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.
 

Our Lady and St Patrick’s College Knock

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OUR LADY AND ST PATRICK’S COLLEGE,   KNOCK

120 GILNAHIRK ROAD  

BELFAST 

BT5 7DL 


Telephone No: 028 9040 1184 Fax No: 028 9079 9890 

Email: office@olspck.org  

Website: www.knock.co.uk


College Principal: Miss Deborah McLaughlin 

Chairperson of the Board of Governors: Mr Leo O’Reilly 


VOLUNTARY GRAMMAR SCHOOL DENOMINATIONAL CO-EDUCATIONAL 

AGE RANGE: 11-19 

ADMISSIONS NO: 212

ENROLMENT NO: 1260 

 

 

OPEN DAY INFORMATION 2022 (VIRTUAL) 

Parents/Guardians and P7 children are warmly invited to view the College’s Virtual Open Day information on the College website at www.knock.co.uk. There will be a recorded address by the Principal, information from our students and a virtual tour of College facilities.  Information is also provided on how to book an online appointment in February to discuss the College with a member of staff.  

 

To Parents/Guardians naming Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Knock as a preference on their child’s Transfer Application. 

 

GL Entrance Assessment Results: In assessing academic ability, Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Knock will use the grade [and as a sub-criterion, the combined Standardised Age Score] awarded to pupils completing the GL Entrance Assessment on Saturday, 13 November 2021 or the supplementary GL Entrance Assessment on Saturday, 11 December 2021 as specified by the College. Parents/Guardians must enter the applicant’s grade and combined Standardised Age Score (SAS) from the GL Entrance Assessment and upload a copy of the applicant’s statement of results with the Transfer Application. Results are available on 5 February 2022.


Special Circumstances or Special Provision: If you are applying for Special Circumstances or Special Provision, please see the relevant sections below.


VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTION

There is no capital fee. We ask parents/guardians for a voluntary contribution of £150 per family per annum to assist with the provision of additional facilities and equipment.


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

The Board of Governors, having agreed the Admissions Criteria, has delegated to the Admissions Committee, consisting of four members of the Board of Governors, the Principal, a Vice Principal and the Head of the Junior School, the authority to decide which particular applicants shall be admitted to the College in accordance with the Admissions Criteria and any appropriate statutory regulations issued by the Department of Education. Any reference to the term ‘Board of Governors’ includes any Committee appointed by the Board of Governors for the purposes of applying the Admissions Criteria set out herein. The Board of Governors may require the support of the College’s administrative staff in order to fulfil its duties and they are so authorised by the authority of the Board of Governors.


ADMISSIONS POLICY

Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Knock is a Catholic, co-educational, selective voluntary grammar school under the trusteeship of the Diocese of Down and Connor. The College accepts those who are academically suited for the type of education it offers whose parents/guardians are in agreement with the Catholic philosophy and aims of the College.


The Board of Governors has determined that the educational outcomes from the GL Entrance Assessment or the supplementary GL Entrance Assessment will be used to admit applicants [see criteria A to F and subsidiary criteria H1 to H7]. Information on the GL Entrance Assessment is available from the College or from www.knock.co.uk.


In accordance with the 1997 Education (Northern Ireland) Order (Section 16 (4)), pupils resident in Northern Ireland at the time of their proposed admission will be selected for admission before any child not so resident may be selected.


Applicants claiming Special Circumstances and/or Special Provision [see below] will be considered first. In light of the documentary evidence submitted, the Admissions Committee of the Board of Governors will decide whether these applicants should be considered under the grade and combined Standardised Age Score actually achieved in the GL Entrance Assessment or an allocated higher score/grade. The College will use a Special Circumstances Protocol, available from the College, to decide if any increase in score and/or grade is required. Once a decision has been made, the applicant will then be considered along with all applicants of the same score or grade for the purpose of applying the Admissions Criteria.


The Board of Governors will NOT use as a criterion the position of preference given to the College on the Transfer Application, i.e., an applicant who has chosen Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Knock in any position on the Transfer Application will be considered equally with those who have put the College first.


ADMISSIONS CRITERIA FOR YEAR 8 PUPILS TO OUR LADY AND ST PATRICK’S COLLEGE, KNOCK

In order to determine which applicants will be accepted into Year 8, the following criteria will be applied in the order set down:


A Applicants who have been awarded Grade A in the GL Entrance Assessment and also those applicants to whom Special Circumstances or Special Provision apply and who, on the documented evidence submitted, are in the opinion of the Board of Governors of a comparable ability to applicants awarded Grade A.


