Polasaí Iontrála/ Admission Policy

Gaelcholáiste Mhuire (A.G.),
An Mhainistir Thuaidh

Admission Policy 2019/2020



Mission Statement

“The school seeks to create a caring environment in which Christian values permeate all aspects of school life and in which the school community find fulfilment.”


 SECTION A: Our School

Gaelcholáiste Mhuire (A.G.), An Mhainistir Thuaidh is a Catholic Co educational Secondary School under the trusteeship of the Edmund Rice Schools Trust [ERST] where pupils are taught through the medium of Irish.


The school supports the principle of inclusiveness and endeavours to base its teaching on the example of the gospels and on the principles and Christian example of Blessed Éamonn Rís, the founder of the Christian and Presentation Brothers.


The five characteristics of an Edmund Rice school underpin the operation of Gaelcholáiste Mhuire (A.G.), namely:


  • Nurturing faith, Christian spirituality and Gospel-based values means that in Gaelcholáiste Mhuire A.G., we live our Catholic Faith, experience God, respect the beliefs and values of each member of the school community and work for social and ecological justice.
  • Promoting partnership means that in Gaelcholáiste Mhuire A.G., we make everyone feel welcome, build a Christian community with a shared vision and mission, recognise the voice of staff, students and parents and are involved in our locality.
  • Excellence in teaching and learning means that in Gaelcholáiste Mhuire A.G., we have very high expectations of our teachers and students, nurture the development of all aspects of our lives, respond to a changing world, use technology responsibly and creatively to enhance our learning and promote learning as a life-long enterprise.
  • Creating a caring school community means that in Gaelcholáiste Mhuire A.G., we show care and compassion as exemplified in the life of Jesus, respect and celebrate the dignity of each person, seek to help those who are disadvantaged or in need in society and speak up for those whose voice is not heard. Meas & Iarracht are emphasized in our 1st year Induction programme. We teach students to respect themselves; their parents; their school; their teachers; each other and the wider community. We encourage students to make the best effort that they can to enable them to reach their potential.
  • Inspiring transformational leadership means that in Gaelcholáiste Mhuire A.G., we motivate people to work towards the vision of Blessed Edmund Rice, inspire the minds and hearts of our students to have courage and confidence to stand up for what we believe in, lead by giving good example and take responsibility for our actions.



The school believes in the vital importance of good relationships between teachers, students and parents.  The school recognises the need for the on-going professional development of its staff to meet the challenge of a changing world and to meet the needs of its pupils.


The school endeavours and aspires to:

  • assist the pupils to develop a sense of responsibility towards their faith.
  • foster the use of the Irish language by pupils.
  • promote academic excellence to the full potential of each individual pupil.
  • encourage the growth of self-esteem and confidence through the development of the whole person.
  • recognise the needs of all pupils and cater for these in a meaningful way.
  • create an environment in which the pupils grow in maturity and generosity.
  • equip pupils with life-skills and develop leadership qualities.
  • provide pupils with opportunities to live their faith.
  • provide an opportunity for the physical development of each pupil.



SECTION B: Our admission policy



The Board of Management welcomes applications to the school from any parent/guardian on behalf of their daughter(s) /son(s) who may wish to pursue their second level education through the medium of Irish.


Scope of this policy: 

This policy governs how you may apply for your child to enter Gaelcholáiste Mhuire (A.G.) and how we process each application in a fair and transparent way.


Aim of this policy:    

The aim of this policy is to ensure proper and reasonable procedures so that the Board of Management of Gaelcholáiste Mhuire (A.G.) may:

  • Make clear and transparent decisions in respect of each application,
  • Assess Gaelcholáiste Mhuire (A.G.)’s ability to serve the needs of applicants, in accordance with the resources available to it.


Legal Framework:    This policy abides by the relevant sections of the following acts:

  • Education Act(1998)
  • Education Welfare Act(2000)
  • Equal Status Act (2000)
  • Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act (2004)
  • Data Protection Acts (1998 & 2003)
  • Other applicable legislation.


The Edmund Rice Schools Trust Charter forms a guiding document for Gaelcholáiste Mhuire (A.G.) as provided for in the Education Act (1998)


Students with Special Needs:


Students with special needs are welcome in Gaelcholáiste Mhuire (A.G.). When a student with special needs applies for admission, the Board of Management will request an up to date medical/psychological report together with his/her individual education plan, if such exists.


While the Manager recognises the rights of parents/guardians to enrol a student in their school of choice, Gaelcholáiste Mhuire (A.G.)’s ability to admit students with special needs is dependent on the appropriate resources, both financial and personnel, to respond to the student’s needs being provided by the Department of Education and Skills.



