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School Admissions Guidance

Temporary Variation Requests

This Circular provides advice for the Principals and Boards of Governors of grant-aided primary and post primary schools in relation to the Department’s consideration of requests from schools to temporarily vary the school’s approved admission and or enrolment numbers.

Circular Number 2014/01 - Admissions and Enrolment Numbers - Temporary Variation Requests PDF 395KB

The Department has produced this form which all primary and post primary schools should use when seeking a temporary variation from School Access Team in the Department.

Temporary variation request pro-forma circular 2014 01.docx

Timetables for School Admissions

This circular provides the timetables for nursery, primary and post-primary procedures under Open Enrolment for admissions to take place in September 2015.

Circular Number 2014/17 Open Enrolment in Nursery, Primary and Post-Primary Schools - Timetables PDF 222KB

Uimhir Chiorclain 2014/17 Rollu Oscailte i Naiscoileanna, i Mbunscoileanna Agus in Iar Bhunscoileanna - Clair Ama PDF 263KB

Pre-School / Nursery Admissions

This circular advises Principals and Boards of Governors of schools of the arrangements for the application of Open Enrolment procedures to Nursery Schools and Nursery Classes in primary schools.

Circular Number 2014/07 Open Enrolment in Nursery Schools and Nursery Classes in Primary Schools PDF 534KB

Uimhir Chiorclain 2014/07 Rollu Oscailte i Naiscoileanna Agus i Ranganna Naiscoile i Mbunscoileanna PDF 591KB

A timetable for the 2015/16 arrangements has been published in Circular 2014/17.

Circular 2014/17 should be read in conjunction with Circular 2011/20, which adv/ises principals and Boards of Governors on the duty to verify information contained within applications for admission.

Schools in the North are currently required by law to give priority to children resident in the North. This requirement is currently under review.

Primary School Admissions

This circular sets out for Principals and Boards of Governors of schools the arrangements for admission of pupils to grant aided primary schools.

Circular 2014/06 Open Enrolment in Primary Schools PDF 1MB

Uimhir chiorclain 2014/06 Rollu Oscailte i mbunscoileanna PDF 1.08MB

A timetable for the 2015/16 arrangements is available in Circular 2014/17.

Circular 2014/06 should be read in conjunction with Circular 2011/20, which advises principals and Boards of Governors on the duty to verify information contained within applications for admission.

Schools in the North are currently required by law to give priority to children resident in the North. This requirement is currently under review.

This Circular provides advice for the Principals and Boards of Governors of all grant-aided Irish Medium Primary Schools and Primary Schools with Irish Medium Units in relation to the setting of their admissions criteria.

Circular 2014/16 Irish Medium Primary School Admissions Criteria PDF 98.8KB

Uimhir Chiorclain 2014/16 Criteir Iontrala Bunscoileanna lan-Ghaeilge PDF 98KB

Post-Primary School Admissions

This circular provides all schools with operational guidance on the post-primary transfer process. Primary schools in particular should note the content of Annex 1 of this circular which describes arrangements for the provision of advice to parents.

Uimhir imlitreach 2014/19 - An nos imeachta maidir le haistriu o bhunoideachas go hiar-bhunoideachas PDF 1.77MB

Circular 2014/19 The procedure for transfer from primary to post-primary education PDF 1.70MB

A timetable for the 2015/16 arrangements is available in Circular 2014/17.

Circular 2014/19 should be read in conjunction with Circular 2013/24, which advises principals and Boards of Governors on the duty to verify information contained within applications for admission

Circular 1996/24 (amended) provides guidance about and explains the procedures for the approval of pupils transferring from Primary to Post-Primary education, either a year early (underage pupils) or a year later (overage pupils) than they would normally be required to transfer.

Circular 1996/24 (amended) - Guidance on the arrangements for the transfer of pupils from Primary to Secondary Education other than at the normal age PDF 734KB

Guidance for Parents on the Transfer Process to Post-Primary School

Advice for Parents of Children in P6

The Department has published an advice leaflet for parents setting out the main steps in the post-primary transfer process. Parents of children in P6 should receive a hard copy of this leaflet from their child’s primary school in December/January.

