Our School Policies

These are just a selection of our school policies, more are available to view in the school.

General Introduction

St. Paul’s School (the “School”) is a school under the patronage of the Bishop of Cork and Ross and the trusteeship of COPE Foundation (the “Foundation”) The denominational character of the school is Roman Catholic. The ethos of the school is Christian in the Catholic tradition. The School has 7 classes for pupils with moderate/severe general learning disabilities and 8 classes for pupils with severe/profound general learning disabilities. Prospective pupils must be at least aged 4 and not older than aged 18 by the last day of August of the year in question. The School caters for 97 pupils in total.

Policy Statement

This admissions and enrolment policy has been formulated pursuant to the provisions of the 1998 Act to assist parents/guardians in relation to admissions and enrolment matters. The Chairperson of the Board or the Principal will be happy to clarify any further matters arising from this policy.

St. Paul's Admissions Policy


In introducing its enrolment policy, the Board of Management of the School is doing so with reference to the rules for National Schools and in accordance with the provision of the Education Act 1998, the Education Welfare Act, 2000, and the Equal Status Act, 2000.


The School follows the Curriculum Guidelines for Teachers of Pupils with Moderate General Learning Disabilities and the Curriculum Guidelines for Teachers of Pupils with Severe and Profound General Learning Disabilities (2007) provided by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment.  These are followed in the junior and middle classes.  Senior classes in both streams of  the school follow the Junior Cycle Level 1 Learning Programme.

These websites provide additional information about the curricula used:




The School, whose teachers and special needs assistants are funded by the Department of Education and Skills, operates within regulations laid down by the Department. School policy is dependent on the resources and funding available. Currently there are 15 class teachers and 35 special needs assistants along with the Administrative Deputy Principal and Principal. The School has a full time secretary and part time care taker.  The School is supported by a multi-disciplinary team provided by the Foundation from funds provided by the HSE. The level of support varies from year to year subject to available funding and availability of personnel.


The School is governed by a Board of Management (the “Board”) that meets regularly and comprises of a Chairperson nominated by the Patron, a patron’s nominee, the principal, a teacher, two parents/guardians, (one mother and one father) and two members of the wider community.

Length of School Day

Pupils attend from 9.20 am to 3.00 pm except for reception class pupils of both streams in their first year. The Reception class pupils will be introduced to school on a phased basis. Parents/guardians are asked to collect them at an earlier time (e.g.12.30) for a period agreed between parents/guardians, class teacher and principal. If a pupil is using school transport the time will be agreed between the Transport Manager, parents/guardians, class teacher and principal. By the end of their first year in school, the pupil will remain in school until 1.30 pm.

Older pupils start on the first day of the new academic year for a full day.


The school depends on the grants and teacher resources provided by the Department of Education and Skills and it operates within regulations laid down by the Department. School policy is dependent on resources and funding available. A voluntary contribution is sought from parents twice during the school year to assist the school to provide classroom materials in place of standard text books.


In accordance with the terms and conditions laid down by the Educational Welfare Act 2000, Section 23.2, and the school’s Health and Safety and Child Protection Policies a child may be suspended or expelled for gross misconduct. (c.f. Code of Discipline). This action will be taken when there is no alternative and according to the regulations of the National Educational Welfare Board.

Please note that the Board has a duty of care to all its existing pupils and staff may not be in a position to continue to facilitate pupils who compromise the entitlement to safety and education of other pupils and staff.

Admission Committee

The School’s Admission Committee (the “Committee”) comprising of the principal, deputy principal, school nurse and at least one member of the multi-disciplinary team, will consider each application for admission and make a recommendation to the Board. The Board makes the final decision with regard to the offering of places to prospective pupils seeking admission. Every effort is made to provide parents/guardians with a speedy response to requests for admission. The Board and the Committee will be guided by the principles of natural justice and will endeavour to be reasonable, fair and transparent.

