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.

Hunterhouse College

Hunterhouse College     

Voluntary Grammar School 

Girls’ Grammar Non-denominational 



BT10 0LE  

Telephone No: 028 9061 2293 

Fax No: 028 9062 9790 



Principal: Mr A Gibson MA DipEd PQH 

Chair of Board of Governors:  Mr D McClay 


Age Range:     11-18 

Admission No:        100 

Enrolment No:        710 



An Open Event for pupils and parents will be held virtually and is available on the school website. 


To Parents/Carers naming Hunterhouse College (“the College”) as a preference on your child’s Transfer Application. 


The Board of Governors of Hunterhouse College remains firmly committed to academic selection as a method of entry to the College.  These criteria have been adopted by the College in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and the cancellation of both the AQE Common Entrance Assessment and the GL Assessment. 


Special Provisions 

If you are making a claim for your child to be considered under Special Provisions, please note that you are required to: 

- present all such material as you consider will assist the Board of Governors Transfer Panel in determining if Special Provisions apply; 

- attach/upload all such material to the Transfer Application. 


Further details can be found in Section 2 – ‘Special Provisions’ below. 


CAPITAL FEE     £140 



The Board of Governors of Hunterhouse College has delegated to the Board of Governors Transfer Panel, in conjunction with the Principal, the responsibility of applying its admissions criteria to identify which applicants shall be admitted to the College in accordance with the admissions criteria set out below.   






The Board of Governors will consider children who are resident in Northern Ireland at the time of their proposed admission to the College before those who are not. 


The Board of Governors will then consider children who were registered to sit the AQE CEA and / or the GLA entrance assessment subject only to the consideration of those children whose parents / carers are claiming Special Provisions as defined below. 


It is the responsibility of the parent / carer to attach/upload proof of registration for the AQE CEA and / or GLA entrance assessment to the Transfer Application. 


The College will not use as a criterion the position of preference given to the College as shown on the Transfer Application; for example, a child who has chosen the College in any position on the Application will be considered in the same way as all first preference applicants. 


If, at this stage, the school is still over-subscribed, places will be allocated using the criteria below in the order shown: 


(i) girls who, at the date of their application, have a child of the family1 currently enrolled or accepted for admission at the College (details to be supplied). 

(ii) girls who, at the date of their application, have a child of the family who attended Hunterhouse College (details to be supplied). 

(iii) girls who, at the date of their application, are the eldest girl of the family to be eligible to transfer to a    mainstream post-primary school (details to be supplied). 

(iv) Children who are entitled to Free School Meals.


(v) Children whose home address, as given on the Transfer Application, falls within one of the postcodes listed in the table below.  Postcodes are banded according to the number of pupils who have transferred to the College over the preceding three years in accordance with the actual number of pupils admitted.  Those children whose home postcode is listed in Band 1 will be considered before those whose home postcode is listed in Band 2 and so on.  See table below.  Proof of home address will be requested if this criterion qualifies the child for admission. 


Band 1 

 BT10, BT11, BT17, BT25, BT27, BT28, BT67 


Band 2 

BT6, BT7, BT9, BT13, BT26, BT29, BT32, BT66 


Band 3 

BT4, BT5, BT8, BT12, BT23 


Band 4 

All other postcodes 



(vi) If applicants are still tied after this, then applicants will be ranked for acceptance on the basis of a computer-based process which will make use of the names of applicants as shown on their Transfer Application. The process is carried out by means of a computer programme which, for each applicant, generates a ranking number using the details from the Transfer Application as the seed for a random number generator. 

The outcome, for any given applicant, is dependent only on the applicant’s name (as shown on the Transfer Application), and is not affected by the details of any other applicant. Although the process is repeatable, and the results may therefore be subsequently verified, it is not possible to predict, in advance of running the programme, what the result will be for any given set of details. Applicants with the highest ranking numbers will be given places up to the number of places available. Further details may be obtained from the College. 


If at this stage, there are still unallocated places, the Board of Governors will consider all those children who were not registered to sit the AQE CEA and / or GLA entrance assessments. These places will then be allocated using the criteria (i) to (vi) in the order shown above.  


1 ‘Child of the family’ as defined by the Department of Education to include, for example, halfsisters, together with females who are adopted or fostered. 

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

3 ’entitled to Free School Meals’ will mean children who are listed on the Education Authority register as entitled to Free School Meals at the date on which their parent or carer has submitted their Transfer Application, or at any date up to and including 12th April 2021 no later than 4.00 pm. 




Eligibility for Special Provisions 


Special Provisions will apply: 


A.   For children whose parent / carer wishes them to transfer from a school outside Northern Ireland. 


B.   For children who have received more than half their primary education outside Northern Ireland. 


Special Provisions Process 

It is the responsibility of the parent / carer in making a claim for Special Provisions to attach /upload information with the Transfer Application which will assist the Board of Governors Transfer Panel in determining if Special Provisions apply. 




. Parents / Carers should note that the College may require verification of information contained within an application that qualifies the child for admission. 

. The Board of Governors Transfer Panel therefore reserves the right to require such supplementary evidence as it may determine to support or verify information on any Transfer Application.   

. This information will be requested from successful children on or shortly after 19th June 2021 when they have been notified of their allocation of a place at the College. 


Parents / Carers should also note that 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 College to offer a place.   




Hunterhouse College operates a waiting list policy for all year groups. For Year 8, all applications for admission that were initially refused 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. 


If a place or places become available in the College after 18th June 2021 and there are more applicants than places available, then decisions will be made using the Year 8 Admissions criteria as outlined above. 


If the application is made by a child who arrived in Northern Ireland after the transfer process has been concluded and the Board of Governors Transfer Panel determines that the child is suitable to be admitted, the College will then seek Department of Education approval to admit the child as an additional place. If such approval is given, the child will be admitted. 


It should be noted that all those who have applied previously, but who have failed to obtain a place in the College, will have their application held open until 30th June 2022 when their application is deemed to have lapsed. 


Applications and Admissions 


Year      2018/19

Admissions No      100

Total Applications ie. All preferences      208

Total Admissions    101*


Year      2019/20

Admissions No      115**

Total Applications ie. All preferences      234

Total Admissions    116***

Year      2020/21

Admissions No      100

Total Applications ie. All preferences     173

Total Admissions    100


*Including one additional student admitted through Exceptional Circumstances 

**15 additional places allocated as a Temporary Variation 

***Including additional places granted under Temporary Variation and students admitted under Exceptional Circumstances 




The availability of a place is subject to the year group total and to the College enrolment of 710. Year group totals have been set at a maximum of 107 for Years 9-12, providing that class sizes in practical subjects are not exceeded and are in line with DENI Circular 2016/11 ‘Class sizes in post-primary school practical subjects’. 

In making a decision, the General Admissions Panel will consider evidence of past and current academic ability as evidenced by: 


1. School reports from the current and previous school year 

2. The results gained by the applicant in CAT testing carried out by the College 

3. Any other information as provided by the parent/carer 


If there are more applicants than places available in a particular year group a rank order will be created to determine the allocation of places. 


Where total number of applicants applying for places in all year groups (9-12) is likely to cause the total College enrolment figure to be exceeded, it is the role of the General Admissions Panel to determine which year groups shall have priority in the allocation of places. 


Further details, including an application form, may be obtained from the Principal’s PA, Mrs Rachel Kirk-Smith, Hunterhouse College, Finaghy, BT10 0LE. 

** 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.**