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.
 

Rathmore Grammar School

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RATHMORE GRAMMAR SCHOOL 

Kingsway, 

Finaghy    

Belfast, 

BT10 0LF 

Telephone No: 028 9061 0115 

E-mail: info@rathmoregs.belfast.ni.sch.uk                               

Web-site: www.rathmoregrammarschool.org 

Principal:  Dr Arthur Donnelly BSc, PhD, PGCE, PQH

Chair of Board of Governors:  Mr John Morrissey 

 

Voluntary Grammar School Co-educational 

Age Range:      11-18  

Admission No:         180 

Enrolment No:       1260 

 

 

OPEN DAY

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, we are unable to hold our annual Open Day.

A virtual tour of the school, prospectus and information pack will be made available on our website www.rathmoregrammarschool.org from 21 January 2022.  

 

To Parents/Guardians naming Rathmore Grammar School as a preference on your child’s online Transfer Application. 

 

Entrance Assessment Results

In assessing academic ability Rathmore Grammar School will use the grade awarded to pupils completing the GLA Entrance Assessment on Saturday 13 November 2021 or the Supplementary GLA Entrance Assessment on Saturday 11 December 2021. Parents/guardians must state the GL grade achieved and upload with the online Transfer Application a copy of the Statement of Results which they receive on Saturday 5 February 2022.


Special Circumstances

Special Circumstances usually refers to the claim that as a result of medical or other problems an applicant’s performance in the GL Assessment was affected. Any parent/guardian claiming Special Circumstances must submit an initial claim by completing form SCR in the Special Circumstances pack available from Rathmore Grammar School or from its website and must submit the initial claim to Rathmore Grammar School by 2.00 pm on 15 December 2021. Independent evidence in support of Special Circumstances is not required to be produced at this stage. This documentation, together with the independent, verifiable documentary evidence which corroborates the Special Circumstances claim, must be uploaded with the online Transfer Application and include the SC1 form.


Special Provision

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 online Transfer Application by 4.00 pm on Wednesday 23 February 2022. Form SP1 is available from the school or its website. Parents wishing to claim Special Provision should also forward a copy of Form SP1 directly to Rathmore Grammar School by no later than 4.00 pm on Friday 11 March 2022


Further details can be found in the sections ‘Note on Special Circumstances’ and ‘Note on Special Provision’ below.


Provisions for COVID-19 Disruption

If the GL Entrance Assessment takes place but at the time of the GL Assessment or Supplementary Assessment, an applicant is unable to sit both of these assessments due to COVID-19 reasons, the applicant may apply under Special Provision (d) to sit a Special Provision Assessment. See Notes on Special Provision below.


CAPITAL FEE

There is no Capital Fee.

All pupils are asked to pay a Voluntary Contribution (currently £120 per annum).


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

The Board of Governors, having agreed the criteria for admission, has delegated to the Admissions Committee which includes the Principal, the authority to decide which particular applicants shall be admitted to the school in accordance with the criteria and any appropriate statutory regulations issued by the Department of Education.


ADMISSIONS POLICY

It is the sole responsibility of the Parent/Guardian/Carer of a prospective pupil to ensure that there is submitted, either on the online Transfer Application or together with the online Transfer Application, all the information required to enable the Board of Governors to apply the Admissions Criteria of the School to the application of the prospective pupil. Only evidence submitted either on the online Transfer Application or uploaded with the application at the time of submission to the School for admission shall be considered by the Board of Governors in the allocation of a place to the applicant.


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

Rathmore Grammar School will initially consider only those applicants who have taken the GL Entrance Assessment and who have been awarded a grade or assigned a grade pursuant to the application of the Special Circumstances or Special Provision procedures and will admit pupils based on the grade achieved in the assessment or otherwise awarded.


SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES AND SPECIAL PROVISION PROCEDURES

The Board of Governors will consider applicants claiming that Special Circumstances or Special Provision exist including applicants when the GL Assessment is not undertaken or grades are not available for COVID-19 reasons as outlined within this Admissions Criteria. These will be considered first. Where this is granted, the Board of Governors will determine, on the basis of the information available, an appropriate grade equivalent for the applicant. Such applicants will then be considered with all other applicants who have received a GL Entrance Assessment grade and the admissions criteria applied.