Application Procedure

  •   Enquiries in relation to the School and applying for admission to the School may be made by email, letter or telephone.
  •   A school application form will be forwarded by the school to the parents/guardians for completion on behalf of their child/children along with a copy of the School’s Admission and Enrolment Policy.
  •   Applications for admission for the 2021/2022 School year will be accepted from October 1st 2020  to February 26th 2021
  •   Applications received following that date may not be processed until the following school year if the school is already full.
  •   Applications are accepted from parents or guardians only.
  •   Along with the completed application form, the Committee will also require the following enclosures:


  1. An up-to-date psychological assessment (within 2 years of date of application for under 7 yr. olds; within 4 years of date of application for all others) stating that the child’s primary disability falls within the moderate or severe or profound learning disability category.
  2. Recommendation for placement in a Special School which caters for pupils with a moderate/severe/profound general learning disability
  3. an original birth certificate
  4. disclosure of all pre-existing medical conditions from the pupil’s General Practitioner or hospital consultant

This information enables the Committee to assess whether the School can provide for the medical needs of the prospective student and to seek appropriate resources from the Department as necessary.

v. Reports from previous educational placements, where appropriate
 On date of receipt by the school, applications are placed on a Waiting List for either the moderate stream or the severe/profound stream in date order according to the

criteria below pending consideration for enrolment by the Admissions Committee.

Please note: The application only becomes complete when this supporting documentation is received.

The principal or another member of staff designated by the principal, acting on behalf of the Committee, may contact or visit the prior pre-school/school of the applicant and may take the opportunity to observe the pupil and speak with staff.

The completion of an application form and the subsequent placement of a child’s name on any list does not confer an automatic right to a place in the school. Each application will be considered in the light of the selection criteria outlined below.

Criteria for admission to the School:

  •  Priority is given to pass pupils of the School who may have unsuccessfully transferred to another school.
  • Priority order of current children seeking places from the Foundation’s pre-school, Rainbow Lodge.
  • Priority order of the number applications for children seeking placement from the Foundation’s junior school for pupils with a mild general learning disability – Scoil Eanna and the Foundation’s senior school for pupils with a mild general learning disability – Scoil Bernadette
  • Priority order of applications for children who were refused admission in the previous year/s (based on recommendations of School’s Admission Committee).
  • The number and needs of prospective pupils currently on the waiting lists.
  • The Department’s maximum class average directives (currently 8 pupils per class of pupils with moderate general learning disabilities, 7 pupils per class of pupils with multiple general learning disabilities and 6 pupils per class of pupils with severe and profound general learning disabilities).
  • In some cases, special resources, equipment and adaptations to facilitate the prospective student’s access to the building or curriculum may be recommended to the Board by the Committee. The Board may, on the advice of the Committee, request that such resources, equipment and adaptations are in place before the prospective student is formally enrolled. The Board, in the interests of the prospective pupil and the other pupils in the School, may decide to refuse admission on the grounds that the School cannot, with current resources and facilities, meet the needs of the prospective student.

The Committee will meet during the school year as required and will make its recommendation(s) on admission(s) to the Board. Notification of the decision of the Board will be sent to parents/guardians within 7 days.

Parents/guardians of successful applicants must confirm acceptance in writing within 7 days of the date of the letter offering admission to the School. If this is not received within the given time frame the place will be offered to the next applicant.
Please note places cannot be held from year to year. If a place is offered and refused, the offer is invalidated and the place must be applied for again.

A mutually suitable time will be arranged between the principal and the parents/guardians of pupils who have been offered a place to view the School and its facilities first-hand. Information pertaining to the facilities and services on offer will be given to parents/guardians at this visit so that parents/guardians are informed in advance of the available services and facilities. Parents/Guardians will be given an Enrolment Pack to read and complete once enrolment has been accepted.

While recognising the right of parents/guardians to enrol their child in the school of their choice, the Board of Management of the School is also responsible to respect the rights of the existing school pupils. This requires balanced judgements, which are guided by the principles of natural justice and acting in the best interest of all children. Assisting the school in such circumstances, the Board of Management reserves the right to determine the maximum number of pupils in each separate classroom bearing in mind:

  • Size of / available space in each classrooms
  • Environmental / Sensory needs of the enrolled pupils
  • Health & Safety issues Each class grouping will be given careful consideration to optimise the individual’s opportunities for quality learning by having the correct number of pupils and supporting staff in each classroom.
    In the case of some applicants, to facilitate the child’s access to the curriculum, it may be necessary to provide specific additional resources to that which are already available in the school (e.g. staff / accommodation / equipment / environmental adaptations or other supports may be required). It may be necessary to delay a child’s starting date in the school to ensure that all essential supports are in place beforehand.

