NI Grammar School Admission criteria for
September 2022
These details have been updated.

Admission criteria for grammar schools in Northern Ireland for entrance in September 2022 have changed.

In the autumn term of 2021-2022 school year the Transfer Test - either the AQE or GL (PPTC) version has was used as part of the admissions policy for entry into year 8 by many schools. However some schools decided not to use either the AQE or GL (PPTC) Transfer Test and so those schools have developed new admission criteria for entry into Year 8 in September 2022.

 
These Grammar School admission 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 2022.
 
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 2022.
 

Bangor Grammar School

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BANGOR GRAMMAR SCHOOL

GRANSHA ROAD

BANGOR

BT19 7QU

Telephone No: 028 9147 3734

Fax No: 028 9127 3245

Email: info@bgs.bangor.ni.sch.uk Website : www.bangorgrammarschool.com


Principal: Mrs E Huddleson MSSc BEd PQH(NI)

Chairperson Board of Governors: B McCoubrey, LLB


ALL BOYS’ VOLUNTARY GRAMMAR SCHOOL

AGE RANGE: 11-18

ADMISSIONS NUMBER: 135

ENROLMENT NUMBER: 880


OPEN DAY INFORMATION Given the ongoing Covid situation Bangor Grammar School will not be hosting an Open Day. A Virtual Tour of the School and the School Prospectus can be accessed online from mid January via: www.bangorgrammarschool.com


TO PARENT(S)/GUARDIAN(S) NAMING BANGOR GRAMMAR SCHOOL AS A PREFERENCE ON YOUR CHILD’S TRANSFER FORM.


ENTRANCE TESTS RESULTS:

Bangor Grammar School is an all boys’ voluntary grammar school and intends to use the score awarded to applicants completing the AQE common entrance assessment (CEA) process which will take place on 20th November, 27th November and 4th December 2021. Parents must record their child’s candidate number and overall test score in Section C of the Transfer Form. The original AQE statement of result (not a copy) must be attached to the Transfer Form.


SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES and/or SPECIAL PROVISION:

If parents are making a claim for their child to be considered under Special Circumstances or Special Provision they should note that they are required to:


• obtain a copy of Form SC21, obtainable from the AQE website or office;

• complete the form, setting out the precise nature of the Special Circumstances claimed and indicate how this has impacted on your child or the reason the applicant is seeking Special Provision. In all cases, evidence must be provided, independent where possible, medical or otherwise, where medical means examined by a GP or other suitably qualified medical practitioner in relation to the named illness/condition. Supporting documentary evidence, independent where possible, must 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.

• Provide academic evidence as outlined in Sections 11 and 18 under Arrangements for Special Circumstances and Special Provision. All information must be supplied to the School at the same time as the Transfer Form.


Capital Fee

The Capital Fee is presently £140 per annum.


RESPECTIVE FUNCTIONS OF THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS AND PRINCIPAL IN RELATION TO ADMISSIONS TO THE SCHOOL

The Board of Governors determines 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 review and evaluation of the procedures.


ADMISSIONS CRITERIA 2022/2023

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 boys for entry into Year 8 before the start of the school year 2020/2021. It should be noted that a reciprocal arrangement, as indicated in non-academic criterion 4(ii), exists with Glenlola Collegiate School.


These criteria will apply in 2022/2023. The admissions policy may 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 pupil admissions number agreed with the Department of Education.


Criteria

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


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 have sat 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.


The process will be applied as follows:

1. Academic selection: The 135 places will be allocated in accordance with the rank order of scores achieved in the AQE Common Entrance Assessments (CEA).

2. If, after the operation of criterion 1, all applicants who have sat the AQE CEAs 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 non-academic criteria set out below in paragraph 4.

3. In the event that there are more AQE CEA applicants than there are places available and that more than one applicant is ranked equal on the AQE score for the final place or places, priority between these pupils will be determined by the application of the non-academic criteria set out below in paragraph 4.

4. Non-academic criteria: The non-academic criteria to be applied for the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3 above, will be as follows, and in the following order of priority:

(i) Applicants attending a primary school in the Ards and North Down Borough Council area (as set out in Table A) at the date of their application and being entitled to Free School Meals1;

(ii) Applicants attending a primary school in the Ards and North Down Borough Council area (as set out in Table A) and who, in each case at the date of their application, are the eldest male child, of the family2, 4 OR are applicants with another child of the family attending Bangor Grammar School2,3 or Glenlola Collegiate School2,3 OR are an only child2, 4.

