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.

Banbridge Academy

Banbridge Academy   Controlled Grammar 


Lurgan Road 

BANBRIDGE 

BT32 4AQ 


Telephone: 028 4062 3220 

Email:  info@banbridgeacademy.banbridge.ni.sch.uk 

Website:  www.banbridgeacademy.org.uk 


Principal:  Mr R S McLoughlin BSc, MEd, PQH  

Chairperson of the Board of Governors:  Mr Dennis Livingstone    


 

Age Range:                     11 - 18  

Admissions Number:         184  

Enrolment Number:        1320 

 

An Open Night for pupils of P7 and their parents will be held virtually. 

An interactive video, prospectus and brochure will be placed on our school website.

 

TO PARENTS / GUARDIANS naming Banbridge Academy (hereinafter referred to as ‘the School’) as a preference on your child’s Online Transfer Application. 

 

The Board of Governors of Banbridge Academy 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 carefully the information given in the relevant section below.  Please note that you are required to upload with the online application all such material as you consider will assist the Education Committee 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 

 

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

 

1. ADMISSION CRITERIA FOR ENTRY OF PUPILS TO YEAR 8 IN SEPTEMBER 2021 

 

When considering which children should be selected for admission, the Education Committee will only take into account information which is detailed on or uploaded with the online application.  It is the responsibility of parents/guardians 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/Guardians should note that they may be required to produce documents verifying information pertinent to the School’s admissions criteria. 

 

If the number of applications is greater than the Admissions Number determined by the Department of Education, the following criteria (to include sub-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 will be selected for admission to the School before any child not so resident. 


1.2 The Board of Governors will consider for admission into Year 8 those applicants who were entered for the Common Entrance Assessment (CEA) provided by AQE.  The AQE candidate number must be entered on the online application 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, at the date of their application have a sibling1 currently in the School [state name(s) and Registration Group(s) on the online application].  


1)  Sibling is defined as another child of the family [Article 2(2) of the Domestic Proceedings (NI) Order 1980], to include: adopted/fostered children, half-brothers and sisters and orphaned cousins being brought up with a family. 

ii. Children who are the eldest2 child of the family to be eligible to transfer to a mainstream Post-Primary School (details to be supplied on the online application).  


2) Eldest covers ‘only’ children as well as twins (or other multiples) who are treated as joint eldest. 

iii. Children who have had a sibling1 attend the School [state name(s) and Registration Group(s) and year(s) of attendance on the online application]. 


iv. Children who are registered at a Primary School from which pupils have been admitted to Banbridge Academy in three out of the past five years, a list is available below **. 


v. Those choosing Banbridge Academy as first preference will be admitted before those listing the School as second preference and so on. 


vi. Children will be ranked for acceptance on the basis of a computer-based process which will make use of the names as entered on the online application. 


The process is carried out by means of a computer programme which, for each applicant, generates a ranking number using the details from the online application as the seed for a random number generator.  The outcome, for any given applicant, is dependent only on the applicant’s name (as entered on the online application), and is not affected by the details of any other applicant.  


Although the process is repeatable, and the results may therefore be subsequently verified, it is not possible to predict, in advance of running the programme, what the result will be for any given set of details.  Applicants with the lowest ranking numbers will be given places up to the number of places available.  Further details may be obtained from the Principal. 

 

If there are still places available after consideration of all the children who were entered for the AQE Common Entrance Assessment and Special Provisions, the School will consider for admission any children who were not entered for the Common Entrance Assessment administered by AQE. Such children, if they satisfy Criterion 1.1, will be allocated to the remaining place(s) up to the School’s Admissions Number using the sub-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.  NOTE TO PARENTS/GUARDIANS  

It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to ensure that the online application is completed in full and that all relevant information is recorded on, or attached to, the online application by the date of receipt by the School. 

 

If the Board of Governors becomes aware of any irregularity in the AQE number quoted on the online application, it reserves the right to reject the application made on behalf of the child for admission to the School. 

 

4.  DUTY TO VERIFY - THE VERIFICATION OF INFORMATION PROVIDED  

Parents/Guardians should note that the information contained within an application that qualifies the child 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 online application. 

 

This information will be requested from those whose applications have been successful when they have been notified of their allocation of a place at Banbridge Academy. 

 

Parents/Guardians should also note if the requested evidence is not provided to the Board of Governors by the deadline given, this will result in the withdrawal of an offer of a place.  Similarly, if information is supplied which appears to be false or misleading in any material way, the offer of a place will be withdrawn. 

 

 

5.  ADMISSIONS TO YEAR 8 FOLLOWING THE CONCLUSION OF THE TRANSFER PROCESS  

Banbridge Academy operates a separate waiting list for Year 8.  All applications for admission to Year 8 that were unsuccessful in obtaining a place in the school will be automatically added to the waiting list.  New applications and applications where new information has been provided will also be added to the waiting list.  The Year 8 waiting list will be in place until 30 June 2022.  


