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.
 

Cambridge House Grammar School

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CAMBRIDGE HOUSE GRAMMAR SCHOOL

Cambridge Avenue

Ballymena BT42 2EH

Telephone: 028 2564 3151

Fax No: 028 2565 1239

Website: www.cambridgehouse.org.uk

E-mail: info@cambridgehousegrammar.ballymena.ni.sch.uk


Controlled Grammar School (Non-denominational)

Age Range of pupils:     11-19 years

Admissions Number:     140

Enrolment Number:     900


Principal: Mr Phillip Elliott MA (Oxon), FRCO, PGCE, PQH (NI)

Chairperson of the Board of Governors: Mrs Joanne Millar BA (Hons)


OPEN MORNING INFORMATION

A Virtual Tour for parents and pupils will be available at www.cambridgehouse.org.uk.


To parents/guardians naming Cambridge House Grammar School as a preference on their child’s transfer application:


Entrance Test Results

Please ensure that the following information is uploaded with the transfer application:

• AQE Common Entrance Assessment standardised score.

• AQE Statement of Result as verification.


Special Circumstances and/or Special Provision

If you are making a claim for your child to be considered under Special Circumstances or Special Provisions, please note that you are required to provide the documentation outlined in the relevant paragraphs below. It is emphasised that the onus is on the parents/guardians to ensure that as wide as possible a range of relevant academic evidence is provided and is uploaded with the transfer application.


Special Circumstances

Parents/Guardian wishing to claim Special Circumstances must complete form SC22 available from AQE. The completed form – together with the appropriate documentary evidence corroborating the claim for Special Circumstances – must be uploaded with the transfer application.


Special Provision

Parents/Guardians wishing to claim Special Provision must complete form SC22 available from AQE. The completed Form – together with appropriate documentary evidence corroborating the claim for Special Provision – must be uploaded with the transfer application. Special Provision will not be considered in advance of the school’s receipt of the transfer application from the Education Authority.


It is the responsibility of Parents/Guardians to obtain full information on the pupil’s academic performance and test results and provide these to Cambridge House Grammar School. No information will be sought by Cambridge House Grammar School directly from the Primary School.


Respective functions of the Board of Governors in relation to Admissions to the school


The day to day work associated with entry into Cambridge House Grammar School is delegated to the Admissions Sub-Committee which includes the Principal and members of the Board of Governors, who have experience in various standardised tests and assessing a child’s academic ability from educational information. Decisions at any stage will be taken on the basis of relevant information available at that time. Admissions decisions taken by the Admissions Sub-Committee will be ratified by the Board of Governors.


ADMISSIONS CRITERIA FOR ENTRY INTO YEAR 8 2022-23

The Board of Governors of Cambridge House Grammar School will admit children strictly in rank order on application of the Admissions Criteria up to the limit of the admissions number. In the event of the school being oversubscribed, the Board of Governors has approved the criteria described below.


As required by Department of Education regulations, children resident in Northern Ireland at the time of their proposed admission will be selected before children not so resident.


Cambridge House Grammar School will not use as a criterion the position of preference given to the school on the transfer application. Consideration will be given to those claiming ‘Special Circumstances’ and ‘Special Provisions’ in accordance with the arrangements for ‘Special Circumstances’ and ‘Special Provisions’ set out below. Decisions in respect of ‘Special Circumstances’ and ‘Special Provisions’ are taken in consultation with the Admissions Sub Committee, to whom decision-making powers have been delegated by the Full Board of Governors. Following consideration of ‘Special Circumstances’ and ‘Special Provisions’, the rank order will be drawn up and the criteria applied. Decisions about how the criteria should be applied to each child will be taken solely on the basis of information uploaded with the transfer application and the school’s Special Circumstances Protocol. Parents must annex the original notification received from AQE to their application. Parents should note that they may be required to produce documents verifying information pertinent to the school’s Admissions Criteria.


