Scoil Charthaigh Naofa
About Mochuda Preschool
We in Mochuda Preschool want to give the highest quality of preschool education to our children. We want the individual to grow to his/her full potential. Our aim is that this education will prepare each child for continued and appropriate schooling to the best of his/her ability. We recognise and value the role of parents as the primary educator of their children; together we can provide the skills for a loving approach to learning. We take an eclectic approach to teaching our pupils. We don't subscribe exclusively to any one approach to the education of children with Autism. However, we employ an ethos that is based upon the TEACCH method. Mochuda Preschool is managed by the board of management of Scoil Charthaigh Naofa however Mochuda Preschool and Scoil Charthaigh Naofa are considered separate entities for the purpose of enrolment/ admission.
Aim of Mochuda Preschool
The aim of the preschool is to provide a caring learning environment which facilitates the nurturing of each pupil's full educational potential. The achievement of this aim informs all of the planning processes and activities which occur in our school. The Principal, Teachers, Support staff and Parents are partners in their children's education with co operation and communication between home and school being vital ingredients in the educational process. We share the same purpose - the care and well being of the children in our care. Each child's placement in the unit will be reviewed after one year following input from the multi - disciplinary team. Mochuda Preschool endorses the principle that a child be in a setting appropriate to their needs.
Established in 2011 under the auspices of the NCSE and following consultation with our Special Educational Needs Organiser Mochuda Preschool offers specialist educational service to children who have been fully diagnosed with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
We aim to create a supportive and caring environment for each pupil.
With a team of dedicated teachers and special needs assistants, the school provides individual attention in small classes catering for the uniqueness of each pupil's personality.
Families of students are encouraged to participate in the development of their child's learning.
The aim is to provide quality preschool education to the children so they are enabled to attain their educational potential when they leave Mochuda Preschool
Admission to Mochuda Preschool
The Board of Management of Mochuda Preschool and Scoil Charthaigh Naofa have set out this policy in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1998, the Education Welfare Act 2000, the Equal Status Act 2000, and Education for Persons with Special Needs Act 2004.
The Mochuda Preschool was established in 2011, funded and resourced by the Department of Education and Science. This school policy has regard to the funding, resources, services and space available.
The Board of management reserves the right of admission within the terms of this policy. The Board of management will not, however, refuse a child on the basis of
2. Disability (Severity of Diagnosis)
3. Traveller status
4. Political beliefs
5. Family or social circumstances.
All the children must fulfil the enrolment criteria.
The process of enrolment begins with
1. A referral from the Autism team or a telephone call or visit in person from the parents.
2. A Mochuda Preschool application form and relevant NCSE forms are then completed. This application must be accompanied by an up to date educational psychological assessment and diagnostic report which confirms diagnosis of ASD in line with current Department of Education criteria.
3. Fully completed applications are then recorded in the applications file.
4. Entry into this file secures a place on the list of pre admissions applicants.
5. Each fully completed application will be dated, placed in an A4 envelope and placed in the Mochuda pre admissions file.
Please note all the above information will be forwarded to the Special Educational Needs Organiser as part of the admissions process
Criteria for enrolment/ admission
Each child attending Mochuda Preschool must have a definite diagnosis of Autism; the diagnosis must be made using a professionally recognised clinical and psychological procedure.
The child must be between the age of three and five years upon enrolment/ admission. A child who turns six during the academic school year should not be in a preschool setting and therefore will not be considered for enrolment/admission in Mochuda Preschool.
A child may only be enrolled in Mochuda Preschool for a maximum of 2 academic school years. Following this period they should advance to their local mainstream school or to an Autism unit attached to a mainstream school.
We consider Mochuda Preschool to be a feeder school to autism units attached to mainstream schools or children's local mainstream school where appropriate. Enrolment/ Admission to Mochuda Preschool does not ensure automatic admission to Scoil Charthaigh Naofa mainstream school. Whilst both Mochuda Preschool and Scoil Charthaigh Naofa are run by the board of management of Scoil Charthaigh Naofa they have separate enrolment/ admissions procedures and criteria.
All applications to Mochuda Preschool will be assessed before admission by a Multi-disciplinary team which may consist of the following members:
" School Principal of Scoil Charthaigh Naofa and Mochuda Preschool
" NEPS representative
" Resource Teacher/Learning Support Teacher/ Mochuda Preschool Teachers
" HSE Representative~ Early Intervention Team
The remit of the Multi-disciplinary panel will be:
1. To ascertain the number of places available in Mochuda Preschool based on discharge of pupils.
2. To review all applications for a place in Mochuda Preschool based on relevant reports received and seeking further information if required.
3. To verify Mochuda Preschool's suitability in meeting the student's needs.
4. To make recommendations on these findings to the board of management of Scoil Charthaigh Naofa
Should there be excess demand for places available the Multi-disciplinary panel recommendations to the Board of Management will follow the following criteria:
1. Chronological Age- Children who will not be eligible for admission to Mochuda Preschool for the following academic school year will be offered a place firstly.
2. Should demand continue to exceed places available children with siblings in Mochuda Preschool or in Scoil Charthaigh Naofa will be offered a place.
3. Should demand continue to exceed places available offers will be made on the basis of a 'first come first served principle' i.e. based on the date of placement in the pre admissions file within the school. Should there be only one place available to two children who applied on the same day chronological age will again be taken into account and the place will be offered to the older child.
Role of the SENO
The Special Educational Needs Organiser has a very important role within the operation of Mochuda Preschool. She can act as liaison person between HSE and Mochuda Preschool. Whilst not directly being a member of the Multidisciplinary team she may attend to provide advice, clarity in relation to NCSE guidelines or background information pertinent to each case.
All applications for supports for children attending Mochuda will be processed by the SENO in line with Department of Education and NCSE guidelines.
Please note that the fulfilling of the enrolment criteria does not necessarily ensure enrolment if:
1. Necessary resources pertaining to the enrolment are not available
2. Sufficient preschool places are not available.
The Board of management of Mochuda Preschool and Scoil Charthaigh Naofa respects the rights of the existing school community and the children already enrolled. This consideration is paramount when assessing entry to Mochuda Preschool.
All admissions/ enrolments for September of any academic school year should be completed by the end of the month of March of that same calendar year. Parents of successful applicants will be contacted by phone and post and must return a form accepting a place in Mochuda Preschool. This must take place within 2 weeks of the receipt of the form otherwise the place will be offered to another child. Deferral of enrolment is not currently facilitated. Should parents decide not to accept a place in Mochuda Preschool that place will be offered to another child.
A pupil teacher ratio of no greater than 6 to one will be strictly adhered to in Mochuda Preschool. There will be 2 classes in Mochuda Preschool with a maximum of 6 pupils in each class. Therefore the maximum number of places available is 12. Should the number of classes' increase the number of places will increase in line with the six pupils to one teacher ratio.
Discharge of Pupils from Mochuda Preschool
The number of places available in Mochuda Preschool will be ascertained following the annual Multi-disciplinary team meeting. At this meeting a review of all children attending the preschool will take place and will result in one of the following:
" Onward progression to an autistic unit attached to a mainstream primary school.
" Onward progression to the child's local mainstream primary school
" Retention in Mochuda Preschool for a further academic school year. This will not be possible if the child was turning 6 years old in the academic school year following the Multi-disciplinary team meeting i.e. a child should not turn six in preschool
Policy Ratified by the Board of Management of Mochuda Preschool and Scoil Charthaigh Naofa on (Insert Date)