(iii) Applicants attending a primary school in the Ards and North Down Borough Council Area (as set out in Table A) at the date of their application;

(iv) Applicants whose principal residence at the date of their application is within the Ards and North Down Borough Council Area.

5. Tie-breaker:

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.


It is the responsibility of the parent to detail how their child meets each part of the criteria in 4 above and to supply evidence as stipulated in notes 1,2, 3 & 4 immediately below. This evidence must be provided at the time of application via the Education Authority Post Primary Admissions Portal


1 Applicants who are “entitled to Free School Meals” will mean applicants who, at the date on which their post-primary Transfer Form was signed, or at any later date up to and including Wednesday 9 March 2022 – this is correct, as per EA timetable, have communicated within their application that they are listed on the Education Authority register as entitled to Free School Meals.

2 See the definition of “child of the family” outlined in the Department’s Circular 2016/15 (revised 16 November 2021) and the extended definition of “eldest child of the family” in the section on Definitions below.

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.

4 Applicants must submit with their Transfer Application a verifying letter confirming that the child is the eldest boy/only child within their family (as defined below) or that any/all older siblings attended a school outside Northern Ireland during year 8 (or its equivalent, where that school was) and their family was not resident in Northern Ireland or attended a special school in year 8 rather than a mainstream school, on account of their special educational needs. The verifying letter must also confirm that 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.


Definitions

An applicant is regarded as a ‘child of the family’ as outlined in the Department’s Circular Number 2016/15 (revised 16 November 2021):


Any criterion with reference to “child of the family” will be defined in relation to 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’ where it is stated that: “The Department considers that “child of the family” covers:

• A child born to a married couple or to a couple in a civil partnership;

• A child born to a co-habiting couple;

• A child born to a single parent;

• A child of either/any of those people by a previous marriage, civil partnership or relationship;

• A child living with a couple who has been treated as a “child of the family” whether there is a marriage or a civil partnership or not;

• A child living with an individual, who has been treated as a “child of the family”;

• An adopted or fostered child;

• A situation where for example an orphaned cousin is being brought up with a family or individual.”



Twins, or other multiples, will be treated as joint eldest for the purpose of Criterion 4(ii).


In assessing whether an applicant is the “eldest child in the family” any older sibling who complies with one or other of the conditions in (a) or (b) below shall be disregarded:

(a) the older sibling attended a school outside Northern Ireland during year 8 (or its equivalent, where that school was) and his family was not resident in Northern Ireland; or

(b) the older sibling attended special school in year 8 rather than a mainstream school, on account of their special educational needs.


6. Notes

i) References throughout the criteria to scores achieved in the CEAs refer to the scores achieved in common entrance assessments administered by the Association for Quality Education for this transfer year. Applicants who have achieved a score in the CEAs are referred to as ‘CEA applicants’. Applicants who have not achieved a score in the CEAs are referred to as ‘non-CEA applicants’.

ii) References to rank order of scores means the rank of scores produced by the AQE system of assessment, in descending order, highest scores first, taking into account (i) any adjustments in scores made by the School by reason of its Special Circumstances arrangements and/or (ii) the position of any candidate attributed a notional score by reason of the School’s Special Provision arrangements. Details of these arrangements will be found below in the Section entitled Arrangements for Special Circumstances and Special Provision. Access arrangements for the CEA, relating to the conditions under which CEA papers are sat in special cases, are administered separately by AQE.

iii) 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.

iv) In order to benefit from any of the non-academic criteria set out in paragraphs 1 to 4, an applicant must satisfy the particular criterion at the date of application (that is, the date on which their post-primary Transfer Form was submitted) and must submit the stipulated supporting evidence with their Transfer Application. The School will only take into account information contained in or uploaded with the Transfer Application. It is the responsibility of parents to ensure that all information relevant to the School’s criteria is contained in or uploaded with the Transfer Application. See note 1 above regarding qualifying dates for Free School Meals.


Table A: Primary schools referred to in non-academic Criterion 4(i, iii, iv):

Abbey P.S.

Clandeboye P.S.

Kirkistown P.S.

St Finian’s P.S

Alexander Dickson P.S.

Comber P.S.

Londonderry P.S.

St Malachy’s P.S.

Andrews Memorial P.S.

Crawfordsburn P.S.

