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.

Bangor Grammar School

Bangor Grammar School 





BT19 7QU  AGE RANGE: 11-18 


Telephone No: 028 9147 3734 


Website : 

Principal: Mrs E Huddleson MSSc BEd PQH(NI) 

Chairperson Board of Governors: B McCoubrey, LLB 

AGE RANGE: 11-18 






Due to Covid restrictions, this year’s Open Day will be online.  The online version can viewed via the school website: 




As Bangor Grammar School remains committed to academic selection as the principal method of entry to the School and as the AQE Common Entrance Assessment has been cancelled due to the current Coronavirus pandemic, the Board of Governors has found it necessary to adapt the admissions criteria for September 2021.  

These are outlined below. Bangor Grammar School intends to use evidence of registration for the AQE common entrance assessment as part of its selection criteria. Parents should record their child’s candidate number in the relevant section of the Transfer Application. 

A form of evidence confirming AQE registration should be included with the Transfer Application i.e copy of the AQE registration card, evidence of registration payment or a letter from AQE confirming registration. 


In the absence of an AQE common entrance assessment, the Special Circumstances mechanism cannot be used.  Applications for Special Provision may be made under limited conditions, outlined in Section B below. If parents are making a claim for their child to be considered under Special Provision they should note that they are required to: 

• obtain a copy of Form SC20, obtainable from the AQE office or the AQE website;  

• complete the form, setting out the precise reason the applicant is seeking Special Provision. Supporting documentary evidence, independent where possible, should also be provided where appropriate in cases of Special Provision, for the purpose of verification; the Principal’s PA can provide advice on the types of supplementary evidence to be provided. 


All information should be supplied to the School at the same time as the Transfer Application. 


Capital Fee 

The capital fee is presently £140 per annum. 



The Board of Governors ratifies the admissions criteria on the recommendation of the Admissions Committee and delegates the responsibility of their application to the Principal and Governors who are members of the Admissions Committee. This Committee will in turn, have the responsibility on the Board’s behalf of ensuring that the process has been carried out fairly and transparently in compliance with the published criteria.  

The Admissions Committee will report to the full Board after the Admissions process is complete to allow for a comprehensive review and evaluation of the procedures. 



Bangor Grammar School has traditionally drawn from all sections of the community irrespective of religious affiliation, ethnic or social origin. Over recent decades the demand for places has always exceeded the number of places available. In accordance with regulations laid down by the Department of Education, the Board of Governors herein publishes the criteria which it will use in the selection of applicants for entry into Year 8 before the start of the school year 2021/2022. It should be noted that a reciprocal arrangement, as indicated in criteria 3ii exists with Glenlola Collegiate School. 

These criteria will apply in 2021/2022. The admissions policy will continue to be carefully reviewed by the Board of Governors in the light of advice from the Department of Education and any legislative or regulatory developments during the year. 


The numbers accepted under these criteria are subject to the constraint of the applicant admissions number agreed with the Department of Education. 


Priority of admission to Bangor Grammar School will be determined in accordance with the numbered criteria set out below, in the order set down. These criteria assume the School’s most recently approved admissions number of 135 pupils. They will be applied until the School’s admissions number is met. 

The criteria have the effect of giving priority to applicants who had registered to sit the common entrance assessments under the auspices of the Association of Quality Education. They should be read in conjunction with the explanatory notes set out below the criteria.  

An applicant is regarded as a ‘child of the family’ as outlined in the Department’s Circular Number 2016/15:  

Any criterion with reference to “of the family” will be defined in relation to the parties to a marriage or parties living together in the same household, interpreted in accordance with Annex 2 paragraphs 3-5 of ‘The Procedure for Transfer from Primary to Post-Primary Education’: “Child of the family” means a child of both of them, and any other child who has been treated by both of those parties as a “child of their family”. 