Unsuccessful Applicants

Parents/Guardians of unsuccessful applicants will be informed in writing of the reason why their application for admission has been refused and of their right to appeal the decision under Section 29 of the 1998 Act, as amended by Section 26 of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 (the “2000 Act”). Appeals may be made on the Appeals Application Form, available from the School on request, within 42 calendar days from the date the decision of the Board was notified to the parents/guardians. The form is also available on the Department’s website at www.irlgov.ie/educ. The Admissions Committee also has the right of appeal.

Placement Review

Occasionally, post-admission, concerns regarding the suitability of a pupil’s placement may arise and a review of the School’s ability to meet the pupil’s continuing needs in a way that
ensures that the pupil develops to his/her full potential may be necessary. Parents/Guardians will be kept informed by the Principal of any concerns that might arise at the earliest opportunity and will be asked by the Principal to work in partnership with the class teacher, SNA’s and relevant multi-disciplinary team member(s) to consider all options open to the pupil up to and including a review of the pupil’s placement. In the event of an indication that the pupil may not be suitably placed, the Board may request that a multi-disciplinary team assessment is carried out to determine the best options open to the student.


Successful applicants who require regular medicines or specific medical procedures of any sort are required to provide the School with signed parental consent stating the times and circumstances of when the medicine should be administered.

An up-to-date medical report shall be requested so that the School can assess its ability to cater for the student’s future medical needs. Should a pupil already enrolled require new medicines/medical procedures, the school, in consultation with parents/guardians and school nurse, will reassess its ability to meet the pupil’s needs.

Code of Behaviour

Pupils enrolled in the School are required to co-operate with the School’s Code of Behaviour (the “Code”) prepared pursuant to Section 23 of the 2000 Act, as well as all policies on curriculum, organisation and management. Parents/Guardians shall also be asked to sign the Code of Conduct for Parents/Guardians Policy. The Board expects that parents/guardians will work in partnership with the School staff to ensure that they and their child co-operate with such policies. A copy of the School’s Codes will be given to each parent/guardian as part of the enrolment process. This copy must be signed by the parent/guardian and returned to the principal on/prior to enrolment. Click to see the current Code of Behaviour 

Administration of Medicines Policy

Policy for Administration of Medicines

St. Paul’s School



St. Paul’s school has a full time school nurse for pupils in the severe/profound classes and access to a second nurse is provided for the pupils in the moderate stream.



The policy as outlined was put in place to;


  • Clarify areas of responsibility for teachers and Special Needs Assistants (SNAs)
  • To give clear guidance about situations where it is not appropriate to administer medicines
  • To indicate the limitations to any requirements which may be notified to teachers and school staff
  • To outline procedures to deal with a pupil with a nut/egg allergy/any allergy
  • Safeguard school staff that are willing to administer medication
  • Protect against possible litigation.


Relationship to School Ethos:

The school promotes positive home-school contacts, not only in relation to the welfare of children, but in relation to all aspects of school life.  This policy is in keeping with the school ethos through the provision of a safe, secure and caring school environment and the furthering of positive home-school links.


Aims of this Policy:

The aims and objectives of the policy can be summarised as follows;


  • Minimise health risks to children and staff on the school premises
  • Fulfill the duty of the Board of Management (BoM) in relation to Health and Safety requirements
  • Provide a framework within which medicines may be administered in cases of emergency or in instances where regularised administration has been agreed with parents/guardians


In –School Procedures:

Parents/Guardians are required to complete a Health/Medication form when enrolling their child/ren in the school.  Teachers/SNAs are not obliged to administer medicine or drugs to a pupil and any teacher/SNA willing to do so works under the controlled guidelines outlined below.



  • Medicines are stored in a locked press in the nurse’s office.   Emergency medication are stored in 3 locked presses throughout the school accessed only by class teachers and school nurses.
  • This does not imply a duty upon teachers/SNA’s personally, to undertake the administration of medicines or drugs.
  • Parents/guardians are responsible for the provision of medication and notification of change of dosage







Guidelines for the Administration of Medicines

  1. The parents/guardians of the pupil with special medical needs must inform the nursing staff  in writing of the condition, giving all the necessary details of the condition.
  2. Through parental agreement, medicines are sent in their child’s schoolbag. The nurse removes the medicines as soon as the child reaches school.
  3. A written record of the date and time of administration must be kept by the school nurse.
  4. For daily medication, this will be on the CR21 form which must be completed by the child’s GP.
  5. Parents/Guardians are responsible for ensuring that emergency medication is supplied to the school and replenished when necessary
  6. Emergency medication must have exact details of how it is to be administered
  7. The BoM must inform the school’s insurers accordingly
  8. Parents/guardians are further required to indemnify the Board of Management and members of the staff in respect of any liability that may arise regarding the administration of prescribed medicines in school
  9. All correspondence related to the above are kept in the nurses office in the school.



