Admissions Policy

Ratified BOM: 02-03-2011

The policy applies:

Students, parents, principals, administrative staff, teachers from Gaelcholáiste Chomáin , Mayo VEC. 

1.1 Gael Choláiste Chomáin is an Irish-language Post-Primary school, under the patronage of Co. Mayo VEC. The school offers boys and girls the opportunity to pursue their second level education through the medium of Irish.

1.2 Gael Choláiste Chomáin welcomes all students who, in the professional judgment of the school authority, and based on appropriate documentation/reports, are suitable for admission, regardless of gender, race, academic abilities or cultural backround. We are committed to providing the highest standard of education which is suited to the needs of all students, whose educational needs can be met by the school taking into account the safety and rights of all relevant persons and subject to the functions of the Minister pursuant to section 7 (1) of the Education Act 1998. 

2.1 In establishing this policy, the Board of Management of Gael Choláiste Chomáin seek to give expression to its commitment to the values which underpin the Education Act 1988, the Education (Welfare) Act. 2000, the Equal Status Act 2000 and the ethos and traditions of Co.Mayo Vocational Education Committee. Gael Choláiste Chomáin shall not refuse to admit a student except where in accordance with the policy of Co. Mayo Vocational Education Committee under Section 15(2)(d) of the Education Act 1998, the provisions of which policy are set out at 1.1 in the Committee's General Policy Statement and at 1.1 above.

2.2 Gaelcholáiste Chomáin reserves the right to refuse to enroll a student either where said student has a disability, special educational need which the school cannot meet, even with additional resources provided by the Department of Education and Science, or where the student would pose an unacceptable threat to students, staff and/or school property. The school also reserves the right to refuse re-admission, having regard to the constitutional rights of all persons concerned if, after consultation with the relevant authorities the school is unable to meet the appropriate individual needs. 


3.1 Gaelcholáiste Chomáin acknowledges the rights of all children, including children who have a disability, or who have other special educational needs, as they relate to education pursuant to the Education Act 1998 Section 6 (a) and subject to the functions of the Minister pursuant to section 7 (1) of the Education Act 1998.

3.2 Gaelcholáiste Chomáin acknowledges its duty to promote equality of access to and participation in education pursuant to the Education Act 1998 Section 6 (c) and subject to the functions of the Minister pursuant to section 7 (1) of the Education Act 1998.

3.3 Gaelcholáiste Chomáin respects the right of parents to send their children to a school of the parent's choice, having regard to the rights and statutory/legal duties of the School and with reference to 2.2 above and the effective use of resources pursuant to the Education Act 1998 Section 6 (e). The Coláiste also understands that parents do not have an absolute right.


4.1 The parent of a child (or a student who is over 18 years of age) who has made an application for admission to a school will be required to furnish relevant information as prescribed by the school. 4.2 Prior to admission to a school, the parent and child (or a student who is over 18 years of age) shall be required to sign a written undertaking to comply with the school's code of behaviour. Where a parent/ guardian of a student under 18 years of age, or a student over 18 years of age, refuses to sign the schools code of behaviour the student will be refused admission to the school.

4.3 Parents must recognise that the primary medium of instruction is Irish and it is expected that students complete their exams through the medium of Irish. 


5.1 a) The principal, will visit local primary schools and provide information and documentation relating to enrolment. 

b) The school will hold an Information evening in the second term. Advertisements will be placed in local media inviting all interested parties and particularly parents and students attending 5th and 6th classes in Primary Schools in the catchment area of Gaelcholáiste Chomáin to attend. 

c) The school prospectus and application forms for admission will be available prior to and at the Information evening and also from the school, on request.

d ) All prospective students/parents must fill out a written application form which should be submitted to the school by the stated closing date. 

5.2 Gaelcholáiste Chomáin will seek the following information from the parent, student and/or previous/present school, as appropriate, prior to making a decision regarding the admission of a student to the school: 

a) Name, age and address of the student.

b) Date of birth and birth certificate of the student. 

c) Student's PPS number. 

e) Address of parents.

f) Relevant telephone numbers, including emergency numbers. 

g) Name, address and telephone number of the student's previous/present school.

h) Information and records from previous/present school, including information relating to the student's level of Irish. 

i) Religion of student.

j) Relevant medical information, including medical card number, if applicable.

k) Relevant information regarding access to the child, custody of the child and legal orders pertaining to the child. 

5.3 Within 21 days of receipt of the relevant information as outlined at 5.2 above, or within 21 days of the specified closing date for enrolments, (as decided by the Board of Management each year) and upon completion of Irish Level Assessment Exam the Board shall issue a decision to the parent of a child who has not yet reached the age of 18 years and to a student who has reached the age of 18 years. 

5.4 Gaelcholáiste Chomáin affirms that data collected in relation to students and parents is governed by the Data Protection Act 1988 and the Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003 and that information on file should be used only for the purposes for which it was intended. Information will be stored in accordance with the Centre’s Data Protection Policy. 

5.5 The Board of Management of Gaelcholáiste Chomáin shall ensure that an evaluation of the effectiveness of the process, strategy and policy regarding admissions is carried out regularly.


6.1 a) As Gaelcholáiste Chomáin is an Irish-language Second level School students must have a satisfactory level of spoken and written Irish, as assessed by the school authorities, prior to admission. Prospective students may be called to a short interview with the school Principal, or his/her nominee, to ascertain their level of Irish and commitment to pursuing their second level education through the medium of the Irish language. 

b) Prior to admission parents/students will be issued with the school's Polasaí na Gaeilge which they must read carefully, before signing to abide by same. 

c) Parents and students will also be issued with the school's Code of Discipline which must also be read and agreed to in writing prior to admission to the school.

