Educate Together’s admissions policies are based on current legislation, on motions passed at the organisation’s General Meetings and on Educate Together’s Charter, which states that: “all children have equal rights of access to the school, and children of all social, cultural and religious backgrounds being equally respected”.
Primary admissions policies
Educate Together national schools welcome all children. What has set Educate Together schools apart over the last forty years is that no child on entering an Educate Together school is asked their religion as part of the admissions process. While in school, no child is separated or treated differently in any way due to their religious or philosophical beliefs. Many schools have enrolment policies which take into account siblings already attending the school or residency in a school planning area. Educate Together schools do not give priority to children of staff members, siblings who are no longer in the school, or past parents.
- Find contact details for Educate Together’s campaign groups here
- Check with individual schools for a copy of their admissions policy
- Read about Educate Together’s campaign for a national network of equality-based schools
Second-level admissions policies
Educate Together second-level schools do not give priority to any children, including those who complete their primary education in Educate Together national schools. This reflects Educate Together’s Charter by offering equality of access to our schools to all families, not just those who were fortunate to have access to an Educate Together national school. Educate Together schools do not give priority to children of staff members, siblings who are no longer in the school or past parents.
In the event that a second-level school is oversubscribed, Educate Together admissions policies aim to reflect our equality-based ethos and the 2018 Education Act by offering places to siblings of children already attending the school first, then randomly selected pupils living in the defined school planning area of the school (if previously imposed by the Department of Education based on demographic need), followed by children who live outside the catchment area. Educate Together endeavours to expand existing school provision or propose new schools when there is significant oversubscription for places in its schools.
Information for Boards of Management
All Educate Together schools must have an admissions policy drawn up in accordance with current legislation and current Department of Education regulations. Legislation requires that enrolment policies must be approved by Educate Together as patron. Educate Together has a clear set of policies and procedures relating to the responsibilities of the Board, the principal and the patron – detailed in the Educate Together Patronage Manual which can be accessed below.
Due to the further commencement of the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 from 1 February 2020 schools can no longer accept pre-enrolments or place new students on waiting lists for the 2021/2022 school year and subsequent school years. Current enrolment procedures remain in place for the 2020/2021 school year.
Schools with existing waiting lists will honour these up until 31 January 2025 (five years after the commencement of this section of the Act).
Boards of Management have until 1 May 2020 to submit their schools draft Admissions Policy to the patron for approval. The patron has until 15 September 2020 to approve the policy. To avoid confusion with this years intake schools can not publish their new policies until September 2020.
All applications for enrolment to the 2021/2022 school year and subsequent years will be by an annual admissions process. Schools cannot open this process until after 1 October of the year prior to the intake, they must publish the notice at least 1 week prior and must have the process open for at least three weeks. Any complete applications which meet the criteria, received in this time are eligible to be offered a place in accordance with the schools Admissions Policy.
Universal template policies have been developed with variations, for example for schools with specific school planning areas, these will be based on a random selection or age within each category for oversubscribed schools.
In addition schools with Educate Together as their patron who does not already have a sibling criteria in their Admissions Policies, will, in consultation with their school communities, introduce a sibling category to their Admissions Policy over the coming years.
If you are a board member and have any queries on admission policies, please contact Adrienne in the national office: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to find out about an individual schools’ policy, please contact the school directly.