B Applicants who have been awarded Grade B1 in the GL Entrance Assessment and also those applicants to whom Special Circumstances or Special Provision apply and who, on the documented evidence submitted, are in the opinion of the Board of Governors of a comparable ability to applicants awarded Grade B1.


C Applicants who have been awarded Grade B2 in the GL Entrance Assessment and also those applicants to whom Special Circumstances or Special Provision apply and who, on the documented evidence submitted, are in the opinion of the Board of Governors of a comparable ability to applicants awarded Grade B2.


D Applicants who have been awarded Grade C1 in the GL Entrance Assessment and also those applicants to whom Special Circumstances or Special Provision apply and who, on the documented evidence submitted, are in the opinion of the Board of Governors of a comparable ability to applicants awarded Grade C1.


E Applicants who have been awarded Grade C2 in the GL Entrance Assessment and also those applicants to whom Special Circumstances or Special Provision apply and who, on the documented evidence submitted, are in the opinion of the Board of Governors of a comparable ability to applicants awarded Grade C2.


F Applicants who have been awarded Grade D in the GL Entrance Assessment and also those applicants to whom Special Circumstances or Special Provision apply and who, on the documented evidence submitted, are in the opinion of the Board of Governors of a comparable ability to applicants awarded Grade D.


G Other applicants.


Parents/Guardians must upload a copy of the applicant’s statement of results from the GL Entrance Assessment with the Transfer Application.


If there are more applicants in a category under consideration (i.e., Grades A, B1, B2, C1, C2, D and Others) than there are number of places available, such places will be allocated in accordance with the following subsidiary criteria of H1 to H7. If, on application of the subsidiary criteria in order, there is oversubscription in a particular criterion, then the next criterion will be applied to determine the allocation of places.


H1 Applicants who, at the date of their application, have a child of the family currently/previously enrolled at the College or already accepted for admission in the coming year (2022/23). Name and year group of present pupil and name/maiden name and dates of attendance of former pupil must be provided. ["Child of the family" will be defined in accordance with Department of Education guidance.]


H2 Applicants:

(i) who are the eldest* or only child of the family; or

(ii) whose sibling** is an eldest child who achieved a grade A and applied to the College. The sibling’s application was provided to the College by the Education Authority and was considered by the Board of Governors but he/she was not selected; or

(iii) who are the only child in a family to have achieved a grade A or the particular grade being considered.

Admissions criteria for entry September 2022

Updated January 2022 www.eani.org.uk/admissions

*Twins, triplets, etc. will be entitled to recognition as ‘eldest’ in family if twins, triplets, etc. are the first born to a family.

** Include the name and date of birth of the sibling who is an eldest child and the year of his/her application.


The H2 Verification Certificate must be completed and uploaded with the Transfer Application. It must be signed by one of the following who knows the applicant and family for at least two years and is not a member of the applicant’s family:

• a primary school Principal

• an elected public representative

• a medical practitioner

• a lawyer

• a member of the clergy


H3 Applicants who are entitled to Free School Meals (FSME). ‘Entitled to Free School Meals’ means applicants who are listed on the Education Authority’s register as entitled to free school meals at the date on which their parent/guardian has submitted their post-primary Transfer Application or at any date up to and including 9 March 2022 (no later than 4pm).


H4 Applicants for whom Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Knock is the nearest Catholic grammar school from their permanent place of residence. Distances will be measured overland using grid references provided by nidirect - Distance Measurement Tool. Place of residence will be the applicant’s address as it appears on the Transfer Application. The completed H4 Verification Certificate, uploaded with the Transfer Application, must be signed by one of the verifiers as stated in H2.


H5 Applicants who have achieved the highest combined Standardised Age Score in the GL Entrance Assessment or allocated grade and combined SAS due to Special Circumstances/Provision. The highest scoring candidate will be ranked first, the next highest candidate being ranked second, etc.


H6 If there are applicants who have the same GL Entrance Assessment combined Standardised Age Score or allocated grade and combined SAS due to Special Circumstances/Provision tying for the final place(s), applicants will be selected for admission on the basis of the initial letter(s) of surname (as entered on the birth certificate or court order) in the order set out below, as determined by a randomised selection:


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


If clarification is needed on the surname(s) and/or forename(s) on birth certificates, the College will use the H2 Verification Certificate signed by one of the verifiers or advice from the relevant consulate.


