Enrolment and Transitional Policy

Enrolment and Transitional Policy and Procedures for the Pre-school for children with A.S.D. and the Outreach Unit

Applications must meet the enrolment criteria as follows:
• The initial application for all ASD classes must be by post only.
• Please send a letter of application itemising:
1. the class you are applying for
2. the month and year you wish your child to start school and
3. an up-to-date psychological assessment for your child.
• St Helen’s Junior must be a suitable and appropriate placement for the child (i.e. Mainstreaming must be a realistic possibility, insofar as it is feasible to know at this stage, by the end of 4 years in the Outreach)
St. Helen’s must have the necessary resources in order to adequately cater for the child’s needs.

Enrolment in the Pre-school

When the above criteria have been met and a place becomes available in the pre-school, the parents of the child will be invited to come and visit the school. If they wish to enrol their child, then the school will make an application to the Special Educational Needs Organizer (S.E.N.O.) for transport if required. When the application has been processed by the transport section of the D.E.S., the child can be enrolled.
If more than one referral has been made to the school, a waiting list system will operate of the applicants who meet the criteria specified above. Places will be filled from this list based on the date of receipt of application. Applicants to the pre-school must also be age-appropriate i.e. 3 or 4 years of age. Enrolment in the pre-school can occur at any time in the school year.

Transition from the Pre-school

Transition from the pre-school to the Outreach Unit can occur on foot of a transitional assessment carried out by the Beechpark psychologist. This assessment will state that the Outreach Unit is the appropriate setting for the child. This will only happen at the beginning of the school year. Transition from the pre-school can also occur to an alternative educational setting if St. Helen’s is proven to be an unsuitable placement for the child and where it is believed that the child’s needs can be best met elsewhere. This can occur at any stage in the school year. However, it would only take place where an alternative placement has been attained for the child by the parent.

Enrolment in the Outreach Unit

• Enrolment in the outreach classes occurs on the September 1st.
• Priority for places is given to children transitioning from the pre-school with a recommendation for an outreach placement in their transitional assessment.
• All applications must meet the criteria:
o Referral through Beechpark Services or the Early Intervention Team or psychologist (depending on who is providing clinical support at that point in time).
o Able to participate in a programme of integration with the mainstream classes.
• A waiting list will operate when there are more applicants than available places. Places will be allocated based on date of receipt of application (once places have been given to transitioning pre-school children).
• Enrolment in Outreach Unit runs parallel to enrolment in mainstream classes: i.e.
o 1. School attendance follows the mainstream school calendar.
o 2. Enrolment is for a maximum of four years.

Transition from the Outreach Unit must occur when a pupil has completed four years which normally occurs on the 30th June of each year. Only in exceptional circumstances, when a child presents as needing an alternative educational setting and an appropriate placement had been found, would transition occur mid-year.

Transition from the unit to a mainstream class, within St. Helen’s mainstream school, may happen before the child has completed the four year cycle. This may happen when the school authorities assess that the child’s educational needs can be met adequately in a mainstream setting and that the child will no longer benefit from the specialist support and individual programmes which they have heretofore received in the outreach setting. The school Principal allocates a class to each pupil which will best meet the child’s educational needs. This decision regarding placement is made in consultation with the educational staff and will consider the reports/assessments of other outside agencies.

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