Loughries I.P.S.

St. Mary’s P.S. Comber

Ballyholme P.S.

Donaghadee P.S

Millisle P.S.

St. Mary’s P.S. Kircubbin

Ballymagee P.S.

Glencraig I.P.S.

Newtownards Model P.S

St. Mary’s P.S. Portaferry

Ballyvester P.S.

Grange Park P.S.

Portaferry P.S.

St. Patrick’s P.S. Holywood

Ballywalter P.S.

Greyabbey P.S.

Portavogie P.S.

St. Patrick’s P.S. Portaferry

Admissions Criteria for entry September 2022

Updated January 2022 www.eani.org.uk/admissions

Bangor Central I.P.S.

Holywood P.S.

Rathmore P.S.

Sullivan Prep

Bloomfield P.S.

Kilcooley P.S.

Regent House Prep

Towerview P.S.

Carrickmannon P.S.

Killinchy P.S.

Rockport School

Victoria P.S. Ballyhalbert

Carrowdore P.S.

Kilmaine P.S.

St Anne’s P.S.

Victoria P.S. Newtownards

Castle Gardens P.S.

Kircubbin I.P.S.

St Comgall’s P.S.

West Winds P.S.


ARRANGEMENTS FOR SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES AND SPECIAL PROVISION


Introduction

1. This section sets out the School’s approach to situations where a claim for ‘Special Circumstances’ or ‘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. What evidence 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 Circumstances or Special Provision.


Special Circumstances

3. Special circumstances may arise in relation to an applicant for admission who has achieved a score in the CEAs administered by AQE but where their parent or guardian claims that their performance has been affected because of medical or other problems (unrelated to the amount of time spent in primary education in Northern Ireland).

4. The AQE ‘Access Arrangements’ for the CEAs (which have been notified to parents directly by AQE and which are available on its website) set out procedures for special arrangements to be adopted for a child when actually sitting the CEA papers, where this is warranted. Parents and guardians are urged to avail of these procedures in appropriate cases.

5. A parent or guardian who wishes to claim Special Circumstances on behalf of an applicant must ensure that the following information is supplied at the time of application:

(i) Detailed evidence to demonstrate how your child has been impacted together with all necessary documentary evidence, independent where possible, medical or otherwise, where medical means examined by a GP or other suitably qualified medical practitioner in relation to the named illness/condition.

(ii) detailed evidence of his educational performance, including PiE and PiM scores, over the past 3 years (P5 – P7).

6. The School must receive applications for consideration of Special Circumstances with or at the same time as the Transfer Form.

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

(i) obtaining Form SC21 from the AQE Office/website;

(ii) completing the form, setting out the precise Special Circumstances claimed;

(iii) gathering the evidence required to validate the claim and to support the case for an increase in the applicant’s CEA score, attach Form SC21 and all relevant and appropriate evidence to the Transfer Form and return to the School via the Education Authority Post Primary Admissions Portal.

8. It is important to note that it is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to complete the form and collect the evidence to support their claim of Special Circumstances – both as to the existence of the Special Circumstances and the effect of the Special Circumstances on the applicant’s performance.




Evidence of the Special Circumstances

9. Where it is claimed that an applicant’s performance in the assessment has been affected by a medical or other problem, detailed documentary evidence, independent where possible, must be provided to the School which clearly explains the nature of the problem, how it affected the child’s academic performance and over what period of time. Where the problem was a medical one of short term duration which affected the applicant only at the time of the assessments, the School will require the production of independent evidence that the applicant was examined by a medical practitioner by a GP or other suitably qualified medical practitioner in relation to the named illness/condition.

10. Where the problem is of a non-medical nature, the parent or guardian must set out in Form SC21 precise details of the problem and append any appropriate documentary evidence to corroborate its existence. Independent evidence over and above the evidence provided by parents should be included where possible which clearly explains the nature of the problem, how it affected the child’s academic performance and over what period of time.


Evidence of the effect of the Special Circumstances on the applicant’s score.

11. Parents or guardians must request information from the applicant’s primary school, by detaching Section B of Form SC21 and giving it to the primary school principal. Section B requests evidence from the primary school principal to confirm the applicant’s performance in English and Mathematics in end of year assessments and standardised tests from the beginning of Key Stage 2 relative to the pupil. Parents/guardians claiming Special Circumstances should discuss their application with the Primary School Principal and ask him/her to attach Form SC21, including Part B if appropriate, to their child’s Transfer Form, together with any additional supporting evidence.

