Admission criteria for

September 2021

In recent years the Transfer Test - either the AQE or GL (PPTC) version has been used as part of the admissions policy for entry into year 8. In 2020 the Transfer Test did not take place and so this school has developed new criteria for entry into Year 8 in September 2021.

 

These criteria can vary greatly from school to school and you should make yourself aware of all the criteria details as they will determine which children will be admitted to this school in September 2021.

 

Make sure that you provide the school with all the information that they require as the school will use the information that you provide when making their decision about which children are admitted in September 2021.

Ballyclare High School

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Ballyclare High School

Controlled Grammar School (Non-denominational) 


31 Rashee Road  

Ballyclare 

Co Antrim 

BT39 9HJ 


Telephone: 028 9332 2244 

Fax: 028 9332 4118 

E-Mail: info@ballyclarehigh.ballyclare.ni.sch.uk 

Website: www.ballyclarehigh.co.uk 


  

 

Age Range of pupils:   11-18 

Admissions Number:  186

Enrolment Number:   1210 

   

Principal: Dr M Rainey, BSc(Hons) PhD, PGCE, PQH(NI) 

Chairman of the Board of Governors: Dr R McMillen, MPhil, MB, FRCOG 

  

 Open Night 

A virtual guide, prospectus and additional booklet will be available via the school website  

from Tuesday 5th January 2021, 7pm.  

  

The Board of Governors of Ballyclare High School remains firmly committed to academic selection as a method of entry to the School. In this unprecedented year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the cancellation of the Common Entrance Assessment administered by the Association of Quality Education (AQE), alternative criteria have been adopted, as outlined below. 

 

Special Provisions 

 

If you are making a claim for your child to be considered under Special Provisions, please read the information given in the relevant section below carefully. Please note that you are required to upload with the online application all such material as you consider will assist the Board of Governors in determining if Special Provisions apply. 

 

Claims for consideration for a child under Special Provisions will be examined and decided upon before the application of any of the Admissions Criteria. 

 

Parents/Carers who wish to apply to the School under Special Provisions should complete Form SP20 obtainable from AQE or the School and upload it with appropriate documentation described in section 2. 

 

Parents should note that they will be required to produce documents verifying information pertinent to the School’s Admissions Criteria after they have been notified of the offer of a place at the school. 

 

Respective functions of the Board of Governors and Principal in relation to Admissions to the school: 

 

Ballyclare High School is a co-educational non-denominational controlled grammar school. The Board of Governors has approved the criteria for admission described below, and delegated to its School Improvement Committee, in conjunction with the Principal, the responsibility of applying its admissions criteria to identify which children are to be admitted to the school. This includes decisions in respect of Special Provisions. 

 

1 ADMISSIONS CRITERIA FOR ENTRY INTO YEAR 8 IN SEPTEMBER 2021 

 

When considering which children should be selected for admission, the School Improvement Committee will only consider information which is detailed on or uploaded with the online application. It is the responsibility of parents/carers to make sure that all information pertaining to their child and relevant to the School’s admissions criteria, as outlined below, is stated on or uploaded with the online application. Parents/Carers should note that they may be required to produce documents verifying information pertinent to the School’s admissions criteria as part of the admissions process. 

 

If the number of applications is greater than the Admissions Number of the school (186), the following criteria shall be applied, in the order listed below, until the point where the admissions number is reached.  


If there are fewer applicants complying with a particular criterion or sub-criterion than there are places available or remaining, those applicants complying with that criterion or sub-criterion will be admitted and the next criterion or sub-criterion will be applied to the remaining applicants. 

If there are more applicants complying with a particular criterion or sub-criterion than there are places available or remaining, those applicants complying with that criterion or sub-criterion will go forward to be considered 

under the next criterion or sub-criterion and those not complying with that criterion or sub-criterion will be eliminated. 

 

1.1. children resident in Northern Ireland at the time of their proposed admission to the School will be selected for admission before any child not so resident. 

 

1.2. those applicants who were entered for the Common Entrance Assessment (CEA) provided by AQE. The AQE candidate number should be entered on the online admissions form and if available the AQE Registration Letter or the AQE Examination Card should be uploaded. Children who were not entered for the CEA because they would have been entitled to apply for Special Provisions as set out below, will also be considered.  


