Enrolment Policy

Catholic education is based on an educational philosophy in which faith, culture and life are brought into harmony. The Catholic School has the freedom to proclaim the Gospel and to offer a formation based on the values to be found in Christian education. Achieving the educational aims of the school should be an equal priority for teachers, students and families alike, each according to their role.

1. Preamble

Catholic education is intrinsic to the mission of the Church. It is one means by which the Church fulfils its role in assisting people to discover and embrace the fullness of life in Christ. Catholic schools offer a broad, comprehensive curriculum imbued with an authentic Catholic understanding of Christ and his teaching, as well as a lived appreciation of membership of the Catholic Church.

Parents and guardians, as the first educators of their children, enter into a partnership with the Catholic school to promote and support their child’s education. Parents and guardians must assume a responsibility for maintaining this partnership with the school by supporting the school in furthering the spiritual and academic life of their children.

2.  Enrolment

2.1 You are required to provide particular information about your child during the enrolment process, both at the application stage and if the school offers your child a place. Please note that lodgement of the enrolment form does not guarantee enrolment at the school.

2.2 To meet school and government requirements, you will need to provide the school with a completed and signed enrolment form.

2.3   After lodgement of this form, school staff may need to request further information from you, for example in relation to any parenting orders, medical conditions or additional learning needs that you have noted on the enrolment form.  In addition, it is often useful for parents/guardians to attend a meeting with school staff prior to enrolment to discuss any special needs your child may have. An interpreter may be organised, if you require it

2.4 Subject to any special exercise of discretion by the Parish Priest, the following list provides an agreed order of priority for enrolment in our school, which is consistent with the enrolment policy for all Catholic primary schools. The order of priority is:

a) Catholic children from existing families who reside in the parish;
b) Catholic children from new families who are reside in the parish;
c) Catholic children who do not reside in the parish but are recognised as parishioners by the Parish Priest;
d) Catholic children from families in the Mordialloc and Aspendale Parish who cannot be accommodated at St Brigid’s or St Louis de Montfort’s School because of over subscription;
e) Catholic children from other parishes with a letter of endorsement from the Parish Priest of that Parish  or for pastoral reasons;
f) Children from non-Catholic families who have siblings enrolled in the school;
g) Children from non-Catholic Eastern churches who reside in the parish;
h) Children from non-Catholic Eastern churches who reside outside the parish;
i) Other Christian children who reside in the parish;
j) Other Christian children who reside outside the parish;
k) Non-Christian children who reside in the parish; and
l) Non-Christian children who reside outside the parish.

2.5 Where the number of Catholics enrolments exceeds the school’s enrolment quota, the following additional criteria may be applied:-

a) Catholic families who demonstrate a belonging to the parish community: eg: Mass attendance, contribution to thanksgiving envelopes, involvement with affiliated parish groups, etc;
b) Date and place of child’s baptism;
c) Parents who were past pupils of the school;
d) Parents who celebrated the Sacrament of Marriage in a Catholic church;
e) Schools attended by parents and where applicable other siblings;
f) Religious denomination of both parents;
g) Parents who demonstrate historical links to the parish community;
h) Commitment to paying school fees within capacity; and
i) At the discretion of the Principal or Parish Priest.

2.6 Where existing families have moved residence outside of the parish between original enrolment and sibling enrolment, priority will be given to new catholic families residing in the parish, unless the family can demonstrate that they have maintained their belonging and commitment to the parish.

2.7 Enrolment of Catholic students at a Catholic primary school does not guarantee a place at a Catholic secondary school

2.8 Enrolment of non-Catholic students at St Louis de Montfort’s Catholic Primary School does not guarantee a place for siblings to be enrolled in the school

2.9 Enrolment of non-Catholic students at a Catholic primary school does not guarantee a place at a Catholic secondary school

3.  School Fees and Levies

3.1      The setting of fee levels and other compulsory charges in Catholic primary schools is the responsibility of the school, taking into account the allocation of government funds.  The school offers a number of methods for paying fees to reduce any financial burden and to assist financial planning.  If you have difficulty in meeting the required fee payment, you are welcome to discuss this with the Principal of the school.