The Department of Education has been advised that this definition of a child of the family covers: a child born to a married couple; a child born to a co-habiting couple; a child of either of those people by a previous marriage or relationship; a child living with same-sex partners whether there is a marriage or civil partnership under the Marriage (Same-sex Couples) and Civil Partnership (Opposite-sex Couples) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2019 or not; an adopted or fostered child; a situation where, for example, an orphaned cousin is being brought up with the family.”   

In accordance with statutory requirements, throughout the application of the criteria set out below, any applicant resident in Northern Ireland at the time of their proposed admission to the School will be selected for admission to the School before any applicant not so resident in Northern Ireland. 


The process will be applied as follows: 

1. As AQE examinations have not proceeded, preference will be given to those applicants who had registered by 20th November 2020 and remained registered to sit the examination as at 13th January 2021 and the applicants will be rank ordered according to the criteria outlined below in paragraphs 3(i) to (vi) inclusive. 

2. If, after the operation of criterion 1, all applicants who had registered to sit the AQE CEAs by 20th November 2020 and remain registered to sit the examination as at 13th January 2021, have been awarded a place and there remain places within the admissions number of 135, they will be allocated to non-CEA applicants on the basis of the criteria set out below in paragraphs 3(i) to (vi) inclusive.   

3. In the event that there are more applicants who meet criterion 1 than there are places available, priority between these applicants will be determined by the application of the criteria set out below and in the order listed. 


i. Applicants who have selected Bangor Grammar School as their first or second preference school. 

ii. Applicants who, at the point of application are currently in attendance at any one of the school’s current feeder primary schools (see Table A below), and are either the eldest boy of the family1,2, or are an only child1,2 or have a sibling currently in attendance at Bangor Grammar School or Glenlola Collegiate3. 


iii. All other applicants who, at the point of application are currently in attendance at any one of the school’s current feeder primary schools (see Table A below); 

iv. Applicants who are currently in attendance at any other primary school within the Ards and North Down Borough Council Area not listed in Table A;  

v. Applicants who are entitled to Free School Meals4; 

vi. Applicants whose current principal residence is within the Ards and North Down Borough Council Area. 

In the event of a tie for a remaining place or places, which is not resolved by the application of the criteria above, further selection will occur on the basis of Random Selection. A numbered identical disc representing each child’s name will be placed in a “hat”, and an independent person will blindly withdraw the required number of discs from the “hat”, under the observation of a second independent person and a school representative. 

Places will be allocated and a waiting list will be formed according to the order in which the discs are withdrawn. 

Current Feeder Primary Schools   Table A 

Abbey P.S. 

Castle Gardens P.S. 

Kirkistown P.S. 

Rockport School 

Ballyholme P.S. 

Clandeboye P.S. 

Londonderry P.S. 

St Anne’s P.S. 

Ballymagee P.S. 

Crawfordsburn P.S. 

Loughries I.P.S. 

St Comgall’s P.S. 

Ballyvester P.S. 

Donaghadee P.S 

Millisle P.S. 

St Finian’s P.S 

Ballywalter P.S. 

Glencraig I.P.S. 

Newtownards Model P.S 

St Malachy’s P.S. 

Bangor Central I.P.S. 

Grange Park P.S. 

Portavogie Primary School 

Towerview P.S. 

Bloomfield P.S. 

Greyabbey P.S. 

Rathmore P.S. 

Victoria P.S. Ballyhalbert 

Carrowdore P.S. 

Kilcooley P.S. 

Regent House Prep 

Victoria P.S. Newtownards 

Kilmaine P.S. 

West Winds P.S. 


1 See the definition of “child of the family” outlined in the Department’s Circular 2016/15, above. 

2 This is subject to satisfying verification requirements as set out below: 

The verifying letter much state that the child is the eldest boy/only child and the family are known to the verifier. The 

letter must be written on headed notepaper 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. 

3 The name and date of birth of the child of the family the applicant is being linked to must be included on the application. 


These criteria will apply through the academic year 2021/22. 


