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.
 

Omagh Academy Grammar School

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OMAGH ACADEMY GRAMMAR SCHOOL 

21-23 Dublin Road 

Omagh 

BT78 1HF 

Tel No: 028 8224 2688

Fax No: 028 8224 6737 

Email: info@omaghacademy.omagh.ni.sch.uk

Website: www.omaghacademy.com 

Principal: Mrs Ruth E S Maxwell

Chairman of the Board of Governors: Mr William D Reilly 


Controlled Grammar School Boys and Girls

Age Range 11 – 18

Admissions No: 95

Enrolment No: 660

Roll: 670


An Open Evening for pupils and their parents will be held virtually.


To Parents/Guardians naming Omagh Academy as a Preference on your child’s Transfer Application.


Entrance Test Results

The Board of Governors will first consider for admission to Year 8, children who have taken the Association for Quality Education (AQE) Common Entrance Assessment (CEA) and been awarded a score by the AQE, subject only to the consideration of those applicants claiming “Special Provisions” as defined below.


Please ensure that the score awarded by the AQE together with the AQE Candidate Number is entered on the Transfer Application. It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to make sure that the original Statement of Result received from AQE indicating their child’s AQE CEA score is uploaded with the Transfer Application.


Special Circumstances and/or Special Provisions

If you are making a claim for your child to be considered under Special Circumstances or Special Provisions, please read carefully the information given in the relevant section below. Please note that you are required to upload with the Transfer Application all such material as you consider will assist the Education Committee in determining if Special Circumstances and/or Special Provisions apply.


Claims for consideration for a child under Special Circumstances and/or Special Provisions will be examined and decided upon before the application of any of the Admissions Criteria.


Parents/Guardians who wish to apply to the School under Special Circumstances and/or Special Provisions should complete Form SC22 obtainable from AQE or the School and upload it with appropriate documentation described in Section 2.


Parents/Guardians should note that they are required to produce documents verifying information pertinent to the School’s Admissions Criteria. If the documents are not uploaded with the Transfer Application as detailed below, they will be requested after notification of an offer of a place at the School.


RESPECTIVE FUNCTIONS OF THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS AND PRINCIPAL IN RELATION TO ADMISSIONS

In the event of the School being oversubscribed the Board of Governors has approved the criteria described below and has delegated the task of applying these criteria to the Principal. Decisions in respect of “Special Provisions” will be taken by the Admissions Committee, to whom decision-making powers have been delegated by the full Board of Governors. Further reference, therefore, to the Board of Governors may imply the Admissions Committee or the Principal.


ADMISSIONS CRITERIA FOR ENTRY OF PUPILS TO YEAR 8 IN SEPTEMBER 2022

1 INTRODUCTION

When considering which children should be selected for admission the Board of Governors will only take into account information which is detailed or uploaded with the online application. Parents should therefore ensure that all information pertaining to their child and relevant to the School’s admissions criteria is stated on the transfer application or included with it at the time of application.


2 ADMISSIONS CRITERIA TO BE APPLIED TO ALL APPLICANTS

When considering which children should be selected for admission, the Admissions Committee will only take into account information which is detailed on or uploaded with the Transfer Application, including the score provided by the Association for Quality Education (AQE) as a result of the child’s performance in the Common Entrance Assessment (CEA) (or awarded as a result of consideration of Special Circumstances and/or Special Provisions). 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 on or uploaded with the Transfer Application. Parents/Guardians should note that they are 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 determined by the Department of Education, the following criteria (to include sub-criteria) shall be applied in the order listed below until the point where the admissions number is reached.

If there are fewer applicants complying with a particular criterion or sub-criterion than there are places available or remaining, those applicants complying with that criterion or sub-criterion will be admitted and the next criterion or sub-criterion will be applied to the remaining applicants;

If there are more applicants complying with a particular criterion or sub-criterion than there are places available or remaining, those applicants complying with that criterion or sub-criterion will go forward to be considered under the next criterion or sub-criterion and those not complying with that criterion or sub-criterion will be eliminated.