3.2  The fees must be paid for a child to enrol and to continue enrolment at the school.  The school has discretion whether to allow a child to participate in optional or extracurricular school events, such as paid school excursions or extracurricular activities, while fees remain due and payable.

4.  Enrolment under minimum school entry age

4.1  The minimum starting age for a child to be enrolled in a Victorian school is four years and eight months, ie. a child must tum five by 30 April  in the year of starting school.  The school will make an assessment of a child’s readiness for school when considering the enrolment of a child under the minimum age, but in principle the school does not support it.

4.2  In the rare situations where:

a) a parent/guardian seeks enrolment of a child under the minimum starting age; and
b) the Principal supports the enrolment of that child at the school if approval were granted, the approval of the Director of Catholic Education is required before enrolment  under the minimum starting age can occur.  Approval for early age enrolment will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

5.  Terms of enrolment regarding acceptable behaviour

5.1  Our school is a community that exemplifies the gospel values of love, forgiveness, justice and truth. The school community recognises that everyone has the right to be respected, to feel safe and be safe; and in this regard, understands their rights and acknowledges their obligation to behave responsibly.

5.2  Every person at the school has a right to feel safe, to be happy and to learn, therefore we aim:

a) to promote the values of honesty, fairness and respect for others;
b) to acknowledge the worth of all members of the community and their right to work. and learn in a positive environment;
c) to maintain good order and harmony;
d) to affirm cooperation as well as responsible independence in learning; and
e) to foster self-discipline and to develop responsibility for one’s own behaviour.

5.3  The school administration, in consultation with the school community wherever appropriate, will prescribe standards of dress, appearance and behaviour for the student body.  As a term-o(your child’s enrolment, parents and guardians are expected to comply with the school’s behaviour aims and the school’s Code of Conduct, and to support the school in upholding prescribed standards of dress, appearance and behaviour.

5.4  Unacceptable behaviour by a child, or repeated behaviour by a parent or guardian that, in the school’s view, is unacceptable and damaging to the partnership between parent/guardian and school , may result in suspension or termination of the child’s enrolment.

6.  Terms of enrolment regarding conformity with principles of the Catholic faith

6.1  As a provider of Catholic education, the school Principal will take into account the need for the school community to represent and conform with the doctrines, beliefs and principles of the Catholic faith when making decisions regarding matters of school administration, including enrolment.  Pupils and families who are members of other faiths are warmly welcomed at our school.  However, the school reserves its right to exercise its administrative discretion in appropriate circumstances, where it is necessary to do so to avoid injury to the religious sensitivities of the Catholic school community.

7.  Terms of enrolment regarding provision of accurate information

7.1  It is vitally important that the school is made aware of each child’s individual circumstances insofar as these may impact upon his or her physical, functional, emotional or educational needs, particularly where the school is required to provide additional support to the child.

7.2  Parents and guardians must provide accurate information when completing an enrolment form and must supply the school prior to enrolment any additional information as may be requested, including copies of documents such as medical/specialist reports (where relevant to the child’s schooling), reports  from previous schools, court orders or parenting agreements. Provision of requested documentation is regarded as a condition of enrolment, and enrolment may be refused where a parent/guardian has unreasonably refused to provide requested information or knowingly withheld relevant information from the school.

7.3  Where, during the course of a child’s enrolment, new information becomes available that is material to the child’s educational and/or safety/wellbeing needs, it is a term of the child’s continuing enrolment that such information is provided to the school promptly.

7.4  The provision of an inaccurate residential address, or failure to provide an updated residential address for the child will also be treated as a breach of the terms of enrolment.

8.  Enrolment for children with special needs

8.1 The school welcomes parents/guardians who wish to enrol a child with special needs and will do everything possible to accommodate the child’s needs, provided that an understanding has been reached between the school and parents/guardians prior to enrolment regarding:

a) the nature of any diagnosed or suspected medical condition/disability, or any other circumstances that are relevant to the child’s additional  learning needs (for example, giftedness or an experience of trauma);
b) the nature of any additional  assistance that is recommended/appropriate to be provided to the child (for example, medical or specialist  equipment, specialist referrals; specific welfare support; modifications to the classroom environment or curriculum, aide assistance, individualised educational programs, behaviour support plans or other educational interventions as may be relevant);
c) the individual  physical, functional, emotional or educational goals that are appropriate to the child, and how the parents/guardians and the school will work in partnership to achieve these goals; and
d) any limitations on the school’s ability to provide the additional assistance requested.

