The Board shall publish, in such manner as the board with the agreement of the patron considers appropriate, the policy of the school concerning admission to and participation in the school, including the policy of the school relating to the expulsion and suspension of students and admission to and participation by students with disabilities or who have other special educational needs
The principal shall be responsible for the day to day management of the school, including guidance and direction of the teachers and other staff of the school and the implementation of the admission policy of the school, and be accountable to the board of the school for that management,
Where a board or a person acting on behalf of a board—
- permanently excludes a student from a school,
- suspends a student from attendance at a school for a period or periods totalling not less than 20 school days in a school year, or
- refuses to admit a student to a school, where the decision to refuse admission is due to the school being oversubscribed, or ) a reason other than the school being oversubscribed,
the parent of the student, or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student (each of whom is, in this section and sections 29A to 29F, referred to as an applicant, may, within such period as may be determined in procedures , and following the conclusion of any review u or any appeal procedures provided by the school in accordance with this Act, appeal a decision.
Establishment of appeals panels and appeals committees
The Minister shall, from time to time, establish one or more panels of suitable persons to consider appeals . Members of an appeals panel shall be independent and impartial in carrying out their functions.
Where the Minister receives a notice of appeal, he or she shall establish a committee of 3 members of an appeals panel to consider the appeal concerned. The Minister shall nominate one member of an appeals committee to be the chairperson of the committee for the purposes of the appeal concerned and, in the case of an equal division of votes, the chairperson shall have a second or casting vote.
Procedures in relation to appeals
The Minister may, from time to time, having regard to the principles of inclusion, equality of access to and participation in education, efficiency, effectiveness, clarity and fairness for applicants and schools and following consultation with bodies representative of patrons, national associations of parents, recognised school management organisations and recognised trade unions and staff associations representing teachers, determine procedures whihc may provide for all or any of the following:
- the period within which an appeals committee shall determine an appeal and, in that regard, the Minister may determine different periods during which an appeal under shall be heard and determined,
- the manner by which an appeals committee shall determine an appeal, including in the case of an appeal under section 29(1)(a), (b) or (c)(ii), procedures regarding the holding of an oral hearing and the examination by the appeals committee of parties to the appeal;
- the form and manner in which an appeal shall be brought, including the period during which an appeal shall be brought;
- the fixing and notification of the date, time and location of an oral hearing, and the circumstances in which an adjournment of an oral hearing may be granted;
- that an appeals committee may by notice in writing require an applicant, board, or other relevant person or body to furnish to the committee the information specified in the notice within the period specified in that notice;
- the period during which and manner by which an appeals committee shall notify the Minister of its decision and the reasons for its decision;
- information which shall be submitted to an appeals committee by an applicant when making an appeal unwhich shall include—
- a copy of the application for admission,
- a copy of the decision to refuse admission,
- where a request has been made under section 29C, a copy of that request and a copy of any statement received from the board under subsection (5) of that ection, and
- the grounds of the appeal;
- information which shall be submitted by a board to an appeals committee where an appeal has been made under section 29(1)(c)(i) or (ii) which shall include the school’s admission policy and the school’s annual admission notice;
- the form and manner in which a request for a review under section 29C(1) shall be made, including the period during which such request shall be made and the period in which the board shall issue a statement under section 29C(5);
- the manner in which, and period during which, a review under section 29F(5) shall be undertaken;
- such other consequential or ancillary matters as the Minister considers appropriate.
An appeals committee, an applicant and a board shall comply with procedures determined by the Minister under this section.
An appeals committee shall, in accordance with procedures determined by the Minister hold an oral hearing for the purposes of an appeal in certain cases. They shall be conducted with the minimum of formality consistent with giving all parties a fair hearing.
The appeals committee may, where it is of the opinion that reaching agreement on the matters the subject of the appeal is practicable in the circumstances, provide such assistance to the parties to reach agreement as the committee considers appropriate.
The Child and Family Agency, or in the case of a child with special educational needs, the National Council for Special Education, may make such submissions, if any, to an appeals committee as it or they consider or considers appropriate.
In hearing and determining an appeal on behavioural grounds, an appeals committee shall have regard to—
- the nature, scale and persistence of any behaviour alleged to have given rise to, or contributed to, the decision made by or on behalf of the board and whether or not such behaviour is confined to specific classes in the school concerned,
- the merit of any explanation offered by the student in relation to his or her behaviour,
- the reasonableness of any efforts made by the school to enable the student to participate in and benefit from education and whether or not all reasonable efforts have been fully exhausted and any response by the student to any efforts made by the school to enable the student to participate in and benefit from education,
- the educational interests of the student concerned and the desirability of enabling him or her to participate in and benefit from education with his or her peers,
- the educational interests of, and the effective provision of education for, other students of the school and the maintenance of a classroom and school environment which is supportive of learning amongst all students in the school and ensures continuity of instruction provided to students,
- any evidence that the behaviour of the student has impacted on the safety, health and welfare of teachers, staff or other students of the school,
- the school’s code of behaviour and other relevant policies of the school, and
in the case of the code of behaviour, whether it complies with section 23 of the Act of 2000 and any guidelines issued uand
in the case of any other relevant policies, the extent to which each of them is implemented and is in compliance with— any enactment that imposes duties on schools or their boards, any relevant guidelines or policies of the Minister,
- the duties on schools or their boards imposed by or under any enactment,
- any guidelines issued by the Child and Family Agency u,
- any submissions made by the National Council for Special Education or the Child and Family Agency, and
- such other matters as the appeals committee considers relevant.
Following an oral hearing under this section an appeals committee shall come to its conclusion having examined and considered the evidence and materials made available to it, and make a preliminary decision in relation to the appeal.
An appeals committee shall, by notice in writing, notify the Minister, the applicant, the board and, where the Child and Family Agency or the National Council for Special Education made submissions at the oral hearing, the Agency or the Council of its preliminary decision u, the reasons for its preliminary decision and, where it proposes to allow an appeal, its proposed direction to the board.
The applicant, the board, and where the Child and Family Agency or the National Council for Special Education made submissions at the oral hearing in accordance , the Agency or the Council may, make observations to the appeals committee in relation to its preliminary decision and any proposed direction.
An appeals committee shall, having considered any observations , make its final decision.
An appeals committee, in its final decision, may where it allows an appeal
- include a direction to the board to readmit the student and remove the expulsion from the record of the student,
- include a direction to the board to readmit the student and remove the suspension from the record of the student, and
- include a direction to the board to admit the student.
An appeals committee shall, by notice in writing, inform the Minister of its final decision and the reasons for its final decision and, where it allows an appeal, shall forward to the Minister a copy of the direction included in its final decision. The Minister shall, as soon as practicable after he or she receives a notice u, forward to the applicant, the board and, where the Child and Family Agency or the National Council for Special Education made submissions at the oral hearing, the Agency or the Council—
- a copy of the final decision of the appeals committee and the reasons for its decision, and
- where the appeals committee has allowed an appeal, a copy of the direction included in the final decision of the appeals committee.