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.

Friends School

Friends School    Voluntary Grammar School 


6 Magheralave Road  


BT28 3BH 

Fax No: 028 9263 3209 

Telephone No: 028 9266 2156



Principal: Stephen R  T Moore MA (Oxon), PGCE, PQH (NI) 

Chairperson Board of Governors: Philip A McDonagh 


Age Range:          11-18 

Admissions No:             140 

Enrolment No:            970                                 



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 on or before Saturday 27 February 2021. 






Please ensure that you upload a readable, scanned version of the original AQE registration letter with your child’s Transfer Application. This contains your child’s name and candidate number.  



Please see Appendix 1 (below) 

Please note: It is the responsibility of the parent to upload with the Transfer Application the information required by the School as referred to in the Admissions Criteria Appendix 1. 



Capital Fee 

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 been registered for the Common Entrance Assessment provided by the Association for Quality Education as, under normal circumstances1, the school uses a standardised score from the AQE for the purposes of admission. Scores are not available this academic year, as tests due to take place were cancelled because of the Covid pandemic.  


The only exception to this is for those children whose cases qualify as Special Provisions as defined below; these applications will be considered first and then treated equally with all other applications. 


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 Provision should apply is detailed in Appendix 1. 


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 alongside the Transfer Application. 



1. ‘Normal circumstances’ means that pupils have taken the CEA and a standardised score is awarded by AQE. 

If the School is oversubscribed, places will be allocated in accordance with the following 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 2020/21; 

c) applicants who have a brother or sister enrolled, or formerly enrolled, at Friends' School Lisburn at, or prior to, 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 who are entitled to Free School Meals3; 

f) applicants to whom (a) to (e) above do not apply. 

If, following the application of the above 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. Each pupil will be assigned a number and ranked in numerical order, with number 1 ranked highest. Once the admissions threshold of 140 has been reached, second, third, fourth and later preference applicants will be considered only if they meet criteria which are higher up the list than those already provisionally admitted. 


Note: The Admissions Criteria for entrance in September 2021 will apply for one year only. 






















Dromore Central  

Drumlins Integrated  


Fair Hill  


Fort Hill Integrated 

Friends' Prep  

Harmony Hill 

Holy Child 

Holy Evangelists 


King’s Park 



Lisburn Central  

Lough View Integrated  


Maralin Village 

McKinney Dundrod 


Millennium Integrated  




Oakwood Integrated  

Pond Park  

Portadown Integrated 



Seymour Hill  

St Aloysius  

St Anne's  

St Bride's  

St Colman's (Dromore) 

St Colmans (Lambeg) 

St Francis'  

St Joseph's (Carryduff)  

St Joseph's (Crumlin) 

St Joseph's (Lisburn) 

St Michael's  

St Oliver Plunkett  

St Peter's 





Wallace High Prep 



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 4pm on 12th April 2021. 




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. 


Application for Special Provisions 

Parents who wish to apply to the School under Special Provisions should complete Form SC20 obtainable from the School or AQE and must provide the precise reason why they believe the pupil is eligible for consideration under Special Provisions. This form should be uploaded, along with appropriate documentary evidence, with the Transfer Application. Parents 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 apply. Those children who are deemed eligible will be considered under the relevant Criterion a) – f) as listed above. 

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 provision 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 2021/2022 

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 2021/2022, applicants will be contacted in the order in which they have been placed on the waiting list. 




Year       2018/19

Admissions No       140

Total Applications ie. All preferences      243

Total Admissions      144*


Year       2019/20

Admissions No       140

Total Applications ie. All preferences      254

Total Admissions      145*


Year       2020/21

Admissions No       140

Total Applications ie. All preferences      250

Total Admissions      142*

*includes pupils with full statement of SEN 






Admission of pupils to Years 9 – 12  


External applicants may be admitted to Years 9 to 12 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 provision 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 Years 11 and 12 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 Friends; 

b) applicants who have a brother or sister enrolled, or formerly enrolled, at Friends' School, Lisburn;  

c) applicants who are entitled to Free School Meals; 

d) applicants to whom (a) to (d) above do not apply. 


 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. 




** 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.**