6.2 In the event of the school being unable to cater for the number of students wishing to enroll in a given year the following criteria will be put in place regarding the allocation of places pursuant to 6.1 above. 

a) Students who have attended Bunscoileanna lán Gaeilge.

b) Students from homes where Gaeilge is the first language. 

c) Students who attended non-Irish language primary schools and have a satisfactory level of spoken and written Irish, in the opinion of the school authorities, and a commitment to pursuing their second-level education through Irish. 

d) Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. 

e) A waiting list will be established when all available places are allocated.

f) The availability of resources. 

g) The suitability of courses/programmes for the student. 

h) The school's professional assessment of supporting documentation/reports and of the student following interview and appraisal.

i) The Health and Safety of other students and staff. 

7. Transfers from other schools 

7.1 All transfer students must meet the criteria outlined above for admission with particular reference to 6.1(a). Reference may be sought from Principal of previous school. 

The school shall make every reasonable effort to facilitate a student seeking to transfer to Gaelcholáiste Chomáin. The management of the school will decide on applications for admission to any year by applying the following criteria. Applications for transfer must be made prior to an academic year this time frame must also furnish the school management the allotted period to give a decision prior to the start of the school year. School management will decide whether or not a transfer: 

Is in agreement with the school's admission policy. 

Is in the best interest of the student. 

Is in the best interest of the school. 

Is of educational benefit to the student. 

7.2 When a student who is already or was a member of a second level school makes application to transfer to Gaelcholáiste Chomáin the following procedures must be adhered to before a decision is taken in respect of this request:

(i) The parent(s) of the student must submit a completed Form of Enquiry seeking transfer to Gaelcholáiste Chomáin stating clearly the reasons for this request. 

(ii) The Form of Enquiry must clearly state the subjects being studied by the applicant at the time of application. If the management of Gaelcholáiste Chomáin is unable to provide all of these subjects a place may be declined on educational grounds. 

(iii) The Principal of the school which the student is attending or last attended must complete a Form of Enquiry and return same to the Principal of Gaelcholáiste Chomáin together with other relevant documentation (educational and/or psychological reports) as may be specified by the school in relation to the student. 

(iv) The parent of a student who has not yet reached the age of 18 years or a student who has reached the age of 18 years must submit copies of the two most recent school reports or State Examinations results if appropriate. 

(v) When (i), (ii) (iii) and (iv) above have been complied with, the parent(s) 
and student (or student who is over 18 years of age) must attend for interview with the Transfer Application Review Board. The Board shall consist of at least three of the following: 
- Principal 
- Deputy Principal 
- Guidance Counsellor 
- Year Head 
- Learning Support Teacher 
- Relevant Subject teacher(s) 

(vi) The applicant will be obliged to take appropriate assessment tests to be decided by the management of Gael Choláiste Chomáin in consultation with relevant teachers.

(vii) Where a sibling (or siblings) of the above applicant seeks admission to Coláiste Chomáin such application(s) will be considered in accordance with the criteria outlined above.

(viii) If, following the above procedures, the Management of Gael Choláiste Chomáin is satisfied that the application is a bona fide one and, mindful of its statutory obligations, is in a position to cater for the educational needs of the applicant whilst not infringing the rights of the students who are already members of Gael Choláiste Chomáin then a place on the school course applied for may be offered to the applicant. 

(ix) If the management of the school feels that the application should be refused the matter must be referred to the Board of Management for consideration and the parent of an applicant who is under the age of 18 years or a student who has reached the age of 18 years must be informed of their right of a personal hearing by the Board before a decision is reached. 

(x) Applications received during the course of the academic year from students who reside outside the school catchment area will not be considered.

(xii) Applications received during the course of the academic year from students who take up residence with their parents in the school catchment area will be processed by the School Management and if a place is available and the applicant is deemed to be suitable for a place in the school, the Principal may offer a place and report subsequently to the Board of Management. If the School Management feels that a place cannot or should not be offered to the applicant the application should be referred to the Board of Management for deliberation and the parent of an applicant who is under the age of 18 years or an applicant who has reached the age of 18 years shall be informed of their right of a personal hearing by the Board before a decision is reached. 

(xiii) Where a student, who has left Gael Choláiste Chomáin voluntarily to take up employment or to attend another educational institution, subsequently makes an application for readmission to the school the School Management will make a decision as to whether or not the student may resume her/his studies in the school having first reviewed the availability of places, the student's application to work, participation in school activities, record of attendance, behavior etc. when she/he last attended Coláiste Chomáin.

(xiv) When a student seeking a place in Gael Choláiste Chomáin has been excluded from another school or has been requested to seek admission to another school, the management of Gael Choláiste Chomáin shall not feel obliged to accept this student into the school even if said student lives within the catchment area. In such cases the school management shall seek to balance the rights of the applicant with the rights of all other persons in the school. 

8. Department of Education Regulations:

8.1 Eligibility for admission includes the following DES regulations: 

8.1(i) Having reached the required age: 12 on the 1st January in the calendar year following the child's entry into First Year.

8.1(ii) Pupils of Irish nationality should have attained a standard of education equivalent to Sixth class in Primary School in the academic year prior to entry. 

8.1(iii) Students from other countries should have reached a comparable standard of education. 


7.1 Where admission to a school is refused, the parent and child (or a student who is over 18 years of age) shall be informed of the appeals procedure in accordance with the Education Act 1998 and the Education (Welfare) Act 2000.