Admissions Criteria:

If the number of applications is greater than the admissions number, the following criteria will be applied in the order set down until the final place has been allocated:

1. Children who have taken the AQE Common Entrance Assessment administered by AQE will be admitted first in rank order, from the highest to the lowest, based on the standardised score awarded to them by AQE or the score awarded as a result of ‘Special Circumstances’ or ‘Special Provisions’ in accordance with the arrangements for ‘Special Circumstances’ and ‘Special Provisions’ as set out below.

2. If, following the application of criterion 1, there are children with the same score being tied for the final place(s), the following sub-criteria will be applied in the stated order as set out below to distinguish between such children:

A. Children who have a sibling currently enrolled at the school. Please state name(s) and Registration Group(s) on the Transfer Application. Sibling is defined as another child of the family [Article 2(2) of the Domestic Proceedings (NI) Order 1980] and includes adopted/fostered children, half-brothers and sisters and orphaned cousins being brought up with a family.

B. Children who are the eldest child. Proof should be uploaded with the Transfer Application – a letter on headed note paper, stating that the child is the eldest eligible child and that the family is known to the verifier, from one of the following who is not a family member of the applicant: a Primary School Principal, a medical practitioner, a solicitor, an elected public representative, a member of the clergy or a police officer. Eldest covers ‘only’ children as well as twins (or other multiples) who are treated as joint eldest.

C. The age of the child, preference being given to the eldest established by date of birth as entered on a Birth Certificate or the Adopted Children’s Register;

D. Children who are entitled to receive Free School Meals (which will mean children who are listed on the Education Authority register as entitled to Free School Meals).


3. If, after the implementation of criteria 1 and 2 (A-D), there remain more applications than there are places available, the following random selection process as determined by the Board of Governors and overseen by the Admissions Panel shall be applied to determine the remaining applications to be accepted:

• Each application to be considered at this stage is allocated a random number generated electronically;

• The applications are then ranked in order of the random number, with higher numbers having precedence, up to the School’s Admissions Number.

4. If the number of children for whom a standardised score relating to the AQE Common Entrance Assessment has been produced (by AQE Ltd) or score awarded (by the Board of Governors) in accordance with the arrangements for ‘Special Circumstances’ and ‘Special Provisions’ set out below is less than the admissions number, then criteria 2 (A-D) and 3 will be applied in the stated order.


Special Circumstances and Special Provision: Context and Summary


‘Special Circumstances’ allows for a post-assessment adjustment to the AQE standardised score of a child who is eligible for consideration. Any adjustment to a standardised score will be based on the School’s Special Circumstances Protocol applicable at the time of the Entrance Assessments. A copy of the School’s Special Circumstances Protocol will be available on request, to parents/guardians.


‘Special Circumstances’ refers to the claim that medical or other problems (constituting a temporary illness, injury or indisposition experienced by the child at or about the time the AQE Common Entrance Assessment was conducted) have detrimentally affected her or his performance.


Claiming Special Circumstances

Any claim for ‘Special Circumstances’ must be supported by independent, verifiable, documentary evidence. If a claim for the consideration of ‘Special Circumstances’ is made in respect of a child’s score in one assessment, the Board of Governors will take into account where the child took all three assessments and that the child’s score is based on the best two results.


Where a problem is a medical one of short-term duration which affected the child at the time of the Entrance Assessments, the school will require evidence that the child was examined by a medical practitioner in relation to the illness, that the medical problem was as described, and that the child’s health and wellbeing were impaired at or about the time of the Entrance Assessment. Where the problem is of a non-medical nature, the parents/guardians must set out the precise details of the problem and provide appropriate independent, verifiable evidence such as a written statement from a suitably qualified individual who knows/works with the child in a formal and professional context and is able to give independent confirmation of the nature of the problem, when it occurred, and its impact on the child.


If a pupil was only able to sit one of the three AQE Common Entrance Assessments due to testing positive for Covid-19 or an instruction from PHA to self-isolate, and therefore did not receive a standardised score, AQE will supply the raw score for the single assessment taken. Parents should then apply for Special Circumstances and submit the raw score in addition to further evidence of educational attainment as described below. Documentary evidence such as a positive PCR test result should be included.


