Admissions Policy MLD Class

Admissions Policy

for children to the Mild and General Learning Difficulties Class


The Good Shepherd National School MLD class caters for the needs of children with a mild learning difficulty. Children seeking enrolment must have an up to date psychological assessment (within two years) stating that the child’s IQ is within the mild range (i.e. IQ 50 -70). The child must also have completed a minimum of one year in a mainstream classroom but most children will complete all their infant education in mainstream.

The psychological report must define that MLD is the primary educational need of the child. This class is not the appropriate placement for children with EBD/SEBD or ASD alone.


Parents must complete the appropriate application form (Appendix E). A copy of psychological reports, current school placement reports and any/all relevant evidence must be submitted with completed application form.

On receipt of relevant documentation school personnel will contact parents and the existing school placement to gain a better understanding of the child’s needs. GSNS personnel will arrange to visit the child and observe them in their current educational setting.

Please note

  • Parents are reminded that GSNS is a school with a Catholic ethos where we strive to develop a spiritual and good moral foundation.
  • No child will be refused admission for reasons of ethnicity, language, gender, asylum seeker or refugee status or religious or political beliefs, family or social circumstances or being a member of the traveller community.
  • While recognising the right of parents to enrol their child with a mild learning disability in GSNS, the Board of Management has a duty of care to the existing school community. This requires balanced judgements, which are guided by the principles of natural justice and acting in the best interest of all children. The BOM reserves the right not to admit a child unless it believes it can meet the needs of a child seeking enrolment.
  • Please note GSNS is a primary school, it is not resourced to meet an individualises medical needs. If GSNS cannot meet a child’s medical needs safely, a child cannot be enrolled.
  • Behavioural problems – if a child presents for enrolment with a history of violent, out of control behaviours which indicate that the child in question may pose an unacceptable risk to the health and safety of other pupils and/or staff of the school, the BOM reserves the right, having carried out an appropriate risk assessment in the context of its duty of care to the pupils and staff of the school, to refuse to enrol the particular applicant. This class caters for children with MLD and is not resourced or an appropriate placement for children with EBD/SEBD.
  • Prior to enrolment the Principal will seek a written report from the pupil’s present school.

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

  • 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 11 places in our MLD class at any time, and each child referred is usually one of many to be considered. As children may avail of 5+ years of placement the number of places available annually can fluctuate.


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 MLD 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.