8.2  The process for enrolling students with special needs is otherwise the same as for enrolling any student.

8.3  As every child’s educational needs can change over time, it will often  be necessary for the school to review any additional assistance that is being provided to the child, in consultation with parents/guardians and the child’s treating medical/allied health professionals, in order  to assess:

a) whether the additional  assistance remains necessary  and/or  appropriate to the child’s needs;
b) whether the additional  assistance  is having the anticipated positive effect on the child’s individual  physical, functional, emotional or educational goals; and
c) whether it remains within the school’s ability to continue to provide the additional assistance, given any l imitations that may exist.

9.  Assessment and updates

9.1  Various opportunities are provided during the year to let you know your child’s progress. You will receive two comprehensive written reports each year, and arrangements will be made for at least one interview where you can discuss your child’s progress with the teacher. In addition, you can always contact the school to arrange a meeting with the teacher if you have concerns or wish to have an update on progress.

10.  Privacy – Release of Information

10.1  The School collects personal information, including sensitive information about students and parents or guardians and family members before and during the course of a student’s enrolment at the School. This may be in writing or in the course of conversations and may be direct from the individual or from another source. The primary purpose of collecting this information is to enable the School, Catholic Education Offices and the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Ltd (CECV) to meet its educational, administrative and duty of care responsibilities to the student to enable them to take part in all the activities of the School.

10.2  Some of the information the School collects is to satisfy the School’s legal obligations, particularly to enable the School to discharge its duty of care.

10.3  Laws governing or relating to the operation of a school require certain information to be collected and disclosed. These include relevant Education Acts and Public Health and Child Protection laws.

10.4  Health information about students (which includes information about any disability) is sensitive information within the terms of the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) under the Privacy Act 1988. The School may request medical reports about students from time to time and may otherwise collect sensitive information about students and their families.

10.5 If any personal information requested by the School is not provided, this may affect the School’s ability to enrol a student, respond to enquiries, provide the student with educational and support services or allow a person to visit the School.

10.6 The School may disclose personal and sensitive information for administrative, educational and support purposes (or may permit the information to be directly collected by third parties). This may include to:

a) School service providers such as the CECV, Catholic Education Offices, school governing bodies and other dioceses
b) third party service providers that provide online educational and assessment support services or applications (eg: CareMonkey, SkoolBag, Schoolbox, School Interviews), which may include email and instant messaging
c) School systems, including the Integrated Catholic Online Network (ICON) and Google’s ‘G Suite’ including Gmail. Limited personal information such as Personal Learning Plans and Student Reports may be collected and processed or stored by these providers in connection with these services
d) CECV to undertake financial modelling for students with a disability, including ongoing evaluation of funding adequacy for individual students
e) CECV to support the training of selected staff in the use of schools’ systems, such as ICON
f) another school to facilitate the transfer of a student
g) Federal and State government departments and agencies
h) health service providers, and people providing educational support and health services to the School, including specialist visiting teachers, sports coaches, volunteers, counsellors and providers of learning and assessment tools
i) assessment  and  educational  authorities,  including  the  Australian  Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority
j) people providing administrative and financial services to the School
k) anyone you authorise the School to disclose information to; and
l) anyone to whom the School is required or authorised to disclose the information to by law, including under child protection laws.

10.7   Personal information collected from students is regularly disclosed to their parents or guardians.

10.8  The  School  may  also  use  cloud  computing  service  providers  to  store  personal information (which may include sensitive information) on their servers in the ‘cloud’. These servers may be located in or outside Australia. This may mean that personal information may be stored or processed outside Australia.

10.9   As not all countries are bound by laws which provide the same level of protection for personal information as the APPs, the School makes reasonable efforts to be satisfied about the protection of any personal information that may be collected, processed and stored outside Australia in connection with any cloud and third party services.