2.1 Children resident in Northern Ireland at the time of their proposed admission will be selected for admission to the School before any child not so resident.

The child’s Birth Certificate and proof of address should be uploaded with the Transfer Application. Proof of address – any TWO of the following recent (within the past 6 months) documents with sensitive information redacted: Bank/building society statement; Utility bill (e.g. electricity, gas, TV licence, landline telephone); Addressed payslip; Letter awarding Child Benefit to the child or another letter relating to this benefit; Mortgage statement; Land and Property Services Rates Demand; Financial statement such as ISA, Pension or Endowment; Current Driving licence; Rental agreement.

2.2 The Admissions Committee will consider children who have been awarded a score for the Common Entrance Assessment (“CEA”) administered by the Association for Quality Education (“AQE”). The Board of Governors will use the ‘score’ as awarded by AQE to a pupil in the CEA, subject only to the consideration of Parent/Guardian(s) claiming ‘Special Circumstances’ or ‘Special Provisions’ as defined below. Places will be allocated in strict rank order of the scores, starting with the highest score and working in descending rank order, up to the Admissions Number (95). The score in the AQE CEA should be entered, along with the AQE Candidate Number, on the Transfer Application.


It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to make sure that the original Statement of Result received from AQE indicating their child’s AQE CEA score is uploaded with the Transfer Application.


2.3 Places will then be allocated using the following sub-criteria, in the order listed:

i. Children who, at the date of their application have a child of the family1 currently enrolled at the School (state name(s) and registration groups on the transfer application);

ii. Children who, at the date of their application are the eldest2 child of the family1;

iii. Children ranked by the initial letter of surname (and if necessary, subsequent letters), as entered on the birth certificate, in the order set out below:

P I A L Mc Z E Y H B K Q J X Mac U F D T O S R M W G N V C

(a) Children will be selected for admission on the basis of the initial letter of the surname.

(b) Where surnames begin with the same letter, the second and, if necessary, subsequent letters will be used to establish relative priority for admission using alphabetical order.

(c) Where children have the same surname, the initial letter of the first forename as it appears on the Birth Certificate or Adopted Children Register will be used for admission. Where no priority can be established by means of this direct alphabetical comparison (eg ‘Strong’ ‘Stronge’) the child with the shorter surname will be prioritised for admission.

(d) Where the forenames begin with the same letter, the second and, if necessary, subsequent letters will be used to establish relative priority for admission using alphabetical order.

(e) Where no priority can be established by means of this direct alphabetical comparison (eg ‘Alan’ ‘Alanna’) the child with the shorter first forename will be prioritised for admission.

(f) Where children have the same forename the child without any subsequent forename will be prioritised for admission.

(g) Where the application of (a) to (f) has not permitted priority to be established then (c) and (d) will be repeated with the substitution of ‘second forename’ for ‘first forename’.


iv. In the event that after all the above criteria have been applied, and there are two or more children still tied for the last remaining place, those pupils will be ranked by order of date of birth, preference being given to the older child established by date of birth as entered on the Register of Births or the Adopted Children’s Register.


If there are still places available after consideration of all the children who have been awarded a score for the AQE Common Entrance Assessment (or a score determined by the Admissions Committee in accordance with the arrangements for Special Circumstances and Special Provisions as set out below), the School will consider for admission any children who have not taken the AQE CEA. Such children, if they satisfy Criterion 2.1, will be allocated to the remaining place(s) up to the School’s Admissions Number using the sub-criteria listed in section 2.3 in the order set out.


1 Child of the family covers: A child born to a married couple or to a couple in a civil partnership; A child born to a co-habiting couple; A child born to a single parent; A child of either/any of those people by a previous marriage, civil partnership or relationship; A child living with a couple who has been treated as a “child of the family” whether there is a marriage or a civil partnership or not; A child living with an individual, who has been treated as a “child of the family”; An adopted or fostered child; A situation where for example an orphaned cousin is being brought up with a family or individual.