Exceptional Cases:


The school reserves the right to refuse to enrol any student in exceptional cases. Such an exceptional case could arise where either:

  1. The student has special needs such that, even with additional resources available from the Department of Education and Skills, the school cannot meet such needs and/or provide the student with an appropriate education


  1. In the opinion of the Board of Management, the student poses an unacceptable risk to other students, to school staff or to school property.


Data Protection:


Data provided to Gaelcholáiste Mhuire (A.G.) in respect of an application for admission is subject to the terms and provisions of the Data Protection Act (1998) and the Data Protection (Amendment) Act (2003).



SECTION C: How to apply for a place in the school – first year in September 2019



Number of places available:

The number of students in Gaelcholaiste Mhuire (A.G.) has increased from 354 to 560 since 2010. This continuing demand for places provides evidence of the excellent quality of education in our school. We are very pleased that the Department of Education and Skills has approved a long-term enrolment of over 500 pupils in the school and the additional accommodation required to accommodate these additional pupils. Therefore 100 places will be provided in 1st Year entering in September 2019.


However, given the high demand, it is still likely that we will not be able to offer places to all applicants.


Information evenings:

Information sessions will be held for parents / guardians of prospective pupils on Tuesday September 18th and Thursday September 20st 2018. Details of enrolment will be given to parents/guardians at these “school viewing”/information evenings. It is not necessary to attend an information session to apply for a place for your child. However, we strongly encourage you to attend as you will learn a lot about the school and about how the application process works.


How to apply:


  • Application Forms will be available from the school office and on the school website, gaelcholaistemhuireag.ie from Tuesday, September 18th 2018.
  • Applications will only be accepted on the official school application form.
  • The closing date for applications is 12:00noon, Friday, October 5th Any application received after this date will be regarded as a late application.
  • It is the responsibility of the parents/guardians to ensure that application forms are completed accurately.
  • When application forms are received in Gaelcholáiste Mhuire (A.G.) they will be stamped to indicate date and time of receipt.
  • Parents/guardians will be informed in writing as to the outcome of the application within 21 school working days of the above closing date for applications.
  • Late applications will be considered only after all applicants whose application is received on time have been offered places. Places offered to late applicants will be offered in order of receipt of the application.
  • A student must be at least 12 years of age on 1st January of the year of entry to secondary school(2019/2020) to be eligible for admission to first year.


How we allocate the available places:


  1. What happens if we have not enough places for all the applicants?


As explained already we are likely to receive more applications than there are places available in Gaelcholáiste Mhuire (A.G.).  Having a fair and understandable process to determine which children will be offered places is very important. This section explains how we will operate this process


  1. How does the process of offering places work?

Students whose applications have been received on time will be offered places according to the criteria below. Places will only be offered to students in a given category after all students in each previous category have been offered a place.   Where there are fewer places remaining than applicants in a given category, students will be offered places based on a lottery. More details of the lottery are given below. 


  1. What criteria do we use to offer places in first year?

Parents and guardians: Please read the criteria below very carefully and make sure you have full accurate details on your child’s application form. The offer of a place will be based solely on what you put on the application form.

Places will be offered to students in the following order, with places being offered to all applicants in each category whose application is received on time before places are offered to applicants in the next category. Where there are insufficient places remaining to make offers to all applicants in a given category, a lottery will apply as specified below.




Category 1: A boy or girl whose brother or sister is registered as a student in Gaelcholáiste Mhuire (A.G.) on the closing date for applications.

Category 2: A brother or sister of a past pupil of Gaelcholáiste Mhuire (A.G.).

Category 3: “A son or daughter of a Past Pupil of the A.G[1].”

Category 4:    A son or daughter of a member of the staff of Gaelcholáiste Mhuire (A.G.) who has at least 3 years service on the closing date for applications.

Category 5: Applicants from Scoil Mhuire Fatima National School and Scoil Cholmcille, Blarney Street [ERST schools[2]] and applicants from North Presentation Girls Primary School and St. Vincent’s Convent National School [Cathedral Parish Schools]

Category 6: Applications from Gaelscoil Peig Sayers [a local Gaelscoil beside Gaelcholaiste Mhuire (A.G.)], from Scoil Íosagáin National School and Scoil Aiseírí Chríost [feeder schools in close proximity to Gaelcholáiste Mhuire (A.G.)], from Sundays Well (Boys) National School, Sundays Well (Girls) National School, Gaelscoil Gort Álainn, Scoil Mhuire Rathpeacon National School, Scoil Oilibhear National School, Scoil Padre Pio National School, Gaelscoil Mhúscraí [other feeder primary schools] and all other applicants.