10.10   When the School uses Google’s G-Suite including Gmail, some personal information (usually limited to name and email address) of students, parents or guardians may be transferred, stored and processed by Google in the United States, or in any other country through which Google provides these services or where it processes and stores information. This personal information will be stored and processed by Google in accordance with Google’s terms and conditions stated in the G-Suite for Education Agreement which the school entered into with Google.

10.11     The countries in which the servers of cloud service providers and other third party service providers may be located are Australia and United States of America.

10.12    Where personal, including sensitive information is held by a cloud computing service provider on behalf of CECV for educational and administrative purposes, it may be stored on servers located within or outside Australia.  This includes the ICON system.

10.13    School personnel and the school’s service providers, and the CECV and its service providers, may have the ability to access, monitor, use or disclose emails, communications (e.g. instant messaging), documents and associated administrative data for the purposes of administering the ICON system and ensuring its proper use.

10.14    The School may disclose limited personal information to the school parish to facilitate religious and sacramental programs, and other activities such as fundraising.

10.15    The School’s Privacy Policy is accessible via the school website, newsletter, handbook, or from the School office. The policy sets out how parents, guardians or students may seek access to, and correction of their personal information which the School has collected and holds. However, access may be refused in certain circumstances such as where access would have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of others, or may result in a breach of the School’s duty of care to the student, or where students have provided information in confidence. Any refusal will be notified in writing with reasons if appropriate.

10.16    The School’s Privacy Policy also sets out how parents, guardians, students and their family can make a complaint if they believe the School has interfered with their privacy [and how the complaint will be handled].

10.17    The School may engage in fundraising activities. Information received from you may be used to make an appeal to you. [It may also be disclosed to organisations that assist in the School’s fundraising activities solely for that purpose.] We will not disclose your personal information to third parties for their own marketing purposes without your consent.

10.18     On occasions information such as academic and sporting achievements, student activities and similar news is published in School newsletters and magazines, on our intranet [and on our website]. This may include photographs and videos of student activities such as sporting events, school camps and school excursions. The School will obtain permissions from the student’s parent or guardian (and from the student if appropriate) prior to publication to enable the

school to include such photographs or videos [or other
identifying material] in our promotional material or otherwise make this material available to the public such as on the internet. The school may obtain permissions annually, or as part of the enrolment process. Permissions obtained at enrolment may apply for the duration of the student’s enrolment at the school unless the school is notified otherwise. Annually, the school will remind parents and guardians to notify the school if they wish to vary the permissions previously provided. We may include student’s and parents’ or guardians’ contact details in a class list and School directory.

10.19     If you provide the School with the personal information of others, such as other family members, doctors or emergency contacts, we encourage you to inform them you are disclosing that information to the School and why, that they can request access to and correction of that information if they wish and to also refer them to the School’s Privacy Policy for further details about such requests and how the School otherwise handles personal information it collects and complaints it receives.

11 Enrolment Procedure

a) Enrolments are advertised through the school newsletter, parish bulletin, and on kindergarten and childcare centre notice boards
b) Enrolment applications for the following year open on the first day of Term 2 for a period of 4 weeks
c) New families will be interviewed by the Principal and Parish Priest, and existing families will be given the opportunity of an interview with the Principal, after applications close
d) Following interviews, first round offers of a place will be sent out at the end of Term 2
e) Acceptance of offers must be returned within 10 days
f) Families not successful will be sent a letter of non-acceptance and where relevant an offer to be placed on a waiting list pending enrolment vacancies
g) Change of surname from original birth certificate will only be accepted when appropriate legal documents are provided to the school

12 Parish Contribution

The Parish School is an integral part of the parish community and the mission of the parish. By enrolling your child(ren) in the parish school you are choosing to be part of this community and all if offers pastorally, sacramentally and adult faith formation. You are encouraged to be involved in parish life through liturgy, ministry and your financial support, and share in the obligation to provide for the needs of the church to support current and future communities through an annual parish contribution of $200 per annum. Families who contribute to the Parish Thanksgiving/Stewardship Program to this value or above are exempt.

