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.

Belfast High School

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Belfast High School 


740 Shore Road  

Newtownabbey 

Co Antrim BT37 0PX 


Telephone:  028 9086 4431 

Fax: 028 9086 1527 

Website: www.belfasthigh.org.uk 

E-mail: info@belfasthigh.newtownabbey.ni.sch.uk 

   

Voluntary Grammar School (Non-Denominational)      

 

Age Range of pupils:   11-18 years 

Admissions Number:    136

Enrolment Number:     930

 

Principal: Mrs C Weir BA, MSc, PGCE, PQH 

Chairman of the Board of Governors: Mr M Finlay, BSSc 

 

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions we are unable to hold a face to face open morning this year. 

Prospective pupils and parents are, however, most welcome to visit our school website for information on  what Belfast High School has to offer (www.belfasthigh.org.uk).  

 

To parents/guardians naming Belfast High School as a preference on your child’s Online Transfer Application. 

 

The Board of Governors of Belfast 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 outlined below have been adopted.  


These contingency admissions criteria will apply for the September 2021 intake only. 

 

Special Provisions 

Parents/guardians who wish their child to be considered under Special Provisions should read carefully the information below.  Parents/guardians who wish to apply to the School under Special Provisions should complete Form SP20, obtainable from the School, citing the reason why they believe their child is eligible for consideration under Special Provisions.   Please note that parents/guardians are required to upload with the online application all such material that they consider necessary to assist the Admissions Sub-Committee in determining if Special Provisions apply. 

 

CAPITAL FEE  £140 per annum.  

 

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

The Board of Governors has approved the admissions criteria outlined below and delegates to the Admissions Sub-Committee, which includes the Principal, the responsibility for applying these criteria.  Further reference, therefore, to the Board of Governors may imply the Admissions Sub-Committee.  

 

ADMISSIONS CRITERIA FOR ENTRY INTO YEAR 8 SEPTEMBER 2021 

The Board of Governors has determined that all children resident in Northern Ireland at the time of their application to the School will be selected for admission before any child not so resident. 

 

1. The Board of Governors will consider children who registered to sit the 2020 Common Entrance Assessment (‘CEA’) administered by the Association for Quality Education (‘AQE’) and remained registered until 13 January 2021 when the CEA was cancelled, subject only to the consideration of those children whose parents/guardians are claiming Special Provisions. 


It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to make sure that proof of registration is attached to the Online Transfer Application.  This includes AQE registration letter, confirmation email or AQE examination card. 

 

2. If, following the application of Criterion 1, the School is over-subscribed, then places will be allocated using the following sub-criteria, in the order stated: 

 

(i) Children who have a sibling¹ currently attending the School; 


(ii) Children who are the eldest/only² eligible child in the family*; 


(iii) Children who, at the time of application, reside within Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, Belfast City Council or Mid and East Antrim Borough Council areas.   


(iv) Children who are transferring from primary schools that have contributed pupils to Belfast High School in the last 5 years (listed alphabetically below). 

 

Abbots Cross PS 

Acorn Int PS 

Ashgrove PS 

Ballyhenry PS 

Ballynure PS 

Ballysillan PS 

Ben Madigan 

Carnmoney PS 

Carrick Central PS 

Carrick Model PS 

Cavehill PS 

Currie PS 

Earlview PS 

Eden PS 

Glengormley Int PS 

Greenisland PS 

Hazelwood Int PS 

Hollybank PS 

Islandmagee PS 

Kilbride Central PS 

King’s Park PS (Newtownabbey) 

Lowwood PS 

Mossgrove PS 

Mossley PS 

Oakfield PS 

Seaview PS (Belfast) 

Silverstream PS 

St James’ PS (Newtownabbey) 

St MacNissi’s PS (Newtownabbey) 

St Mary’s on the Hill PS 

St Nicholas’ PS (Carrickfergus) 

Stranmillis PS 

Templepatrick PS 

Victoria PS (Carrickfergus) 

Whiteabbey PS 

Whitehead PS 

Whitehouse PS 

Woodburn PS 

Woodlawn PS 

  

(v) If, following the application of the above sub-criteria in order, there comes a point where there are more pupils who meet a particular sub-criterion than there are places available, then the Board of Governors shall decide which of these pupils are to be admitted on the basis of computerised random selection.  The following random selection process, as determined by the Board of Governors and overseen by the Admissions Sub-Committee, shall be applied to determine the remaining applications to be accepted: 


. Each application to be considered at this stage will be allocated a random number electronically generated within Microsoft Excel; 


. The applications will then be ranked in order of the random number with higher numbers having preference. 

 

3. If there are still places available after consideration of all the children who have registered to sit the 2020-21 AQE CEA, and remained registered until 13 January 2021 when the CEA was cancelled, the Board of Governors will consider for admission any children who do not qualify for consideration under Criterion 1. These children will be allocated to the remaining places up to the School’s Admission Number of 136 using the sub-criteria outlined above in Criterion 2 in the order set out. 

 

Please note: 

Once the admissions number of 136 has been reached, second, third, fourth and later preference applicants will be considered only if they meet criteria which are ranked higher than those already provisionally admitted. 

 

¹ ‘Children, who at the date of application, have a child of the family currently enrolled at the school’ (DE Circular 2016/15 revised October 2020).  Sibling is defined as another ‘child of the family’ (Article 2(2) of the Domestic Proceedings (NI) Order 1980 and includes half brothers and sisters together with children who are adopted and fostered. 

² ‘Twins and other multiples who are eldest in the family are treated as joint eldest children. Children, who at the date of their application, are the eldest ‘child of the family’ to be eligible to apply for admission to the school.  This includes: 

Children who have an elder sibling who is more than 7 school years older. 