1.3. places will then be allocated using the following sub-criteria, in the order listed: 

i. children who have a sibling# enrolled in the School or been accepted for enrolment in 2021; 


ii. children who are the eldest child* or the only child of the family to be eligible to transfer to a mainstream post-primary School (details to be supplied on the online application); 


iii. children who are registered at a primary school from which pupils have been admitted to Ballyclare High School in any 3 years of the last 7 years as listed below.** 


iv. those choosing Ballyclare High School as first preference on their Transfer Application will be admitted before those listing the school as second preference and so on; 


v. children who have had a sibling# who was previously enrolled at the School (state name(s), dates and registration group(s)) 


vi. the age of the child, preference being given to the oldest child: in the unlikely event of two or more children having the same birthday, rank order will be determined on the basis outlined below: 


 

(a) Children will be selected for admission based on the initial letter of the surname as it appears on the birth certificate in the order used in the BT Telephone Directory for domestic users (2013/2014), ‘BT order’, a copy of which is retained in School. 

 

(b) Where surnames begin with the same letter, the second and, if necessary, subsequent letters will be used to establish relative priority for admission using BT order. 

 

(c) Where children have the same surname, the initial letter of the first forename, as it appears on the birth certificate, will be used for admission. 

 

(d) Where the first forenames begin with the same letter, the second and, if necessary, subsequent letters will be used to establish relative priority for admission using BT order. 

 

(e) Where no priority can be established by means of this direct alphabetical comparison (e.g. ‘Alan’ ‘Alanna’) the child with the shorter first forename will be prioritised for admission. 

 

(f) Where children have the same first forename the child without any subsequent forename will be prioritised for admission. 

 

(g) Where the application of (a) to (f) has not permitted priority to be established then (c) and (d) will be repeated with the substitution of ‘second forename’ for ‘first forename’. 

 

# Sibling is defined as another ‘child of the family’ (Article 2(2) of the Children (NI) Order 1995), to include: adopted/fostered children, half-brothers and sisters and orphaned cousins being brought up within a family.  

 

* Twins and other multiples who are eldest in the family are treated as joint eldest children. Eldest ‘child of the family’ eligible to transfer includes cases where a child is more than 7 years younger than their next sibling, the eldest child of a reconstituted family and where the eldest child of the family has attended special school, (as per Article 2(2) of the Children (NI) Order 1995). The School will also include in this category children who have moved to reside within the areas of Belfast City Council, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council or Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, and so are the eldest child eligible to attend Ballyclare High School. Parents/carers should provide verification with the Transfer Application in the form of a letter. That letter should state how the child is the eldest and that they are known to the verifier. The letter must be written on headed paper and signed by one of the following who is not a member of the applicant’s family: a medical practitioner; a solicitor; a member of the clergy or equivalent; a primary school principal. 

 

**list of primaries 

 

Abbots Cross Primary School 

Fairview Primary School 

Parkgate Primary School 

Antrim Primary School 

Glengormley Integrated 

Seaview Primary School 

Ashgrove Primary School 

Greenisland Primary School 

Straid Primary School 

Ballyclare Primary School 

Hazelwood Primary School 

Templepatrick Primary School 

Ballyhenry Primary School 

Kilbride Central Primary School 

The Thompson Primary School 

Ballynure Primary School 

Kings Park Primary School 

Tildarg Primary School 

Cairncastle Primary School 

Loanends Primary School 

Toreagh Primary School 

Carnmoney Primary School 

Moorfields Primary School 

Upper Ballyboley Primary School 

Doagh Primary School 

Mossgrove Primary School 

Whiteabbey Primary School 

Earlview Primary School 

Mossley Primary School 

Whitehouse Primary School 

 

If there are still places available after consideration of all the children who are eligible under section 1.2 above and Special Provision, the School will consider for admission any children who were not eligible under 1.2 above. Such children will be allocated to the remaining place(s) up to the School’s Admissions Number using the criteria listed in section 1.3 in the order set out. 

 

2.  Special Provisions  

Special Provisions will only apply to children who have not entered for the CEA because they took up residence in Northern Ireland after 9 October 2020 or received more than half of their primary education outside Northern Ireland. 

Parents/carers who wish to apply to the School under Special Provisions should complete Form SP20, obtainable from AQE or the School, stating the precise reason why they believe the child is eligible for consideration under Special Provisions and upload it with appropriate evidence with the Transfer Application by 16 March 2021. Using the information provided, the Board of Governors will determine whether Special Provisions applies. If it does, those children who the Board of Governors considers to be eligible will be included under Criterion 1.2 of the Admissions Criteria. 