2 Twins and other multiples who are eldest in the family are treated as joint eldest children. Children who are the only child of the family are treated as the eldest child. Eldest child of the family eligible to transfer includes the eldest child of either parent. Applicants qualify for the eldest child criterion if they are the first child of the family eligible to apply for a post-primary mainstream school.

Proof of eldest child 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.


3 SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES and SPECIAL PROVISIONS

General

The purpose of a claim for special circumstances and/or special provisions is so that a child can be assigned a score equivalent to that which he or she would have obtained in the AQE CEA under normal conditions. Consideration of a claim for special circumstances and/or special provisions consists of two parts: the first requires the consideration of whether there is sufficient material to permit a child to be considered as having special circumstances or attracting special provisions, or both; if a child is permitted to be considered as having special circumstances or as attracting special provisions or both, the second part of the consideration requires an educational judgement to be made on the totality of the material presented to the Education Committee so that a score equivalent to that which the child would have obtained in the AQE CEA under normal conditions can be awarded.


Please note, parents/guardians are required to upload with the Transfer Application all such material that will assist the Admissions Committee in performing both parts of the consideration described above. It should be noted by parents/guardians that both parts of the consideration referred to involve an exercise in educational judgement and not precise calculation.


Educational Evidence to be provided in support of a claim for Special Circumstances and/or Special Provisions

In reaching the educational judgement needed to award the score that the child would have obtained in the AQE CEA under normal circumstances, the Admissions Committee will consider any material uploaded with the Transfer Application by the parents/guardians. This material may include any or all of the following:

i) The score awarded by AQE in the CEA (if the child sits two or three AQE CEAs) or the ‘raw score’ provided by AQE (if the child sits one of the AQE CEAs due to the child’s illness, self-isolation or other unforeseen circumstances);

ii) The results for the child of any standardised tests conducted in Year 5, Year 6 and Year 7 and the results in any end of year tests in English and Mathematics conducted in Year 5 and Year 6;

iii) Comparative information from the Primary School, including the results, without names, for other children in the child’s Year 7 class of any standardised tests conducted in Year 5, Year 6 and Year 7 and the results in any end of year tests in English and Mathematics conducted in Year 5 and Year 6 and, where available, the respective AQE CEA score awarded;

iv) Any other relevant material.


Special Circumstances

Omagh Academy has academic performance in the AQE CEA as one of its criteria, subject only to the consideration of medical or other problems which may have affected performance in the CEA and which are supported by documentary evidence of a medical or other appropriate nature. These ‘medical or other problems’ are commonly referred to as ‘special circumstances’.


Please note 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 child, the Admissions Committee will take into account the fact that the child was granted Special Access arrangements for those matters.


Parents/Guardians who wish to apply to the School under Special Circumstances should complete Form SC22, obtainable from the School or AQE, stating the precise reason why they believe the child should be considered for Special Circumstances. The SC22 form and appropriate documentary evidence should be uploaded with the Transfer Application.


The Admissions Committee will consider each application for Special Circumstances. Where a Special Circumstances claim is upheld the Education Committee will determine, on the basis of the information available, an appropriate AQE CEA score for the child. Such children will then be considered with all other children who have received an AQE CEA score and the Admissions Criteria applied.


Details of Medical or Other Problems Where it is claimed that a child’s performance in the AQE CEA has been affected by a medical or other problem including long-covid, it is the responsibility of the parents/guardians to set out in the Form SC22 precise details of the problem and upload with the Transfer Application the evidence to corroborate its existence. 


Where the problem is a medical one of short term duration (other than self-isolation due to COVID-19) which affected the child only at the time of the AQE CEA, parents/guardians should be aware that the Admissions Committee will attach greater weight to evidence indicating that the child was examined by a medical practitioner in relation to the illness at the time of the assessments. 