4. Notes 

i) References throughout the criteria to the CEAs refer to the common entrance assessment procedure administered by the Association for Quality Education. Applicants who have been registered to sit the CEAs are referred to as ‘CEA applicants’. Applicants who have not been registered to sit the CEAs are referred to as ‘non-CEA applicants’. 

ii) In the event that there are fewer applicants complying with a particular criterion than there are places available, those applicants complying with that criterion will be selected and the next criterion will be applied to the remaining applicants.  


In the event that there are more applicants complying with a particular criterion than there are places available, those applicants complying with that criterion will not be selected under it but will go forward to be considered under the subsequent criteria in rank order and those not complying with that criterion will be displaced.  

iii) In order to benefit from any of the criteria set out in paragraph 3, an applicant must satisfy the particular criterion at the date of application (that is, the date on which their post-primary Transfer Application was submitted). 

iv) 4Applicants who are “entitled to Free School Meals” will mean applicants who, at the date on which their post- primary Transfer Application was submitted, or at any later date up to and including 12th April 2021 –  as per the Department of Education timetable (see DE website), have communicated within their application that they are listed on the Education Authority register as entitled to Free School Meals. 

v) Twins, or other multiples, will be treated as joint eldest for the purpose of paragraph 3ii.  




1. This section sets out the School’s approach to specific situations where a claim of ‘Special Provision’ is made on behalf of an applicant for admission to the School. It should be read in conjunction with the School’s Admissions Criteria. 

2. The School will base its decision on the evidence available in each case. The type of evidence that will be accepted is a matter for the School but, save in the most exceptional cases, the requirements set out below will apply for evidence to be acceptable in support of a claim for Special Provision. 

3. Special Provision may arise in relation to: 

(i) Applicants whose parents/guardians did not have the opportunity to register for AQE CEAs because the applicant had not taken up residence in Northern Ireland until after 20th November 2020; 

(ii) Applicants who have received more than half of their primary school education outside Northern Ireland as at 01 September 2020. 

4. The School must receive applications for consideration of Special Provision at the same time as the Transfer Application.  

5. Parents or guardians who wish to apply to the School for Special Provision consideration for an applicant should do so by: 

(i) obtaining Form SC20 from the School or the AQE Office. 

(ii) completing the form, setting out the precise reason why the applicant is seeking Special Provision (usually the reason why the applicant did not register to sit the AQE CEAs), with appropriate and, where possible, independent evidence. 

6. It is again important to note that it is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to complete the form and collect the evidence to fully support their claim for Special Provision as to the reason why Special Provision should be made. 

7. The School may then, on the basis of all the available evidence chose to consider the applicant as if they had been registered to sit the AQE CEAs. 


Duty to Verify 


The Board of Governors reserves the right to require such supplementary evidence as may be necessary to support or verify information, including that employed to support claims for Special Provision, relating to any of the admissions criteria on any Transfer Application. The provision of false, inaccurate, incomplete or misleading information or the failure to provide information within the deadlines set by the School may result in the withdrawal of a place and the inability to offer a place on the part of any school nominated on the applicant’s Transfer Application. 


(C) Waiting List Policy 


The School operates a waiting list and specific details can be provided on request from the Principal’s PA. If a place becomes available, the selection of applicants is delegated to the Principal and reported to the Board of Governors through the Admissions Committee. 




Year      2018/19    

Admissions No      125

Total Applications ie. All preferences    162

Total Admissions      #129


Year      2019/20    

Admissions No      125

Total Applications ie. All preferences    206

Total Admissions      #134


Year      2020/21    

Admissions No      135#

Total Applications ie. All preferences    149

Total Admissions      135


# includes Department of Education Temporary Variation and admissions directed by the Admission Appeals Tribunal/Exceptional Circumstances Body. 


Anyone wishing to apply for Years 9-12 and Sixth Form please see our website for relevant criteria. 

** 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.**