It is the responsibility of my Department to ensure that schools in an area can, between them, cater for all pupils seeking school places in an area. Parents/guardians can choose which school to apply to and where the school has places available the pupil should be admitted.
It is the responsibility of the managerial authorities of all schools to draft, publish and implement a school admission policy in accordance with the Education Acts 1998 to 2018. In schools where there are more applicants than places available a selection process may be necessary. This may result in some pupils not obtaining a place in their school of first choice.
The admission policy, including the selection criterion to be used where the school is oversubscribed, must comply with the Education Acts 1998 to 2018, be non-discriminatory and be applied fairly in respect of all applicants.
Where a board of management makes a decision to refuse admission, a parent/guardian can appeal that decision under section 29 of the Education Act, 1998, and an independent appeals committee will be appointed to consider the appeal. My Department has no authority to compel a school to admit a student, except in circumstances where an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act, 1998 has been allowed and the appeals committee directs that the school admit the child concerned.
A section 29 appeal must be made no later than 63 calendar days from the date of the school’s decision to refuse admission.
If a student has been refused admission due to the school being oversubscribed, and the parent/guardian of the student wishes to appeal this decision they must firstly make a written request to the school seeking a review of the board of management’s decision. This request for a review to the board of management is time bound and must be made within 21 calendar days from the date of the decision by the school to refuse admission to the student.
If a student has been refused admission for a reason other than the school being oversubscribed, the parent/guardian may, but is not required to, request a review by the board of management within 21 calendar days from the date of the decision by the school to refuse admission to the student. Where refused admission is for a reason other than the school being oversubscribed and the parent/guardian does not choose to seek a review by the board of management, an appeal may be made to an independent appeals committee no later than 63 calendar days from the date of the school’s decision to refuse admission.
Full details on the section 29 appeals process are available on my Department’s website at the link below:
In addition, Tusla Education Support Services (TESS) the Educational Welfare Service is the legal body which can assist parents who are experiencing difficulty in securing a school placement for their child. Contact details for TESS are available at the following link https://www.tusla.ie/tess/get-in-touch/ or by email at email@example.com.