  • Non-prescribed medicines will neither be stored nor administered to pupils in school
  • A prescription must be supplied to the school nurse for over the counter medication
  • Arrangements for the storage of certain emergency medicines, which must be readily accessible at all times, must be made with the Principal and school nurse
  • Teachers/SNAs cannot be required to administer medicine or drugs to a pupil
  • In an emergency situation, qualified medical assistance will be secured at the earliest opportunity and the parents/guardians contacted
  • It is not recommended that children keep medication in swimming bags, coats, etc.
  • The parents/guardians should arrange for the administration of prescribed medicines outside of school hours.


Trips out

  • The school nurse does not attend trips out but is available by telephone should a concern arise and will clarify if an ambulance needs to be called.
  • The school nurse will supply the correct dosage of medicines and/or emergency medication required prior to the class leaving the school.
  • Staff must have the necessary skills and knowledge to administer the medications.
  • Written parental/guardian permission must be given for the administration of  medication by class staff



The following guidelines are in place with regard to pupils with a Nut/Egg or any other Allergy

  1. Staff dealing with the pupil must not eat nuts/eggs/allergen of any item with nut/egg/allergen trace.
  2. Advise children not to offer or exchange foods, sweets, lunches etc.
  3. If going off-site, medication must be carried by the class teacher.



In the event the pupil comes in contact with nuts/eggs/allergic substance please refer to protocol in pupil’s class



In the event of an emergency, the school nurse is contacted. Teachers/SNA’s should do no more than is necessary and appropriate to relieve extreme distress or prevent further and otherwise irreparable harm.  Qualified medical treatment should be secured in emergencies at the earliest opportunity.


Where no qualified medical treatment or personnel is available, and circumstances warrant immediate medical attention, an ambulance is to be called and the parents/guardians contacted immediately.


Written details are required from the GP/Consultant outlining the child’s personal details, name of medication, prescribed dosage, administration of medicine and the circumstances under which the medication is to be given.  This information is kept in the nurses office.  Parents/Guardians must inform the school nurse of any changes.


The school maintains an up to date register of contact details of all parents/guardians including emergency numbers.  This is updated in September of each new school year.


First Aid Boxes:


A complete first aid box is kept in the nurse’s office in Hillcrest containing anti-septic wipes, anti-septic ointment, bandages, sprays, steri-strips, cotton wool, scissors etc.

Emergency first aid boxes are located in the shared area of the Green S class/Soft play and the shared area of the Green M/Yellow M classrooms.  Contained in these boxes are plasters, antiseptic wipes, antiseptic cream and a packet of hydrogel – Burnaid.  It is the responsibility of the school nurse(s) to ensure that these boxes are adequately stocked.


General Recommendations:


We recommend that any child who shows signs of illness should be kept at home.  Any child who has episodes of vomiting or diarrhoea MUST remain at home for 48 hours following the last episode.



Roles and Responsibilities:

The BoM has overall responsibility for the implementation and monitoring of the school policy on Administration of Medication.  The Principal is the day to day manager of routines contained in the policy with the assistance of all staff members.  The maintenance and replenishment of First Aid Box is the responsibility of the school nurse(s).




Success Criteria:

The effectiveness of the school policy in its present form is measured by the following criteria;


  • Compliance with Health and Safety legislation


  • Maintaining a safe and caring environment for children


  • Positive feedback from parents/guardians/teachers


  • Ensuring the primary responsibility for administering remains with parents/guardians



Ratified by the Board of Management on: ______________________



            Jerry Buttimer, Chairperson



Child Safe Guarding Statement

Data Protection Policy

The purpose of this Data Protection Policy is to support the school in meeting its responsibilities with regard to the processing of personal data. These responsibilities arise as statutory obligations under the relevant data protection legislation.  They also stem from our desire to process all personal data in an ethical manner which respects and protects the fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons. Click the following link for Policy: Data Protection Policy

Website Privacy Policy

Click the following link for the Website Privacy Policy: Website Privacy Policy

Internet Acceptable Use Policy

Code of Conduct for Parents and Guardians

Click here for the Code of Conduct for Parents and Guardians Policy