H7 In the event of surnames beginning with the same initial letter, the subsequent letters of the surname will be used in the order set out above. In the event of two identical surnames, the alphabetical order of the forenames (as entered on the birth certificate or court order) will be used.


Should two or more applicants have the same surname and forename and thereby qualify for the last available place(s), those applicants will be placed in rank order of eldest child by date of birth as entered on the birth certificate or court order.


Where, after this process has been applied, any applicants continue to tie for a final place, places will be allocated by randomised computer selection.


The subsidiary criteria H1 to H7 will be applied in the order set down.


It is emphasised that the onus is on the parent(s)/guardian(s) to ensure that all of the above information is provided. When considering which children should be selected for admission, the Board of Governors will take into account information which is entered on or submitted with the Transfer Application. Parents/Guardians 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 submitted with it.


SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

The College has academic performance as its first criterion. Special Circumstances refer to the claim that because of medical or other issues the applicant’s performance in the GL Entrance Assessment was affected. Special Circumstances must be supported by documentary evidence of a medical, educational or other appropriate nature. Consideration of a claim for Special Circumstances consists of two parts. The first requires consideration of whether there is, in the judgement of the Admissions Committee, sufficient material to permit an applicant to be considered as having Special Circumstances. If an applicant is permitted to be considered as having Special Circumstances, the second part of the consideration requires an educational judgement to be made on the totality of the material presented to the Admissions Committee so that a grade and combined Standardised Age Score, equivalent to that which the applicant may have obtained in the GL Entrance Assessment under normal conditions, can be awarded.


If a claim for Special Circumstances is made in respect of matters for which Access Arrangements were provided to an applicant sitting the GL Entrance Assessments on 13 November 2021 or 11 December 2021, the Admissions Committee may take into account the fact that the applicant was provided with such Access Arrangements.


A notification of a claim for Special Circumstances must be made by 2.00pm on Wednesday, 15 December 2021 using the appropriate Form SCR available from the College. Please note that claims not registered within this period may not be considered after the deadline.


All documented evidence in support of any claim must be submitted with the Transfer Application, using Form SC1, on the Education Authority’s online Portal called EA Post Primary Applications.


Note on COVID-19

Special Circumstances will not be applied solely due to lost teaching and learning time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lost teaching and learning is being addressed in the GL Entrance Assessment 2021 via the assessment methods and the reduction in the content that will be assessed. Specific COVID-19 impacts which are unique to the applicant may still be applicable to Special Circumstances.


Details of Medical or Other Issues

Where it is claimed that an applicant’s performance in the GL Entrance Assessment has been affected by a medical or other issue, independent evidence of its existence must be provided to the College. Where the issue is of a medical nature of short-term duration, which affected the applicant only at the time of the GL Entrance Assessment, the College will require the production of evidence that the applicant was examined by a medical practitioner in relation to the illness at the time of the GL Entrance Assessment. Where the issue is of a non-medical nature, the parents/guardians must set out the precise details of the issue and append appropriate, verifiable, independent evidence with the Transfer Application to corroborate its existence.


Independent Evidence of Medical or Other Issues

This evidence must be signed by one of the following who is not a member of the applicant’s family:

• a primary school Principal

• a registered health or social care professional

• a medical practitioner

• a lawyer

• a member of the clergy


Details of Educational Evidence

Sufficient, objective documentary evidence must be provided by the parents/guardians and verified by the primary school to enable the Admissions Committee of the Board of Governors to reach a decision.


The following information should be provided on Form SC1 in relation to the applicant:

• Records of the results of all available Key Stage 2 standardised tests. The verified results must be submitted on Form SC1 with the online Transfer Application.

• All test results should be accompanied by the name of the standardised test supplier, and be signed, dated and verified by the primary school Principal.

• Any other relevant educational material from the primary school.

• The primary school’s comments on the applicant’s academic achievements in relation to the standardised tests taken during Key Stage 2.


The Board of Governors will, when considering the weight to be given to submitted evidence, consider standardised test results as ranking in priority to other submitted evidence.


General Note on Special Circumstances

It is emphasised that the onus is on the parent(s)/guardian(s) to ensure that all of the above information is provided. Failure to provide such information may result in the College being unable to consider the application for Special Circumstances. Parents/Guardians have a statutory right to request and obtain information on their child. Further information on the rights to access pupil records is available from the Information Commissioner’s Office or from the website: http://www.ico.org.uk.