For children who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are therefore unable to attend a test or tests due to self-isolation, documentary evidence such as a positive PCR test result should be uploaded with the transfer application. 

Where the problem is of a non-medical nature the parents/guardians should set out in the Form SC22 precise details of the problem and upload appropriate documentary evidence with the Transfer Application. It should be noted that independent evidence will carry a greater weight.


Special Provisions

Special provisions will apply for:

(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;

(c) children entered for the AQE CEA, who because of unforeseen and serious medical or other problems (including absence for all three CEAs due to the child having COVID-19 or the need for the child to self-isolate for all three CEAs due to COVID-19) which are supported by appropriate documentary evidence, were unable to participate in any of the assessments.


Note: It is expected that all those seeking admission should sit the AQE CEA, with the exception of those children who take up residence in Northern Ireland after 24 September 2021.


Parents/Guardians who wish to apply to the School under Special Provisions should contact the School as soon as possible. In addition, they should complete Form SC22, obtainable from the School or AQE, stating the precise reason why they believe the child is eligible for consideration under Special Provisions and upload appropriate documentary evidence with the Transfer Application. For children who tested positive for COVID-19, documentary evidence such as a Positive PCR test should be uploaded with the Transfer Application.


The Admissions Committee will consider each application for Special Provisions. Where Special Provisions are accepted, the Education Committee will determine, on the basis of the information available, an appropriate AQE CEA score for the child. Such children will then be considered with all other children who have received an AQE CEA score and the Admissions Criteria applied.


It is the responsibility of Parents/Guardians to ensure that the Transfer Application is completed in full and that all relevant information is uploaded with the Transfer Application.


4 SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS

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.


5 THE VERIFICATION OF INFORMATION PROVIDED

  • Parents/Guardians should note that the information contained within an application that qualifies the child for admission will be verified.

  • The Admissions Committee therefore reserves the right to require such supplementary evidence as it may determine to support or verify information on the transfer application.

  • This information may be requested on or shortly after 21 May 2022 when they have been notified of their allocation of a place at the School.

  • Parents/Guardians 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 School to offer a place.

6 ADMISSION TO YEAR 8 FOLLOWING COMPLETION OF THE TRANSFER PROCEDURE

Should the Board of Governors determine that a child has arrived in Northern Ireland after the Transfer Process has been concluded and is seeking admission to the school, and the School’s Admissions Number has been reached, it will seek approval from the Department of Education to admit the child through the allocation of an additional place.


Omagh Academy Grammar School operates a separate waiting list for Year 8. Should your application for a place in Omagh Academy Grammar School be unsuccessful, your child’s name will be automatically added to the waiting list. Please contact the school if you wish your child’s name to be removed from the list. The waiting list will be in place until the end of the academic year, 30th June 2023.


Should a vacancy arise after notification that your application was unsuccessful, the school will contact you to ascertain if you are still interested in a place. All applications for admission to the relevant year group that were initially refused, new applications, late applications and applications where new information has been provided will be treated equally and the published criteria applied. The school will contact you in writing if your child gains a place by this method.


7 TRANSPORT ARRANGEMENTS

The Department of Education for Northern Ireland has advised schools that: “it should be drawn to the attention of parents that changes in Departmental policy may alter transport eligibility criteria, entitlement to assistance and transport arrangements during their child’s time at any particular school and this should be taken into consideration when making their school selection”.


NUMBERS OF APPLICATIONS AND ADMISSIONS




Total Admissions

Year    2019/20

Admissions No.    95

102

95

Year    2020/21

Admissions No.    95

113

97

Year    2021/22

Admissions No.    95

97

93

8 OTHER ADMISSIONS POLICIES

A copy of the policy for admission to Year 8 following completion of the Transfer Procedure, together with the policy for admissions to Years 9 to 12 and the policy for admission to Sixth Form are available on the school website: www.omaghacademy.com or from the school office.

** 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.**