 

3.  Admission to Year 8 after the conclusion of the Transfer Process 

All applications for admission to Year 8 that were unsuccessful in securing a place in the School will automatically be added to the waiting list. 


Should a place become available at the School between 19th June 2021 and 31st August 2021 then all applicants will be considered, including applications made after 19th June 2021, and applications for which new information has been provided. Please contact the School if you wish your child’s name to be removed from the list. 


Should a vacancy arise after the completion of the Transfer Procedure and should there be more applications than places available, the procedure outlined above in the Admissions Criteria for entry of children to Year 8 will be followed. The School will contact you if your child gains a place in the School by this method. 

 

Parents/carers who wish to have their child considered for admission in the event of a place becoming available after 1st September 2021 should refer to the policy for Admissions Outside the Transfer Procedure (below). 

 

Should the Board of Governors, or a sub-committee, determine that a child, who has arrived in Northern Ireland after the Common Entrance Assessment has concluded, is suitable for a place and the School’s admissions number has been reached then an additional place will be requested from the Department of Education. 

 

4. It is the responsibility of the parents/carers to provide all the information relevant to the application of these criteria.  

The Board of Governors reserves the right to reject an application for a place in Year 8 at the School if it becomes aware of: 

(a) any material irregularity in the application made by the applicant to the Association for Quality Education Limited in connection with the prescribed test or 


(b) any falsification of any documents submitted to the Association for Quality Education Limited in connection with the prescribed test or 


(c) any material breach of the conditions on the part of the applicant or his/her parents or guardians relating to the prescribed test. 


5.  VERIFICATION OF INFORMATION PROVIDED BY APPLICANTS  

Applicants should note that the information contained within an application that qualifies the applicant for admission may be verified. 

 

The Board of Governors therefore reserves the right to require such supplementary evidence as it may determine to support or verify information on any Transfer Application. This information will be requested from successful applicants on or shortly after 20th June 2021 when they have been notified of their allocation of a place at Ballyclare High School. 

 

Applicants should also note the provision of false information or incorrect information or the failure to provide verifying documents according to the required deadline may result in either the withdrawal of a place or the inability of the school to offer a place. 

 

Number of Applications and Admissions  

 

Year 2018/19 

 Admissions No.  186

 Total Applications All Preferences   222

 Total Admissions   186

 

Year 2019/20 

 Admissions No.  186

 Total Applications All Preferences   253

 Total Admissions   192 

 

Year 2020/21 

 Admissions No.  186

 Total Applications All Preferences   239

 Total Admissions   187 

  

This table does not include children who were admitted to the school with a statement of special educational needs.  

  

ADMISSION OUTSIDE OF THE TRANSFER PROCEDURE 

  

In the event of the School being oversubscribed the criteria listed below will be used to select those pupils for whom places may be offered. 

 

Applications should be made in writing using an AP1 form. Those who have applied previously will have their application held open until 1st May of the year of their application, at which time it will be deemed to have lapsed. 

 

All those seeking admission will be required to provide academic reports from their present School. 

 

Preference will be given to applicants when places are available in the year group to which they are applying. Normally the maximum number of places available is 186 in each of Years 9 to 12. In some cases, the number of places is higher because of successful appeals in Year 8 or because of statemented children in the year group. The task of applying these criteria is delegated to the Principal:  

 

1. Reports from the previous school must satisfy the Principal that attendance (above 90%) behaviour and punctuality are all satisfactory unless documented medical or other evidence provides an acceptable explanation.  

 

2. Children who have applied before 1st June will be considered before other children. 

 

3. Children will be ranked according to their present School report on the basis of 20 marks for attainment, 10 for effort, 10 for disciplinary record and 10 for extra-curricular contribution. 

 

4. If there are more applicants with the same score than places available in a particular year group then the following tie-breaker criteria will be used: 

a.  children who have a sibling# currently enrolled at the School; 

b. the age of the child, preference being given to the oldest* child; 

c. if two or more children have the same birthday then rank order will be determined on the basis of 

alphabetical order of surname and, if necessary forenames, as outlined in the published tie-breaker 

criteria for admission to Year 8 (section 1.3 above). 

 

Preference may be afforded to applicants who have a particular talent to bring to the school. 

 

Please contact the School Office in the first instance if you wish to advance an application for admission. 

** This information is provided for guidance only and while the content is, to the best of our knowledge, accurate we cannot be held in any way responsible for any errors or omissions that it may contain. Please contact your LA or chosen grammar school for all admission and Transfer Test queries.**