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.

Cambridge House Grammar School

Cambridge House Grammar School    Controlled Grammar School  (Non-denominational)  

Cambridge Avenue 


BT42 2EH  


Telephone: 028 2564 3151  

Fax No: 028 2565 1239 



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

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

Age Range of pupils:  11-19 years 

Admissions Number:  140  

 Enrolment Number:  900  



A Virtual Open Day video for parents and pupils will be available on the school website: 


The Board of Governors of Cambridge House Grammar School remains committed to academic selection as a method of entry to the School. In this exceptional year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the cancellation of the Common Entrance Assessment (CEA) administered by the Association of Quality Education (AQE), alternative criteria have been adopted for one year only. 


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


Cambridge House Grammar School is a co-educational, non-denominational controlled grammar school. The Board of Governors has delegated to its Admissions Panel, in conjunction with the Principal, the responsibility of applying its admissions criteria to identify which children are to be admitted to the School. 




In selecting children for admission, children resident in Northern Ireland at the time of their proposed admission to the school will be selected before any child not so resident. 


When considering which children should be selected for admission, the Admissions Panel will only take into account information which is 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 legibly in the documentation uploaded with the online application. 

Parents/Guardian 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, the following criteria shall be applied in the order listed below until the point where the admissions number is complete: 


1. Children who were entered for the AQE Common Entrance Assessment (CEA). Parents will be required to upload evidence of their child’s registration for the CEA (the AQE registration Letter or the AQE Examination Card) with the online application. Children who were not entered for the CEA because they would have been entitled to apply for Special Provisions will also be considered – please refer to information on Special Provisions below. 

2. Children for whom Cambridge House Grammar School is listed as the first preference on their online application form.  

3. Children who at the date of their application have a sibling(s)* currently attending the school, or have a sibling(s)* who previously attended the school, or have a sibling(s)* already approved for acceptance by the School in the current admissions process. Details should be uploaded with the online application including names of siblings, dates of birth, registration group (if applicable) and dates of enrolment (if applicable). 


4. Children who at the date of their application are the eldest** or only child of the family to be eligible to transfer to a mainstream Post-Primary School. Details should be uploaded with the online application. 


* Where applicable ‘sibling’ is defined as another child of the family (Article 2(2) of the Domestic Proceedings (NI) Order 1980) to include, for example, half-brothers and sisters, together with children who are adopted or fostered. 


** Twins and other multiples who are eldest in the family are treated as joint eldest children. 


If, after the implementation of criteria 1 to 4, there remain more applications than there are places available, then 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. 




Special Provisions will apply to children who fall into any one of the following categories and who have NOT made an application to sit the AQE Common Entrance Assessment: 


a) Children whose parents/guardians wish them to transfer from schools outside Northern Ireland; 


b) Children who have received more than half 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 online application. Parents/Guardians who are applying for Special Provisions must do so by the published closing date for online applications. 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 of the Admissions Criteria. 




The procedures for children in receipt of a Statement of Special Educational Needs will operate outside the normal Open 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. 




It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to ensure that the online application form is completed in full and that all relevant information is recorded on – or sent with – the online form 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. 


Admissions to Year 8 following completion of the Transfer procedure 


Cambridge House Grammar School 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 Admissions Panel 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. 


It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to ensure that the online application form is completed in full, and to notify the Admissions Panel on the online application form where appropriate criteria apply to their son/daughter. 




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 the online application form. 

This information will be requested from those whose applications have been successful when they have been notified of their allocation of a place at Cambridge House Grammar School. 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 


Applications and Admissions to Year 8 


Year   2018/19 

 Admissions No.   140 

 Total Applications All Preferences   199

 Total Admissions    141


 Year   2019/20 

 Admissions No.   140 

 Total Applications All Preferences   210

 Total Admissions    141 


Year   2020/21 

 Admissions No.   140 

 Total Applications All Preferences   168

 Total Admissions    141 



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.**