NI Grammar School Admission criteria for
These details will be updated in January 2024.
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.
6 Magheralave Road
Telephone No: 028 9266 2156
Fax No: 028 9263 3209
Principal: Stephen R T Moore MA (Oxon), PGCE, PQH (NI)
Chairperson Board of Governors: Philip A McDonagh
Voluntary Grammar School
Age Range: 11-18
Admissions No: 140
Enrolment No: 970
OPEN DAY INFORMATION
As it will not be possible to run Open Morning on site this year, prospective pupils and their parents are invited to view our Open Day videos which will be available in January 2022.
TO PARENT(S)/GUARDIAN(S) NAMING FRIENDS’ SCHOOL AS A PREFERENCE ON YOUR CHILD’S TRANSFER APPLICATION.
ENTRANCE TESTS RESULTS
Parents should note that a readable, scanned copy of the original notification of the score received from AQE should be uploaded along with the online Transfer Application.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES and/or SPECIAL PROVISIONS
Please see Appendix 1 (below)
Please note: It is the responsibility of the parent to upload with the Transfer Application the educational evidence as detailed in Form SC22 available from the School or AQE.
As Friends’ is a Voluntary Grammar School, a Capital Fee of £140 per annum is charged to all parents.
Respective Functions of the Board of Governors and Principal in relation to admissions to the School
The Board of Governors draws up the Admissions Criteria and delegates to the Education Committee the responsibility for applying these criteria. Any reference below to the Board of Governors includes any committee or sub-committee appointed by the Board of Governors for the purpose of applying the admissions criteria. The Principal is a member of the Board of Governors.
Admissions Criteria for Pupils at the Normal Transfer Stage (Year 8)
The School will initially consider at Transfer stage only those pupils who have taken the Common Entrance Assessment (CEA) provided by the Association for Quality Education (AQE) and who have been awarded a mark in the form of a standardised score1 or have been assigned to a band of scores after determination of an application for Special Circumstances or Special Provisions. Information on the CEA is available from the School or on the AQE website (www.aqe.org.uk).
It should be noted that children resident in Northern Ireland at the time of their proposed admission must be admitted before children who are not resident.
The process for admissions, should the School have more applications than places available, is as set out below. The information to be provided in the event of a claim that Special Circumstances exist or that Special Provisions should apply is detailed in Appendix 1.
It should be noted that the Board of Governors will not take into account the position of preference given to the School by the applicant on the Transfer Application. For example, an application received from a pupil who has placed Friends’ second in order of preference on the Transfer Application and who has not been offered a place by the school placed first in order of preference, will be considered in the same way as all first preference applicants to Friends’ School.
When considering which children should be selected for admission, the Board of Governors will only take into account information detailed on, or uploaded with, the Transfer Application. Please note therefore that it is the responsibility of the parents of the applicant to ensure that all information relevant to the criteria is provided on the Transfer Application, or uploaded with it.
1. Throughout the admissions criteria, ‘the score’ refers to the standardised score as awarded by AQE.
Entrance Tests Results
Please note that a readable copy of the original notification of the score received from AQE should be uploaded with the Transfer Application.
The Board of Governors will consider initially those pupils who have taken the AQE Common Entrance Assessment and who have been awarded a score or have been assigned to a band of scores after determination of an application for Special Circumstances or Special Provisions.
Applicants claiming that Special Circumstances and/or Special Provisions apply will be considered first. Once a decision has been made for each pupil for these special cases, the applicant will be considered along with all pupils of the same scoring band for the purposes of applying the admissions criteria.
The scores of all applicants in the AQE Common Entrance Assessment will be placed in rank order and banded within ranges of 5 marks. Higher scores will precede lower scores. In order to determine which pupils will be accepted into Year 8 the following criteria will be applied:
Preference will be given to those in Band 1 before Band 2, Band 2 before Band 3, Band 3 before Band 4 and so on.
If the School is oversubscribed, there will come a point where a band contains more applicants than there are places available. Within that band, the remaining places will be allocated in accordance with the following sub-criteria:
a) applicants who are children of Members or Attenders of the Religious Society of Friends2;
b) applicants enrolled in the Preparatory Department of Friends' School Lisburn from the Autumn Term of 2021/22;
c) applicants who have a brother or sister enrolled in Years 8-14 at Friends' School Lisburn at the date of transfer; this includes applicants who have a twin, or triplet, sibling already admitted;
d) applicants who are transferring from schools which have contributed pupils to Friends’ School Lisburn within the last 5 years (a list of these is below);
e) applicants to whom (a) to (d) above do not apply.
Under each of these criteria, applicants who are entitled to Free School Meals3 will be given preference over others who meet this criterion. If, following the application of the above sub-criteria in order, there comes a point where there are more pupils who meet a particular 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.
CONTRIBUTORY PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN THE LAST FIVE YEARS
St Colman's (Dromore)
St Colmans (Lambeg)
St Joseph's (Crumlin)
St Joseph's (Lisburn)
St Oliver Plunkett
St Patrick's (Magheralin)
2. Parents will be required to provide details of the Meeting with which they are associated so that this information can be verified.
3. “Entitled to Free School Meals” will mean applicants who are listed on the Education Authority register as entitled to Free School Meals at the date on which their parent or guardian has submitted their post-primary Transfer Application, or at any date up to and including 4 pm on 9 March 2022.
It is expected that all those seeking admission should sit the AQE CEA, with the exception of those pupils who take up residence in Northern Ireland after 6 September 2021.