For further information, please refer to the following policy documents: ‘Post Primary Transfer Consortium Entrance Assessment Access Arrangements’ (Section 10) and ‘Claiming Special Circumstances: A Guide for Parents & Guardians’. The guidance documentation is available from the College or to download from the College website: www.knock.co.uk .


Applicants considered under Special Circumstances will be judged on the evidence made available to the College and awarded a grade and combined SAS using the College’s Special Circumstances Protocol which is available on request.


Please note that judgement of the importance of documentation forwarded in support of Special Circumstances will be at the discretion of the Admissions Committee of the Board of Governors.


SPECIAL PROVISION

Special Provision may be made by the Admissions Committee of the Board of Governors for applicants:

1. who are moving or who have recently moved to Northern Ireland:

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

b) who, prior to 11 December 2021, have received more than half of their primary education outside Northern Ireland.

2. whose educational provision to date has been negatively affected by serious, prolonged medical or other issues which is supported by independent, verifiable documentary evidence and who have not taken the GL Entrance Assessment or its Supplementary Assessment;

3. who were entered for the GL Entrance Assessment and it took place, but the applicant was unable to sit either the GL Entrance Assessment or its Supplementary Assessment.


It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to provide precise reasons why the applicant did not take part in the GL Entrance Assessment or its Supplementary Assessment and to upload appropriate documentary evidence with the Transfer Application.


Applicants in categories 1(a) and 1(b) above, who wish to apply under Special Provision, do not need to take the GL Entrance Assessment or the Supplementary Assessment unless their parents/guardians so wish, in which case the GL Entrance Assessment grade and combined SAS obtained will be used to determine admission in accordance with the Admissions Criteria.


The Board of Governors will require a suitably qualified person or body approved by the College to make an assessment of the applicant’s ability. This will be known as the Special Provision Assessment.


For those pupils currently in P7 in primary schools in Northern Ireland, claims for Special Provision should be made on Form SP1 and uploaded with the Transfer Application. Form SP1 is available from the College or its website: www.knock.co.uk. Parents/Guardians wishing to claim Special Provision should also forward a completed copy of Form SP1 directly to Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Knock by Wednesday, 23 February 2022. After this date, claims for Special Provision should be made directly to Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Knock, and parents should notify the Education Authority’s School Admissions Team. The final date for receipt of new applications/additional information is Wednesday, 9 March 2022, no later than 4pm.


The Admissions Committee will consider each application for Special Provision. Where this is granted, the Admissions Committee will determine, based on the information available, an appropriate grade and combined SAS equivalent for the applicant. Such applicants will then be considered with all other applicants who have received a GL Entrance Assessment grade and combined SAS and the Admissions Criteria will be applied.


Where Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Knock is not the applicant’s first preference school and the applicant has sat a Special Provision Assessment in another school, Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Knock will use the results of that Special Provision Assessment in the Special Provision Procedure.


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 any applicant’s Transfer Application. Parents/Guardians should note that they may be asked to produce original documents verifying information pertinent to the College’s Admissions Criteria. Original documents are required; scanned copies or photocopies are not acceptable. If the requested evidence is not provided to the Board of Governors by the deadline specified by the Board of Governors, 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.


ADMISSIONS CRITERIA FOR ENTRY OF PUPILS AFTER 1 SEPTEMBER 2022

In the event of a place becoming available in Year 8 after 1 September 2022, the above criteria will be applied to any unselected applicants. The College maintains a waiting list for those seeking a place in Year 8 which will be in place until 30 June 2023. Your child’s name will be automatically added to the list. Please contact the College if you would like your child’s name to be removed from the list.


A fresh application must be submitted for each subsequent year in accordance with the Admissions Criteria for the particular year group, i.e., Years 9-14. Further details on Admissions Criteria and the operation of the waiting list are available from the College or its website www.knock.co.uk.


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


APPLICATIONS AND ADMISSIONS


Year   2019/20

Admissions Number   180

Total Applications All preferences   237

Total Admissions*    194

Year   2020/21

Admissions Number   180

Total Applications All preferences   246

Total Admissions*    195

Year   2021/22

Admissions Number   180

Total Applications All preferences   376

Total Admissions*    224


* Includes Special Educational Needs students and those admitted on Appeal and by the Exceptional Circumstances Body. An additional 10 places were also permitted under Temporary Variation in 2019/20 and 2020/21, with an extra 32 places permitted in 2021/22

** 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.**