Admissions policy ASD class

Admissions Policy for

Autistic Spectrum Disorder Early Intervention Class

The Good Shepherd N.S. Early Intervention ASD Class caters for the needs of children diagnosed with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder who have developmental delays in the mild range. (i.e. moderate, severe and profound intellectual and / or physical / sensory disabilities) are more likely to be met in an alternative setting.

As per DES guidelines ASD Class placement cannot be provided in the school year (1st September – 30th June) in which pupils reach 6 years of age. There are 6 places in the early intervention class with many children spending two years in the class. As a result, the number of places available changes on an annual basis.


Referrals for ASD Early Intervention Class placement are made by a parent. The ASD Class’s application form (Appendix D) must be completed with a copy of all necessary reports before noon 20th December of the year prior to entry.


  • Entry to the ASD Early Intervention Class shall be compliant with DES policy. Children must be over 3 years of age on entry and cannot be 6years of age in the final placement year.
  • Child must have a diagnosis of an Autistic Spectrum Disorder as per DSM-1V, DSM-V or ICD-10 criteria.
  • The names and address of those seeking places in the ASD unit will only be accepted from 1st October to 20th December of the school year prior to which a child is seeking enrolment.
  • Application forms are available on line.
  • Completed application forms must be accompanied by a minimum, of a diagnostic report and a psychological report with a written recommendation for ASD class placement.
  • If there is insufficient information provided about a child (e.g. no indication of level of cognitive ability, absence of SLT reports etc.) A placement in the Early Intervention Class will not be granted if reports do not mention a diagnosis in agreement of point 2 above.

If a referral meets the criteria for ASD class placement, the application then goes forward for discussion, ranking and selection at the annual EI ASD Class Admissions Meeting. Members of the Admissions/Management Committee allocate places available in the class based on agreed criteria: These include:

  • Severity of the ASD
  • Age and readiness of the child
  • The degree to which the disorder impacts on child’s academic performance and social skills
  • Suitability of class placement for the child at that time.

Please note** Referral does not guarantee that a child will secure a place. There is a maximum limit of 6 places in our EI ASD class at any time, and each child referred is usually one of many to be considered. As children may avail of 1 / 2 year placements the number of places available annually can change.


Parents of successful applicants will be informed by January 6th. They will be required to pay for their child’s learning costs at this time. Parents will also be invited to attend a Welcome Morning in the school in late May of the year of enrolment. The school handbook and any other relevant information will be given to parents during this meeting, to help parents assist their child’s transition into the EI ASD Class.


The BOM of the Good Shepherd National School recognises and upholds a parent’s right to appeal a refusal to enrol through the Appeal Procedures under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998. Upon receiving the BOM’s decision parents/guardians will be informed by the BOM of the procedure and timeframe involved for an appeal.

The procedures under Section 29 cannot be invoked until all procedures at local level have been exhausted.