribed Enrolment Application Form – copies of which are available from the College Enquiries Office or from the College website.
9.3    These applications for enrolment will be acknowledged by the College, either by mail or email - where an email address is provided on the completed application form.
9.4    Where a student in another second-level school, or his/her parents/guardians, submit an enrolment application to the College, the person making the application will be requested to provide a copy of the student’s two most recent school reports and a completed subject choice form.
9.5    Offers of places in other than first year are contingent on places being available not only in the year that the student is seeking to enter but in the subjects and subject levels that the applicant wishes to study and that the College deems s/he is eligible to study on the basis of his/her prior academic study and achievements.  In this regard, the College reserves the right to determine how many students may be allocated to a particular subject group or class.
9.6    The subject choices of students already enrolled in the College determine what places may be available in individual class groups in other than first year.  Thus it will not usually be possible to offer places in other than first year until the late spring or early summer immediately prior to the September when the applicant is seeking to commence his/her studies at the College.
9.7    Subject to suitable places being available (see 9.5 above), places in other than first year will be offered in the following order of priority:
i.    Brothers and sisters of former or current students, ranked by date on which applications were received.
ii.    Sons and daughters of college staff (see 8.3 above), ranked by date on which applications were received.
iii.    Nephews/nieces of Dominican Friars and Sisters/Nuns, ranked by date on which applications were received.
iv.    Sons and daughters of past-pupils, ranked by the date on which applications were received.
v.    All other applications, ranked by the date on which applications were received – subject to the application of the provisions set out at 8.8 above in relation to applications for those resident in the greater Newbridge area.

10.0    Enrolment of students with special needs

In keeping with its ethos, the College supports the principle of inclusiveness and welcomes applications from or on behalf of young people with special needs. Their applications will be processed in accordance with the above criteria subject to the College’s ability to meet those needs.
As the College may, in some instances, be unsure of its capacity to meet the special needs of applicants for enrolment, where parents/guardians have reason to believe that their son/daughter may have a particularly serious special need they should advise the College of this fact in writing at the earliest opportunity.  This request is made purely for the purposes of alerting the College to the need and the provision of this information will not in any way militate against the enrolment of the applicant.   
At the time applicants for enrolment are offered places in the College, they will be asked to provide the College with full details of any special needs those being offered enrolment may have.  Indeed, the College requires applicants (where over 18) or otherwise their parents/guardians to provide full details of any special education needs to the College, as soon as is practically possible, following the acceptance of a place.  This is to enable the College to prepare to address the student’s special needs as fully as possible.
Where  appropriate,  the  College  will  meet  with  the  applicants  and  their parents to discuss and assess the College’s ability to meet those needs.  In all matters relating to the enrolment of students with special needs, the College  will  follow  the  guidelines  of  the  Department  of  Education and Skills published in Inclusion of Students with Special Educational Needs – Post Primary Guidelines, 2007, paragraph 2.4.1, pp 44-45.
Where an applicant for enrolment, with very profound special needs is offered a place in the College, the College will make application to the Department of Education and Skills (DES) for the resources necessary to meeting the special needs.  Thus the College may, in exceptional instances, find it necessary to defer a student’s commencement of his/her studies at the College until the DES has sanctioned the provision of the resources deemed essential to meeting the student’s special needs.
Where a student with special needs is enrolled at the College, the College will provide all relevant members of staff, on a confidential basis, with details of the various assessments that may have been provided to it in respect of that student – in order to ensure that the student’s special needs are met to the maximum extent.

11.0    Right to refuse an applicant

The Board of Governors reserves the right to refuse an application for admission in exceptional circumstances.  For example, where in the opinion of the Board:
a)    the special needs of the young person for whom the application is being made are such that, even with additional resources available through the Department of Education and Skills, the College will not be able to meet those needs and/or provide the student with an appropriate education; or
b)    where admitting the person for whom the application is being made would pose an unacceptable risk to other students, school staff and/or school property.

12.0    Applications from or on behalf of applicants previously expelled from the College

The College will not accept applications for enrolment from or on behalf of those previously expelled from the College, as expulsion constitutes a permanent exclusion from the College.

13.0    Applications from and on behalf of applicants expelled or being expelled from other schools

In respect of applications for enrolment from or on behalf of those expelled or being expelled from another school, the College requires full disclosure of the circumstances leading to the expulsion.  Furthermore, the College requires parents/guardians and/or the applicants themselves (in the case of those over 18) to give written permission to the school, from which the student has been or is being expelled, to make full disclosure to the College regarding the circumstances surrounding the expulsion process.

14.0    Waiting Lists

Waiting lists will only apply to admission to the College in a particular school year.  Thus waiting lists established in respect of one school year will not apply to admissions in subsequent years.

15.0    Data protection

Parents/guardians applying to have their sons/daughters educated at Newbridge College authorise the College to use the data they supply for all bona fide school purposes.

16.0    Open Evening

There is an annual open evening (usually in late September or early October) and all for whom enrolment applications have been  made to commence their studies at the College in the two following years, and their parents/guardians, are invited to attend this event. The Open evening may also be advertised to others who may be interested in making an application to enrol in the College.
Parents/guardians of those for whom enrolment applications have been made, on or before 1 September, to commence their studies at the College in the following school year will be provided with an update on the enrolment situation that pertains at the point the invitations to the open evening are being mailed, in either hard or soft copy whichever may be applicable.

17.0    Policy Revision

17.1    The Board of Governors of Newbridge College reserves the right to revise and amend this Policy and Procedures.
17.2    This Policy and Procedures was adopted by the Board of Governors on the 26th day of November 2012 and, with the exception of Section 8.0 (order of priority in admission in first year) its provisions will have immediate effect and supersede those in all previous policies and procedures. 
17.3    The provisions of Section 8.0 (order of priority in admission in first year) will apply to those seeking to enter the College to commence their second level studies at the beginning of the 2015/2016 school year.
17.4    All who have made enrolment applications to the College are reminded to check regularly this Admissions and Participation Policy on the College website so as to ensure that they are up-to-date with policy and procedures changes.

Newbridge College Newbridge, Co. Kildare, Republic of Ireland Tel: +353 45 487200 Fax: +353 45 487234 Email: info@newbridge-college.ie