Supporting documentary evidence should also include details of the pupil’s educational attainment with reference to English and Mathematics. This evidence should include scores obtained in all standardised tests in English and Mathematics taken by the pupil since the start of Key Stage 2. This must be sufficient to enable the Board of Governors to reach a decision on any adjustment to the score achieved in the Entrance Assessment. Such information should be provided on the Claim for Special Circumstances form (SC22).


All documentary evidence should be the original documents signed by the person who has verified the evidence. Photocopies cannot be accepted by the sub-committee of the Board of Governors as sufficient for verification.


Parents/Guardians should note that a child who applies for Access Arrangements for the Entrance Assessments cannot then apply for Special Circumstances for the same reason.


Please note that judgement of the importance of Special Circumstances will be at the absolute discretion of the Admissions Sub-Committee of the Board of Governors.


‘Special Provision’ refers to applications which claim that children were unable to sit the Common Entrance Assessment on the basis that:

1. They are transferring from Primary Schools outside Northern Ireland; or

2. They have received more than half of their primary school education outside Northern Ireland; or



3. They have been affected by medical or other serious problems which have prevented them for taking the Common Entrance Assessment (including absence for all three assessments due to testing positive for Covid-19 or the need to self-isolate for all three assessments due to Covid-19).


Decisions on admitting a child for whom a Special Provision claim has been made require the Admissions Panel to form an educational judgement based on evidence of that child’s ability and determine an appropriate standardised score for that child. The child shall then be considered with all the other applicants by application of the School’s published Admissions Criteria for entry into Year 8. Supporting documentary evidence should include details of the pupil’s educational attainment with reference to English and Mathematics. This evidence should include scores obtained in all standardised tests in English and Mathematics taken by the pupil since the start of Key Stage 2. This must be sufficient to enable the Board of Governors to determine an appropriate standardised score. Such information should be provided on form SC22.


Duty to Verify

Parents/Guardians should note that they may be required to produce verification documentation pertinent to the School’s Admissions Criteria. Please refer to DE Circular 2013/24 (“Guidance on a school’s duty to verify application information”). The Board of Governors reserves the right to require such supplementary evidence as it may determine to support or verify information on the transfer application. This information will be requested from those whose applications have been successful when the transfer procedure comes to a close. The provision of false or incorrect information or the failure to provide verifying documents by the required deadline may result in either the withdrawal of a place or the inability of a school to offer a place. If the school becomes aware at any stage prior to enrolment that an applicant has gained a place for their child/children by using false information, the school has an obligation to withdraw the place and reallocate it correctly in line with the Admissions Criteria. If it is stated within an application that a child is currently registered as Free School Meal Entitled, and that claim is decisive in qualifying him/her for admission, then that information will be verified. If it is found to be incorrect, then any place offered will be withdrawn.


Admission to Year 8 following the completion of the Transfer Procedure

Should a vacancy arise after the Transfer Procedure concludes, further applications for admission to Year 8 will be considered if fewer pupils are enrolled in the year group than the admissions number allows. At this point all applications (including those received after the final date for changes of preference) will be considered and the published Admissions Criteria for Year 8 will be applied.


Parents/Guardians who wish to have their child considered for admission in the event of a place arising after the beginning of the school year should write to the Principal stating this. An acknowledgement will be issued.

If any place(s) become available after the start of the school academic year and there are more children than places available, then decisions will be made on application of the Year 8 Admissions Criteria regarding those pupils seeking admission at the time the place(s) become available.

If the School’s admissions number has been reached, an application for a child moving into the area can be considered, subject to the Department of Education granting a temporary variation to the admissions number.


Year 8 Applications and Admissions


Year    2019-20

Admissions No.    140

Total Application All Preferences    210

Total Admissions    141


Year    2020-21

Admissions No.    140

Total Application All Preferences    168

Total Admissions    140


Year    2021-22

Admissions No.    140

Total Application All Preferences    187

Total Admissions    140


This table does not include children who were admitted to the school

with a statement of special educational needs.


Criteria for admission into Year 9 onwards are available from the Principal.

** 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.**