13 Support Documentation Required with your Enrolment Form

a)   Birth, Baptism and Sacramental Certificates (Eucharist, Reconciliation, Confirmation)
b)   School Entry Health Immunisation Certificate
c) Previous School Report (If Applicable)
d)   School Transition Report (from Pre- School/Kindergarten)

e)   Transfer Note from Previous School (If Applicable)
f) Court Intervention Orders (If Applicable)
g) Passport Details and Entry Date (If born overseas)
h) Asthma/Anaphylaxis Management Plans (If Applicable)
i) New families will be required to pay a non-refundable enrolment fee of $150.00 per family to secure a place in the school. A refund will only be provided in the event of a family not being offered an enrolment place
j) Catholic families seeking to enroll children from other parishes must present a letter of endorsement from their residential Parish Priest with their enrolment application
k) Non-Catholic families must include a letter with their application stating the reasons why they wish to enroll their child in a Catholic school
l) A Volunteer Application and current Working with Children Check is required for active parent participation in the school

14   Acceptance of Enrolment Offer

New families will be required to pay a deposit of $250.00 towards first term school fees upon accepting an enrolment offer from the school within 10 days of the offer. This deposit will be non-refundable if the family subsequently cancels this enrolment.

15    Child Safety Code of Conduct

This Code of Conduct has a specific focus on safeguarding children and young people at this school against sexual, physical, psychological and emotional abuse or neglect. It is intended to complement other professional and/or occupational codes.

All staff, volunteers, contractors, clergy and board members at this school are expected to actively contribute to a school culture that respects the dignity of its members and affirms the Gospel values of love, care for others, compassion and justice. They are required to observe childsafe principles and expectations for appropriate behaviour towards and in the company of children, as noted below.

Acceptable behaviours

All staff, volunteers, contractors, clergy and board members are responsible for supporting the safety of children by:-
a) adhering to the school’s child-safe policy and  upholding the school’s statement of commitment to child safety at all times
b) taking all reasonable steps to protect children from abuse
c) treating everyone in the school community with respect (modelling positive and respectful relationships and acting in a manner that sustains a safe, educational and pastoral environment)
d) listening and responding to the views and concerns of children, particularly if they are telling you that they or another child have been abused or that they are worried about their safety/the safety of another child
e) promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children (for example, by never questioning an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child’s self-identification)
f) promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children with culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds (for example, by having a zero tolerance policy towards discrimination)
g) promoting the safety, participation and empowerment of children with a disability (for example, during personal care activities)
h) ensuring as far as practicable that adults are not alone with a child 9. reporting any allegations of child abuse to the school’s leadership
i) understanding and complying with all reporting obligations as they relate to mandatory reporting and reporting under the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic.)
j) reporting any child safety concerns to the school’s leadership
k) if an allegation of child abuse is made, ensuring as quickly as possible that the child(ren) are safe.

Unacceptable behaviours

All staff, volunteers, contractors, clergy and board members must not:-
a) ignore or disregard any suspected or disclosed child abuse
b) develop any ‘special’ relationships with children that could be seen as favouritism (for example, the offering of gifts or special treatment for specific children)
c) exhibit behaviours with children which may be construed as unnecessarily physical (for example, inappropriate sitting on laps)
d) put children at risk of abuse (for example, by locking doors)
e) initiate unnecessary physical contact with children or do things of a personal nature that a child can do for themselves, such as toileting or changing clothes
f) engage in open discussions of a mature or adult nature in the presence of children (for example, personal social activities)
g) use inappropriate language in the presence of children
h) express personal views on cultures, race or sexuality in the presence of children
i) discriminate against any child, including because of age, gender, race, culture, vulnerability, sexuality, ethnicity or disability
j) have contact with a child or their family outside of school without the school’s leadership knowledge and/or consent or the school governing authority’s approval (for example, unauthorised after-hours tutoring, private instrumental/other lessons or sport coaching); accidental contact, such as seeing people in the street, is appropriate
k) have any online contact with a child (including by social media, email, instant messaging etc.) or their family (unless necessary e.g. by providing families with e-newsletters or assisting students with their school work)
l) use any personal communication channels/device such as a personal email account exchange personal contact details such as phone number, social networking sites or email addresses
m) photograph or video a child without the consent of the parent or guardians
n) work with children while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs
a) consume alcohol or drugs at school or at school events in the presence of children.

Download Enrolment Policy (pdf)