A school has been asked to apologise to a teenager who was refused a place on the grounds that the school "was not a haven for young pregnant people or for young mothers".

The girl applied twice to the lay-owned Catholic-ethos school. First in September 2009 when she was pregnant at 16 and again the following year after her baby was born.

However, she was turned down by the principal, who is also the school's owner, founder and patron.

According to the report by Ombudsman for Children Emily Logan, which includes school correspondence to the family, the child was denied a place at the school on the first occasion because she was pregnant and on the second because she was a single mother.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Ms Logan said that there is currently no enrolment legislation that would prevent a school from acting in this way.

However, Ms Logan said the spirit of the Education Act is about accessibility and access, and that the principal did not operate in adherence with that.

Ms Logan found that the school's actions adversely affected the girl in question, were improperly discriminatory, were based on undesirable administrative practice and were contrary to fair and sound administration.

The Ombudsman said the Department of Education has taken the response to her recommendations very seriously and said that the absence of legislation dealing with enrolment is being addressed.

Ms Logan said: "I have made four recommendations, three of which are being acted upon by the Department of Education.

"The first is that they have committed to, and I understand that legislation will be drafted later this year, in relation to enrolment."

The Ombudsman also requested that the school apologises to the child in question.

She said: "I believe that this person [the principal] has mistreated this girl and insensitively treated her and her family and it is my view that at the very least, the girl should be apologised to.

"They have not apologised. I am concerned about a persistent and defiant attitude and I will pursue that locally."

Ms Logan said that what had occurred in this school was highly unusual and was not representative of attitudes in schools more broadly.

"It’s very unusual. In the eight years of the operation of my office it is highly unusual that anyone would meet our recommendations with this kind of hostility," she said.

"However the recommendations are not binding. The best power that I have in terms of my mandatory powers, is to go to the Department of Education and request that they would carry out an inspection, that they would look at legislative and policy guidance for schools and they have committed to doing that."

The Department of Education said that a second inspection will be made to the school next month.

It said it will have a report on the issue before the end of June.

Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn has said he was upset that the girl encountered what he described as clear discrimination.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Drivetime, Mr Quinn said he planned to introduce legislation next year to put an enrolment policy framework on a statutory basis.