To assist with preparing an admission policy INTO has compiled some resources.

All boards of management are required to draft a new admission policy in accordance with the requirements of the Act. Below are some FAQs regarding the content of the policy.

FAQs - Content of the policy

Some schools may already have criteria which they use if they have more applicants than available places. They can insert these in the revised policy. While this may not be relevant for all schools, schools are advised that they identify criteria they would use in such a scenario.

Some sample criteria which schools use to prioritise applicants are:

  • Siblings of children in the school
  • Children from a particular Catchment Area/ parish area / proximity to the school
  • Age
  • Children from certain Feeder Schools
  • Children of Current Staff
  • Other e.g. children of neighbouring parishes

It is a matter for each individual school to decide the sequence by which the criteria will be applied.

In the absence of any direction or prescribed criteria from the Patron, the Board should make their best judgement in terms of the criteria to include. The criteria in the current enrolment policy could be a starting point.

However, there needs to be consultation with staff of the school and parents of current students. The intention of the Act is to ensure fairness, equity and transparency in the admission process. The draft will be remitted back to the Patron for approval.

Schools must include the arrangements in the admission policy in the event of a tie for a place. INTO advises a fair and transparent mechanism to determine the offer of a place. It could be simply drawing the name from a hat.
The school must set out the arrangements in the policy for students seeking admission to other class groups and for students seeking admission during the school year. Schools may already have a position on this matter in their current enrolment policy.
No. The sharing of such data is provided for in the Act.
The Act allows a school to provide a patron or another board of management with a list of the students in relation to whom—

  1. an application for admission to the school has been received,
  2. an offer of admission to the school has been made, or
  3. an offer of admission to the school has been accepted.

The list may include any or all of the following:

  1. the date on which an application for admission was received by the school;
  2. the date on which an offer of admission was made by the school;
  3. the date on which an offer of admission was accepted by an applicant;
  4. a student’s personal details including his or her name, address, date of birth and personal public service number (within the meaning of section 262 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005).

Boards may already have arrangements in place to accommodate pupils who wish to opt out of religious instruction. As schools vary in size, location, capacity etc. engagement with parents is advised to determine how best this can be accommodated.
No. The seeking of costs, charges, fees or contributions from parents/guardians is prohibited if they are a condition of –

  • an application for admission of a student to the school, or
  • the admission or continued enrolment of a student in the school.

Of course, members are most welcome to raise any further queries with INTO. Principals should contact the Queryline or email their queries to and a member of the LIRE team will be in contact as soon as possible.

Still have questions?

Submit your query by email to INTO. Please include your payroll or membership number.