Children who have moved into the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, Belfast City Council and Mid and East Antrim Borough Council areas and so are the eldest child eligible to attend Belfast High School. 

Children who have an older sibling who cannot attend a mainstream school. 

 

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

It is the responsibility of parent/guardian to ensure that the Online Transfer Application is completed in full, including, for example, verification of eldest child. When considering which children should be selected for admission, the Board of Governors will ONLY take into account information which is attached to the Online Transfer Application. 


Parents/guardians should therefore ensure that all information pertaining to their child and relevant to the School’s admissions criteria is stated on the Online Transfer Application or attached to it.  The verifying letter must state that the child is the eldest/only eligible child and that the child and family are known to the verifier.  It 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 clergyman or equivalent 

. A primary school principal 

 

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/guardians who wish to apply to the School under Special Provisions should complete Form SP20, obtainable from 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.  


Parents/guardians who are applying for Special Provisions must do so 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 2 of the Admissions Criteria. 

 

SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS 

The procedures for children in receipt of a Statement of Special Educational Needs will operate outside the normal enrolment procedures in order to ensure that such children are provided with the most appropriate school placement. Further advice may be obtained from the Education Authority. 

 

DUTY TO VERIFY 

Those making application 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 applicant’s Online Transfer Application.  If the requested evidence is not provided to the Board of Governors by the deadline given this may 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 may be withdrawn. 

 

NUMBER OF APPLICATIONS AND ADMISSIONS 

 

Year  2018-19 

 Admissions No.   136

 Total Applications All Preferences   194

 Total Admissions    136

 


 Year  2019/20 

 Admissions No.   136

 Total Applications All Preferences   170

 Total Admissions    136

 

 Year  2020/21 

 Admissions No.   136

 Total Applications All Preferences   211

 Total Admissions    138

 

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

 

ADMISSIONS TO YEAR 8 FOLLOWING COMPLETION OF THE TRANSFER PROCEDURE 

Should a vacancy arise after the completion of the Transfer Procedure on 18 June 2021 all applications for admission to Year 8 that were initially refused, new applications, late applications and applications where new information has been provided will be treated equally and the published criteria applied. 


This waiting list will be in place until 30 June of the year following application.  The School will contact parents/guardians in writing if their child gains a place in the School by this method. The names of all applicants will be automatically added to the list. Parents/guardians should contact the school if they wish for their child’s name to be removed from the list.  Should the Board of Governors determine that a child who has arrived in Northern Ireland after the Transfer Procedure has been concluded is suitable for admission, and the School’s 


Admissions Number has been reached, it will seek approval from the Department of Education to admit the child through the allocation of an additional place. 

 

ENTRY TO YEARS 9-12  

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 reports from their present school.  Full details, including the School Application Form, may be obtained from the Principal’s Secretary, Belfast High School, 740 Shore Road, Newtownabbey, BT37 0PX.   

 

The Board of Governors of Belfast High School delegates to the Principal the authority to select those pupils who meet the criteria.  The Principal may consult with an Admissions Sub-Committee if necessary. 

 

The Board of Governors will only consider applications if there are places available in the year group being applied for, conditional upon places being available within classes to support appropriate subject choices and Department of Education guidelines regarding class sizes, subject to an overall enrolment number of 930. 

 

The process consists of a scored interview (see below for weighting), a CAT test and consideration of submitted material including the most recent school report and other relevant school documentation.  Children will be considered on attainment and aptitude, attendance, behaviour record, motivation, effort and attitude and extra-curricular contribution. (In the case of children whose attendance may have been affected by clearly documented medical or other problems, the Principal is empowered, in extenuating 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). 

 

If more than one child is eligible for the last remaining place(s) because they have equal scores, then the final place(s) will be allocated using the following criteria in the order stated: 

(i) Children who have a sibling¹ currently attending the School; 

(ii) Children who are the eldest/only² eligible child in the family*; 

 

¹ ‘Children, who at the date of application, have a child of the family currently enrolled at the school’ (DE Circular 2016/15 revised October 2020).  Sibling is defined as another ‘child of the family’ (Article 2(2) of the Domestic Proceedings (NI) Order 1980 and includes half brothers and sisters together with children who are adopted and fostered. 

² ‘Twins and other multiples who are eldest in the family are treated as joint eldest children. Children, who at the date of their application, are the eldest ‘child of the family’ to be eligible to apply for admission to the school.  


This includes: 

Children who have an elder sibling who is more than 7 school years older. 

Children who have moved into the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, Belfast City Council and Mid and East Antrim Borough Council areas and so are the eldest child eligible to attend Belfast High School. 

Cases where an older sibling cannot attend mainstream school. 

 

Parents/guardians of the child must accept and sign a School Information Sheet/Entry Agreement. 

 

Waiting List for Admissions to Years 9-12  

All applications for admission to Years 9-12 that were initially refused, new applications, late applications and applications where new information has been provided will be placed on a waiting list that will be used in the event of a place in the relevant year becoming available. These applications will remain open until 30 June of the year following application at which point the application is deemed to have lapsed. 


Should there be more applications than places available, the procedure outlined in the Admissions Criteria for entry of children to Years 9-12 will be followed. Parents should contact the school if they wish for their child’s name to be removed from the list.  

 

The Verification of Information Provided by Applicants 

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 application form. 


Those making applications 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. 

 

Weighting: 

Attainment 20% (School Report), Aptitude 20% (CAT test), Attendance 15% (School/Report), Behaviour 15% (School/Report), Motivation, Attitude and Effort 15% (Interview), Extra-Curricular 15% (Interview). 



** 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.**