Why do we use these criteria?

We have decided to give preference in the following order to:

  • Family connection with Gaelcholáiste Mhuire (A.G.): Applicants who have a family connection with Gaelcholáiste Mhuire (A.G.) [Categories 1,2,3 and 4]
  • The Edmund Rice network of schools: Applicants who have received an Edmund Rice Education locally at primary level [Category 5]
  • Our parish: Applicants who attend other primary schools in the Cathedral Parish [Category 5]
  • A Gaelscoil education locally: Applicants who attend the local Gaelscoil beside Gaelcholáiste Mhuire (A.G.) [Category 6]
  • The local community: Applicants who attend feeder schools located in close proximity to Gaelcholáiste Mhuire (A.G.) [Category 6]
  • Our other feeder primary schools: Applicants who attend our other feeder primary schools [Category 6]

This explains why we use the categories set out in section 3 above.


  1. How is the lottery conducted?

Where there are fewer places than applicants in a given category, a lottery will apply in allocating places within that category.

The lottery will be supervised by at least 2 of:

  • a nominee of the Board of Management
  • the Principal,
  • a nominee of the Parent Council,

All applicants within the category will have their names entered for the lottery and names will be drawn until all places are filled. Twins and triplets will be treated as a single application, although both names or all 3 names will be entered in the lottery. If the name of one is drawn, the others will automatically be allocated places.

When all places are filled, names of applicants in this category will continue to be drawn to establish the order of applicants on the waiting list.

Names of all other applicants will also be drawn in strict order of the categories above to determine each applicant’s place on the waiting list.        

If a vacancy arises and an applicant is offered a place from the waiting list, the place will be offered to the applicant highest on the list.  If for any reason a place is not accepted that place will then be offered to the next applicant on the waiting list.               

The waiting list will be terminated once the first term begins in 2019/2020.

SECTION D: Applying for a place in the school – other than first years in September 2019



Repeating a year:


The school will make every effort to accommodate students who wish to repeat the Leaving Certificate or any other year.  However, this will be subject to

            (a) the general terms and conditions of this policy

(b) the subject options available;

(c) the places available within the subject class groupings,

(d) the curricular restrictions of each subject area and

(e) Department of Education and Skills Circular M02/95.




Requests for transfers of pupils from other schools must be made in writing giving the reasons for the transfer.


Transfers will be subject to:


  • The general terms and conditions of this policy
  •  An interview with the applicant and the parents/guardians.
  •  The presentation of the reasons for transfer.
  •  Availability of space within the particular year group so that the total number of students in the year group will not exceed the maximum number set for that year group in the admission policy for first year entry approved for publication by the Edmund Rice Schools Trust or subsequently set by the Board of Management for senior cycle classes.
  • The school authorities regarding the move in the best interest of the pupil seeking the transfer and the best interest of the staff and pupils of Gaelcholáiste Mhuire (A.G.).
  • Consent of Parents/Guardians to release appropriate and relevant information from the current school to Gaelcholáiste Mhuire (A.G.).
  • A report from the present school and sight of all records pertaining to the pupil seeking the transfer, if requested.
  • Consultations with any other agencies who may have had contact with the pupil.


Applications on behalf of pupils who wish to transfer to Gaelcholáiste Mhuire (A.G.) will be decided by the Board of Management following a formal recommendation from the Principal stating the reasons for recommending or not recommending the transfer. Parents/guardians will be informed in writing as to the outcome of the application within 21 school working days of receipt of the written application and any supporting documentation required by Gaelcholáiste Mhuire (A.G.).





SECTION E: How to appeal if my child was not offered a place.


Where the Board of Management refuses an applicant’s application for admission to Gaelcholáiste Mhuire (A.G.), parents/guardians have the right of appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills under Section 29(d) of the Education Act (1998). This appeal must be lodged within 42 days of the Board of Management’s decision.




SECTION F:  Miscellaneous


The Admission Policy will be reviewed on an annual basis. If you would like to make a submission as part of the consultation process involved in the review you are very welcome do so in writing to the Board of Management on or before February 1st 2019.




The Board of Management will publish this Admissions Policy in a form approved by the Edmund Rice Schools Trust in accordance with Section 15(2) (d) of the Education Act 1998.


This Admissions Policy was approved by the Board of Management on February 26th 2018 and by the Edmund Rice Schools Trust [ERST] on March 22nd 2018.

[1] Past-pupil of Gaelcholáiste Mhuire A.G. or Scoil Mhuire (A.G.)

[2] If any other feeder school comes under the Trusteeship of the Edmund Rice Schools Trust by the closing date for applications, applicants from that school will be placed in Category 5.