12. Parents are also advised to retain and produce such other evidence of academic attainment as is available to them.

13. All applications claiming Special Circumstances will be carefully considered by the School, taking into account all relevant circumstances (including, for instance, the number of assessments which an applicant has sat and any special access arrangements which have been granted).

Where the Admissions Committee agree that an adjustment is required, and where there is evidence that only one paper was affected, the maximum uplift will be 2 marks in total. Where the Admissions Committee agree that an adjustment is required, and where there is evidence that more than one paper was affected, the maximum uplift will be 4 marks in total. The AQE documentation stipulates that the best two scores over three papers are used, hence, if agreed by the Admissions Committee, the uplift will either be 2 or 4 marks.


Special Provision

14. Special Provision may arise in relation to:

(i) Applicants whose parents/guardians wish them to transfer to the School from outside Northern Ireland.

(ii) Applicants who have received more than half of their primary school education outside Northern Ireland; and/or

(iii) Applicants entered for the AQE CEAs who, because of unforeseen and serious circumstances, which are supported by appropriate independent evidence (medical evidence where a medical condition is relied upon), were unable to participate in any part of the AQE CEAs and therefore unable to achieve a score in the CEAs. Please note, medical means examined by a GP or other suitably qualified medical practitioner in relation to the named illness/condition.

15. It is clearly expected, however, that, where possible, all those seeking admission to the School should sit the AQE CEAs, with the exception of applicants who take up residence in Northern Ireland after Friday 24th September 2021. If pupils do not sit AQE and wish to be considered for a grammar school place, they must take up residence in Northern Ireland during the P7 academic year (for the purposes of the Transfer Process, Bangor Grammar identifies this to be on or before 31 July 2022). The school will then administer age appropriate testing to establish an equivalent AQE score. Where necessary (if the family are not currently resident in NI) Bangor Grammar School will liaise directly with the pupil’s school with guidance as to how these tests should be administered. If the pupil is resident in NI at the point of application they will be expected to sit the tests at Bangor Grammar School.


Parents should note that, in accordance with statutory requirements, throughout the application of the criteria, any applicant resident in Northern Ireland at the time of his/their proposed admission to the School will be selected for admission to the School before any applicant not so resident.


16. The School must receive applications for consideration of Special Provision with or at the same time as the Transfer Form.

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

(i) obtaining Form SC21 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 sit the AQE CEAs), with appropriate and, where possible, independent evidence. Where a medical condition is relied upon, independent supporting medical evidence is required. Please note, medical means examined by a GP or other suitably qualified medical practitioner in relation to the named illness/condition.

(iii) gathering the evidence required to validate the claim and to allow the School to determine the applicant’s ability or educational attainment over time as compared with pupils who have sat the AQE CEAs, attach Form SC21 and all relevant and appropriate evidence to the Transfer Form and return to the School via the Education Authority Post Primary Admissions Portal.

18. 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 support their claim for Special Provision – both as to the reason why Special Provision should be made and the academic attainment of the applicant.

19. Parents are advised to retain and produce such other evidence of academic attainment as is available to them.

20. The School will then, on the basis of all the available medical evidence and evidence of educational attainment (see paragraph 15 above regarding arrangements for testing), determine, in its discretion, an appropriate and equivalent score for the applicant, whose application will then be considered as if he had achieved that score in the AQE CEAs.


Verification and Accuracy of Supporting Information

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 Circumstances, Special Provision or, relating to any of the admissions criteria on any Transfer Form. The provision of false, incomplete or incorrect information or the failure to provide information within the deadlines set by the School or the Education Authority 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 Form.


Waiting List Policy

The School operates a waiting list, the Policy for which is available on the School’s website. If a place becomes available, the selection of applicants in accordance with this Policy is delegated to the Principal and reported to the Board of Governors through the Admissions Committee.



APPLICATIONS AND ADMISSIONS

Year         2019

Admissions        125

No Total Applications (i.e. All preferences)        206

Total Admissions       134


Year         2020

Admissions        135

No Total Applications (i.e. All preferences)        149

Total Admissions       135


Year         2021

Admissions        135

No Total Applications (i.e. All preferences)        223

Total Admissions       153*



* includes a Temporary Variation approved by DE due to the exceptional circumstances of the 2021 year.

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.**