Enrolment Policy

Donabate Community College is a post primary school which opened in August 2008 under the Patronage of County Dublin VEC. The college is co-educational and aspires towards excellence in a caring and supportive environment.

As Donabate Community College will be catering in the foreseeable future to an everincreasing population growth within its catchment area, the Board of Management will review the Enrolment Policy on a yearly basis.

The Board of Management is committed to the successful implementation of recent legislation, in particular the Education Act (1998), the Education (Welfare) Act (2000) and the Equal Status Act (2000). The Board fully subscribes to the principles of partnership, accountability, transparency, inclusion and respect for diversity, parental choice and equality.


The College will operate within the regulations laid down by the Department of Education and Science and will follow the curricular programmes prescribed by the Department which may be amended from time to time in accordance with sections 9 and 30 of the Education Act 1998.

The College will support the principles of inclusiveness, equality of access and participation in the school. Pupils at Junior and Senior cycles will follow a core programme with a number of optional subjects. The College will offer Junior and Leaving Certificate Programmes as well as the option of a Transition Year Programme. As the demand arises the College may also offer the Junior Certificate Schools Programme and the Leaving Certificate Applied and Leaving Certificate Vocational Programmes.

Proposed Criteria for Enrolment to Donabate Community College

All applicants must complete an official application form issued by the college and must have Reached twelve years of age by January 1st of their first year in the College e.g. Jan 1st 2014 for pupils starting Sept 2013.

Completed the required primary school education programme or have followed an approved course elsewhere.

Ensured that a copy of the applicant’s Birth Certificate (long form), two passport photographs and an administration fee of €20 accompanies all applications.

Applications will be considered as follows:

1. Application forms will be circulated to all students in sixth class in September in the year prior to entry in the following schools:

  • Donabate/ Portrane Educate Together National School
  • St. Patrick’s Boys National School, Donabate
  • St. Patrick’s Girls National School, Donabate

2. All students resident in Donabate and Portrane who attend the Old Borough National School, Swords or St. Andrew’s National School, Malahide

3. Students who live in Donabate / Portrane not attending the schools listed above (at 1 &2) and who have completed primary education elsewhere.

All students from the above categories who apply to the Community College will be accommodated up to a maximum number set by the Board of Management each year.

Once their application is received by the due date and their application, adheres to all application procedures. 

Subject to availability of places in any year the Board of Management will consider other applications. Decisions made in relation to enrolment will be governed by the Department of Education and Science provision re class size, staffing provisions and relevant requirements concerning accommodation and health and safety of students. The College is committed to the principle of equal access.The order in which such other applicants will be offered places is as follows:

1) Places will be offered to siblings of students currently attending the College.

2) Places will be next offered to children of staff members.

3) Places will be next offered to all other applicants whose forms were received on or before the closing date.

4) Finally, places will be offered, subject to availability, to students who apply after the closing date who are resident in the catchment area.

Parents/ Guardians will be notified in writing of an offer of a place for their child within 21 working days of the closing date for receipt of applications. They will be asked to confirm in writing within 14 working days of the date of offer, their acceptance of the place offered.

New residents to the area

People moving into the area mid year will be dealt with on an individual basis subject to availability of free places.

Transfer of students from other schools to Donabate Community College

As a matter of general policy, transfers into the school from another school are discouraged in the overall interests of the continuity of the student’s education.

At the end of the Academic year Dean of Studies/Class Tutors will supply the Principal with up-to-date information regarding any vacancy which may occur in the following academic year so that the Principal is in a position to deal with applications received from prospective students during the course of the summer holidays.

An application to transfer is defined as one from a student who has previously enrolled in another post-primary school in or outside the catchment area, or from a student who makes application after the commencement of the autumn term. It is not the policy of the Board of Management to accept transfer applications from students already enrolled in local post-primary schools, except in exceptional circumstances. Where the Board is satisfied that such exceptional circumstances do exist, the following considerations and procedures will apply:

  • The availability of space and suitable subject options
  • The ability of the school to provide an education appropriate to the needs of the student.
  • Pupils applying for mid-year entry or transfer from another school must complete an application form; the reasons for the transfer must be clearly stated in an accompanying covering letter; and two recent school reports must be furnished. The school he / she is currently attending supplies a detailed written report on the student concerning attendance, educational progress, behaviour, special need etc.
  • The school reserves the right to request a confidential reference from the authorities of the previous school(s).
  • Places will be offered on the basis of availability, class size, the rights of the applicants and the rights of the existing students and staff within the school. Suitability of course and previous educational needs.
  • The Board of Management reserves the right to refuse an application in exceptional circumstances which include an established prior record of poor behaviour.
  • An interview with the parents / guardians and the child wishing to change school.
  • Consultation with the NEWB if appropriate.

Entrance Assessment

Incoming first year students will be required to sit the College’s Entrance Assessment in the period March/April preceding their entry to the College. The purpose of this assessment is to:

  • Ensure students are placed in their first year classes in keeping with the College’s general mixed ability philosophy.
  • Screen students who may require learning support from the College.

Proof of Residence

Where residency in Donabate / Portrane is a criterion for entrance to the College, proof of residency in the area may be necessary.

Late Application

Applications following the closing date, as per the application form, will be placed on a waiting list and will be considered according to the agreed entrance criteria only after all other applications have been dealt with.

Application Procedures

  • Information on the school may be obtained from the following sources: School Prospectus, School website and Open Evening held for parents each September.
  • Application forms are available from the school and are accepted when the pupil enters fourth class in primary school.
  • The latest date for return of an application form is 30th of September of the year prior to entry.
  • An Application form must be accompanied by a copy of the applicant’s birth certificate and a non-refundable application fee of (€20). Parents must on application supply the school with details of any learning or behaviour needs, including psychological reports.
  • The school may request further relevant information to proceed with the application.
  • Prospective pupils and parents are required to attend for personal interview with the Principal or Deputy Principal or Guidance Counsellor.
  • Pupils who are offered a place are required to sit an Assessment Test prior to entry. The test is usually held in February of the year of entry.
  • Decisions in relation to admission are made by the Board of Management and will be notified to parents 21 days of receiving all the necessary information.
  • All parents must sign a copy of the school’s code of Discipline.The Board of Management reserves the right to refuse an application for admission in exceptional circumstances (Section 29 Education Act 1998).