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 in writing if your child gains a place in the School by this method. 

 

Should the Education Committee of the Board of Governors determine that a child, who has arrived in Northern Ireland after the Transfer Process has been concluded, is suitable for admission, it will seek approval from the Department of Education to admit the child through the allocation of an additional place. 

 

APPLICATIONS AND ADMISSIONS TO YEAR 8  

 

Year   2018/19

Admission No   184

Total Applications all Preferences   231 

Total Admissions     187*

 

Year   2019/20

Admission No   184

Total Applications all Preferences   217 

Total Admissions     186*

 

Year   2020/21

Admission No   184

Total Applications all Preferences   276 

Total Admissions     190* 


*Includes statemented pupils, those admitted under appeal or at the direction of the `Exceptional Circumstances Body’ 

 ** Primary Schools from which Banbridge Academy has admitted pupils in three out of the past five years 

 

Abercorn 

Maralin Village 

Anahilt 

Milltown 

Ballydown 

Moira 

Bocombra 

Mullaglass 

Bridge Integrated 

Portadown Integrated  

Bronte 

Poyntzpass 

Clare 

Rowandale Integrated 

Donacloney 

Seagoe (CoI) 

Downshire 

St Colman’s & All Saints Nursery 

Dromara 

St Colman’s (Bann) 

Dromore Central 

St Colman’s, (Dromore) 

Drumadonnell 

St Mary’s (Banbridge) 

Edenderry (Banbridge) 

St Patrick’s (Magheralin) 

Fair Hill 

Tandragee 

Iveagh 

Waringstown 

King’s Park (Lurgan) 

Windsor Hill 

  

ADMISSION CRITERIA FOR ENTRY TO YEARS 9 – 12 

 

Applications Procedure 

 

Those wishing to apply for entry to Years 9 - 12 must make formal application each year using the School Application Form and provide the most recent school reports from their present or previous school(s).  Full details, including the Application Form, may be obtained by writing to the Principal’s Secretary, Banbridge Academy, Lurgan Road, Banbridge BT32 4AQ. 

 

The Board of Governors of Banbridge Academy has approved the criteria listed below and has delegated the task of applying these criteria to the Education Committee, working in conjunction with the Principal.  Further reference, therefore, to the Board of Governors may imply the Education Committee or the Principal. 

 

In the event of the school being oversubscribed children will only be considered for admission where the following apply: 

 

1. The enrolment number has not been reached.  

2. There are places available in the relevant Year Group. 

 

If the number of applications is greater than can be admitted within the school’s enrolment number or within a particular Year Group, the following criteria will be applied in the order set down below: 

 

(i) Children, whose school reports from their present school (and previous schools, if applicable) satisfy the Principal on past school record and achievement, including attendance, behaviour and punctuality, will be considered before other applicants.  (A satisfactory attendance rate would be 90%).  In the case of children whose attendance may have been affected by clearly documented medical or other problems, the Principal is empowered, in exceptional circumstances, to consider this.  Each case will be carefully assessed by the Principal and will necessarily take into account appropriate documentary evidence, medical or otherwise. 

(ii) Children who have made application before 1 June 2021 or applications after this date from children who have recently moved into the area. 

(iii) Applications will be considered in the following order:  Year 9, Year 10, Year 11, Year 12.  Where two or more children meet the requirement for a remaining place, Children will be ranked for acceptance on the basis of a computer-based process which will make use of the names as entered on the Application Form. 

 

The process is carried out by means of a computer programme which, for each applicant, generates a ranking number using the details from the Application Form as the seed for a random number generator.  The outcome, for any given applicant, is dependent only on the applicant’s name (as written on the Application Form), and is not affected by the details of any other applicant.  


Although the process is repeatable, and the results may therefore be subsequently verified, it is not possible to predict, in advance of running the programme, what the result will be for any given set of details.  Applicants with the lowest ranking numbers will be given places up to the number of places available.  Further details may be obtained from the Principal. 

 

It should be noted that those who have applied but who have been unsuccessful in obtaining a place in the school will be placed on a waiting list until 1 May 2022, at which time their application will be deemed to have lapsed.  Please contact the School if you wish your child’s name to be removed from the relevant Year Group waiting list.  The School will contact you in writing if your child gains a place in the School by this method. 

 

ADMISSION CRITERIA FOR ENTRY POST 16 (SIXTH FORM)  

Year 13 

 

The Board of Governors of Banbridge Academy has approved the criteria listed below and has delegated the task of applying these criteria to the Education Committee, working in conjunction with the Principal.  Further reference, therefore, to the Board of Governors may imply the Education Committee or the Principal. 