Advice for parents of children in Primary 6 PDF 215KB

Comhairle do thuismitheoiri phaisti rang a se PDF 202KB

School Admissions – Funding

The purpose of these letters is to remind schools that pupils admitted unlawfully will be automatically rated ‘zero’ for LMS purposes.

Letter to Schools - Unlawful Admissions and Zero-Rating Reminder - 30 August 2013 (Irish)  PDF 436 KB

Letter_to_Schools_-_Unlawful_Admissions_and_Zero-Rating_Reminder_-_30 August_2013 PDF 400 KB

Letter to Schools - Actual_Enrolments_Against_Approved_Enrolments_-_Funding Letter 28 September 2012 PDF 420 KB

Duty to Verify Admissions Information

This Circular advises Principals and Boards of Governors of pre-school, primary and post primary schools on the duty to verify information contained within applications for admission

Circular 2013/24 - Guidance on a school's duty to verify application information (pre-school, primary and post-primary) PDF 410KB

Uimhir an chiorclain 2013/24 - Treoir maidir leis an dualgas ata ar scoileanna faisneis a thugtar in iarratais a dheimhniu PDF 467KB

Procedure for requesting extra Sixth Form Places

This Circular advises Principals and Boards of Governors of the arrangements for requesting extra sixth form places for schools likely to be oversubscribed when receiving year 13 applications.

This circular will apply to admissions taking place in September 2014 and for each subsequent school year.

Circular Number 2014/05 - Sixth Form - Temporary variation requests PDF 876KB

Uimhir an chiorclain 2014/05 - An seu bliain - Iarratais ar eagsulu sealadach PDF 980KB

Guidance on waiting lists for school admissions

This Circular provides advice for Principals and Boards of Governors in relation to waiting lists used for the admission of pupils to grant-aided schools.

Circular Number 2012/10 - Guidance for schools on the operation of admissions waiting lists PDF 161KB

Uimhir an chiorclain 2012/10 - Treoir do scoileanna maidir le husaid na liostai feithimh PDF 180KB

Guidance on admissions for schools with an Irish Medium Unit

This circular provides advice for Principals and Boards of Governors in relation to the admission of pupils to schools with an Irish Medium Unit.

Uimhir chiorclain 2012/11 - Treoir ar iontralacha do scoileanna a bhfuil aonad gaeilge iontu PDF 130 KB

Circular Number 2012/11 - Guidance on admissions for schools with an Irish Medium Unit PDF 116 KB

Appeals Against Admissions Decisions

There are three routes by which admissions decisions may be challenged other than by means of a judicial challenge

Parental right of appeal against a school with places available that has refused admission to an application for a place in a year group other than Year 1 or Year 8

Revised Procedures for Admissions Complaints to DE Post-Years 1 and 8 PDF 358KB

Irish version of complaint letters and forms PDF 179KB

English version of complaint letters and forms PDF 150KB

Parental right of appeal to an independent admissions appeal tribunal where it is claimed by a parent that a school has not, or has not correctly, applied its admissions criteria

This right of appeal applies where a primary or post-primary school is oversubscribed with applications and has to apply its admissions criteria to determine which children to admit.  Details of how to appeal are available from the relevant Education and Library Board.

Parental right of appeal to the Exceptional Circumstances Body

The Department has established an independent Exceptional Circumstances Body (ECB) to consider applications from parents where it is claimed that a child must attend a specified post-primary school, and no other post-primary school, for exceptional reasons. Further information and an application form can be found on the nidirect website

The Body is required to present the Department with an annual report describing its activity.

2012/13 ECB Annual Report - 28 April 2014 PDF 500 KB

2011/12 ECB Annual Report (PDF-460B)

2010/11 ECB Annual Report (PDF - 448KB)

Primary School Admissions Workshops

This guide provides detailed information on the admissions process, particularly in relation to the setting of admissions criteria for Primary School Principals.

Primary Schools Admissions Criteria - A Guide - September 2013 (PDF 295KB)

This power point presentation provides guidance on the primary school admissions process, particularly in relation to the setting of admissions criteria, and was used at the Primary School Admissions Criteria Workshops led by the Department and Education and Library Boards in September 2013.

Power Point Presentation - Primary School Admissions Workshops (23,091KB)