Special Provisions will apply for:
1 Children whose parents wish them to transfer to grammar schools from schools outside Northern Ireland.
2 Children who have received more than half their primary education outside Northern Ireland as from 1 September 2021.
3 Children who, because of serious medical, personal or other problems which are supported by appropriate documentary evidence, were unable to take the CEA Assessment.
It should be noted that if a claim for the consideration of Special Provisions is made in respect of matters for which Special Access arrangements were granted for a pupil, the School will take into account the fact that the pupil was granted Special Access arrangements for those matters.
Application for Special Provisions
Parents who wish to apply to the School under Special Provisions should complete Form SC22 obtainable from the School or AQE, and upload it with appropriate documentary evidence, as detailed below, with the Transfer Application.
Parents must provide the precise reason why they believe the pupil is eligible for consideration under Special Provisions and append educational evidence* as detailed below.
The Board of Governors will consider medical or other circumstances which may have affected a child's performance in the Common Entrance Assessment which are supported by contemporaneous documentary evidence. The Board of Governors will then decide whether the score awarded in the CEA should be adjusted.
It should be noted that if a claim for the consideration of Special Circumstances is made in respect of matters for which Special Access arrangements were granted for a pupil, the School will take into account the fact that the pupil was granted Special Access arrangements for those matters. Special Consideration will not apply to lost learning and teaching, except in cases where it is exceptionally severe and prolonged.
Application for Special Circumstances
Parents who wish to apply to the School under Special Circumstances must complete Form SC22, obtainable from the School or AQE, and upload it with appropriate documentary medical and educational evidence, as detailed below, with the Transfer Application.
When it is claimed that an applicant’s performance in the CEA has been affected by medical or other problems, independent evidence of the existence of the problem MUST be provided with the claim. Where the problem is a medical one of short-term duration, the Board of Governors will require the production of evidence that the applicant was examined contemporaneously by a medical practitioner in relation to the illness. Where the difficulty or problem is of longer term duration, the Board of Governors will still require medical evidence. In both cases the medical practitioner providing the evidence must be independent, ie. not related to the applicant.
Where the problem is of a non-medical nature, the parents of the applicant must also set out with the claim precise details of the problem, and append appropriate contemporaneous evidence to corroborate its existence.
When applications are made under Special Provisions or Special Circumstances, it is the responsibility of the parent to provide sufficient educational evidence as detailed in Form SC22. This should include (where they exist):
Where a child has sat two or three AQE tests, a readable, scanned copy of the original notification from AQE of the standardised score achieved in the Common Entrance Assessment.
Where, because of illness or other unforeseen circumstances, a child has sat only one AQE test, a readable, scanned copy of the original notification from AQE of the raw score in that test.
Objective documentary evidence including, where they exist, the results for the pupil of any standardised tests conducted in Year 5, Year 6, and Year 7; the results in any end of year assessments in English and Mathematics; and end of year reports for P5 and P6.
Additional comparative information in respect of standardised test scores relating to the other pupils in the applicant’s Primary 7 class from the Primary School as set out in Form SC22.
A panel of Governors will determine, on the basis of the information available, a band for the applicant, who will then be considered with all other applicants who have received an AQE score, and the admissions criteria will then be applied.
The Information Commissioner’s Office website www.ico.gov.uk contains guidance for parents to access information held by schools in relation to their child.
Duty to Verify
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.
Please note that Department of Education guidance states that the provisions of false or incorrect information, or the failure to provide information within the deadlines set by post-primary schools, can 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.
Waiting List Policy and Admissions Criteria after the commencement of the school year 2022/2023
A waiting list will be drawn up of those applicants who had initially been refused a place during the transfer procedure, and the admissions criteria listed above will determine the order in which applicants are placed on this list. Should vacancies arise within the admissions number for the year 2022/2023, applicants will be contacted in the order in which they have been placed on the waiting list.
APPLICATIONS AND ADMISSIONS
Admissions No 140
Total Applications ie. All preferences 254
Total Admissions 145*
Admissions No 140
Total Applications ie. All preferences 248
Total Admissions 142*
Admissions No 140
Total Applications ie. All preferences 373
Total Admissions 147*
*includes pupils with full statement of SEN and other supernumerary pupils
Admission of pupils to Years 9 – 11
External applicants may be admitted to Years 9 to 11 if there are places available within the School’s approved Enrolment Number and within the relevant year group. Pupils shall be admitted on the basis of academic ability and shall be required to provide the most recent school report from the school currently attended. In addition, pupils shall be asked to take a test set by the School.
Pupils shall be admitted on the basis of their performance in the test and on provisions of a good record of progress and behaviour at their current school. The format of the test will include English and Maths and will be determined by the proposed year of entry. It should be noted that applicants to Year 11 must have a viable course of study at GCSE level.
Should two or more applicants to the same year group have the same academic profile, the decision to admit will be taken by applying the sub-criteria (a) to (d) below:
a) applicants who are children of Members or Attenders of the Religious Society of Friends4;
b) applicants who have a brother or sister enrolled at Friends' School, Lisburn;
c) applicants to whom (a) to (b) above do not apply.
Under each of these criteria, applicants who are entitled to Free School Meals5 will be given preference over others who meet this criterion. If, following the application of the above sub-criteria in order, there comes a point where there are more pupils who meet a particular 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.
4. Parents will be required to provide details of the Meeting with which they are associated so that this information can be verified.
5. “Entitled to Free School Meals” will mean applicants who are listed on the Education Authority register as entitled to Free School Meals at the date on which their parent or guardian has submitted their Application Form.
** 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.**