 

Applications from a pupil from another school will be considered after the completion of the admissions process to Sixth Form (Year 13) for pupils who undertook GCSE studies in Year 12 at Banbridge Academy.  The Board of Governors reserves the right to amend the criteria (1-6) listed below for pupils who undertook GCSE studies in Year 12 at Banbridge Academy. 

 

Pupils from another school wishing to apply for entry to Year 13 must make formal application each year using the School Application Form. Full details, including the Application Form, may be obtained by writing to the Principal’s Secretary, Banbridge Academy, Lurgan Road, Banbridge BT32 4AQ. 

 

All applications for places must include full details of results obtained at GCSE and be received by 1.00 pm on the day of publication of the final GCSE results.  Applications received after this time will only be considered for a place if there are places available.  Acceptance of a place offered in Banbridge Academy must be received by the School before 1.00 pm on the day following the publication of the final GCSE results. 

 

In order to be considered for a place in Year 13 all of the following criteria must be fully met:  


1. The School’s enrolment number has not been reached. 

 

2. Availability of places in Year 13. 

 

3. Availability of places in AS subjects selected for study. 

 

4. A minimum of 4 Grade B and 3 Grade C passes (or equivalent) at GCSE 

 

Including: 

 

(a) Grade B or above in subjects selected for AS Level 


(b) In subjects not taken in GCSE, Grade B or above in related GCSE subjects 


(c) For Mathematics a Grade B or above in Further Mathematics is desirable 

 

5. The Principal must be satisfied as to the pupil’s past school record and achievement including attendance, behaviour and punctuality.  A satisfactory attendance rate would be 90%. 

 

6. An interview with a senior member of staff of Banbridge Academy. 

 

If the number of applicants meeting the basic eligibility criteria 1-6 above exceeds the number of places available: 

 

7. Applicants will be ranked according to the points score based on their best 7 GCSE grades (where a GCSE Grade A* = 4 points, A = 3 points, B = 2 points, C* = 1.5 points and C = 1 point; please note the grade achieved in a GCSE Short Course is worth half the points of a full GCSE Grade i.e. A* = 2 points, A = 1.5 points, B = 1 point, C* = 0.75 and C = 0.5 of a point).  Applicants will be selected in accordance with their place in this rank order of the points score.  The Principal will determine the points awarded for other non-GCSE level 2 qualifications. 

 

8. In the event that criterion 7 fails to separate applicants for a remaining place then the total points tally of each applicant will be used to rank them (where a GCSE Grade A* = 5 points, A = 4 points, B = 3 points, C* = 2 points and C = 1 point).  Applicants will be selected in accordance with their place in this rank order. 

 

Where two or more children meet the requirement for a remaining place, children will be ranked for acceptance on the basis of a computer-based process which will make use of the names as entered on the Application Form. 

 

The process is carried out by means of a computer programme which, for each applicant, generates a ranking number using the details from the Application Form as the seed for a random number generator.  The outcome, for any given applicant, is dependent only on the applicant’s name (as written on the Application Form), and is not affected by the details of any other applicant.  Although the process is repeatable, and the results may therefore be subsequently verified, it is not possible to predict, in advance of running the programme, what the result will be for any given set of details.  Applicants with the lowest ranking numbers will be given places up to the number of places available.  Further details may be obtained from the Principal. 

 

Criteria for any extra places made available by the Department of Education for admission into Year 13 

 

The Department of Education may, on request, increase the number of pupils that the school can admit to its Year 13.  Places that become available in this way shall be allocated only to pupils who meet the basic eligibility criteria for sixth form study (as above) and shall be allocated in the order determined by the criteria to be applied in the order set down. 

 

1. Pupils who have most recently completed Year 12 in Banbridge Academy. 

 

2. Pupils from other schools where admission to an extra place at Banbridge Academy has been agreed by the Department of Education.* 

 

*Parents should note how the Department of Education (DE) will, in response to a school’s request, increase the school’s enrolment number in order to allow an extra post-16 pupil to enrol.  DE will only increase the school’s enrolment number if it is content that each external pupil for whom a place is requested would not be able to pursue their post-16 course choices at a suitable school without undertaking an unreasonable journey (i.e. a journey that by public transport would be over an hour from where the young person lives).  If DE finds that no other suitable school may provide all of the post-16 courses that the pupil wishes to pursue then DE will agree a school’s request for an extra place. 

 

What is a school of a type that is suitable for a pupil?  To determine this, DE first considers all schools to be one of 4 types: (i) Denominational (ii) Non-denominational (iii) Integrated and (iv) Irish-Medium.  A school requesting an extra place for a post-16 pupil will belong to one of these 4 types and DE will consider any other school or schools 

from this same type as suitable for the pupil.  DE will also consider as suitable for the pupil any school from the same type of school that the child attended in Year 12. 

** 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.**