NOTE ON SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

Special Circumstances allow for a post examination adjustment or provision of a grade to an applicant who is eligible for consideration.


If a claim for the consideration of special circumstances is made in respect of matters for which access arrangements were granted or could have been granted had they been made known to the assessment centre, the Admissions Committee may take into account the fact that the applicant was granted access arrangements or could have been granted access arrangements for those matters. Where a need or problem is identified in advance of the assessment taking place, an application for Access Arrangements should be made. Special Circumstances should be sought only where events on the day of the assessment or factors unknown at the time are considered to have directly influenced the outcome on the day of the GL Assessment.


NB: The existence of special circumstances DOES NOT in itself lead to automatic admission to the School. Each case is considered on its own merits by the Board of Governors.


Requests for Special Circumstances must be made by 2.00 pm on 15 December 2021. The decision as to whether to take such circumstances into consideration will not be taken at this time by Rathmore Grammar School but the School will confirm receipt of the initial claim to the parent/guardian. This confirmation must be uploaded by the parent/guardian/carer to the online Transfer Application along with full, supporting documentary evidence when an application is made for post-primary transfer for the child.


Circumstances relating to application for Special Circumstances must apply at the time of the Entrance Assessment and be supported by appropriate written evidence. A Special Circumstances claim will not be considered without such evidence.


It is the responsibility of parents/guardian/carers to ensure that such claims and all verifying information are included on form SC1 and uploaded with the online Transfer Application.


Details of Medical or other Problems:

Where it is claimed that a pupil’s performance in the Entrance Assessment has been affected by a medical or other problem, independent evidence of its existence must be provided to the School.


Where the problem is a medical one of short term duration, which affected the pupil only at the time of the Entrance Assessment, the school will require the production of evidence that the pupil was examined by a medical practitioner in relation to the illness at the time of the GL Entrance Assessment. This evidence should be provided on headed notepaper of the medical practitioner and signed and dated by him/her.


Where the problem is of a non-medical nature, the parent should set out in the School’s Special Circumstances Claim Form precise details of the problem and append any appropriate evidence to corroborate its existence. (Please refer to the following documents: ‘Post Primary Transfer Consortium ENTRANCE ASSESSMENT ACCESS ARRANGEMENTS POLICY’ (Section 10) and ‘Claiming Special Circumstances: A guide for parents & guardians of children who have taken the GL Entrance Assessment’).


Details of Educational Evidence:

At the time of completing the online Transfer Application, details of the Special Circumstances and independent supporting evidence must be provided and uploaded with the online Transfer Application.


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

  • Records of the results of all available KS2 CAT4 (verbal and quantitative) and/or PTE/PTM results. These must be verifiable and must be signed off by the Primary School Principal. The verified results must be uploaded with the online Transfer Application or its equivalent;

  • All test results should be accompanied by the name of the standardised test supplier and verified by the primary school (e.g. Signature of Principal, School stamp/headed notepaper);

  • Any other relevant educational material from the Primary School;

  • The Primary School’s comments on the pupil’s academic achievements in relation to the standardised tests taken during key stage 2;

  • The Board of Governors will also require parents to provide additional comparative information in respect of standardised test scores in relation to all the other pupils (without names) in the applicant’s class at 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.


The Board of Governors may decide in relation to an applicant in this category of Special Circumstances, that the grade which the applicant in fact achieved in the GL Assessment is the grade which the applicant would have achieved if the applicant had sat the GL Assessment under normal circumstances. Once a decision has been made the applicant will be considered alongside applicants within that category.


Applicants considered under Special Circumstances will be judged by the evidence made available to the school and awarded a grade accordingly. Please note that judgement of the importance of documentation forwarded in support of Special Circumstances will be at the discretion of the Admissions Committee.


General Note on Special Circumstances

It is emphasised that the onus is on the parents/guardians/carers to ensure that the above information is provided by the primary school. Failure to provide such information may result in the School being unable to consider the application for Special Circumstances. Parents/guardians/carers 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 following 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 of children who have taken the GL Entrance Assessment’. The guidance documentation is available from the School or to download from the School website www.rathmoregrammarschool.org.


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


NOTE ON SPECIAL PROVISION

Applications who fall into this category shall be considered before the consideration of the applications of those who sat the GL Entrance Assessment under normal circumstances.


Special provision may be made by the Board of Governors for applicants:

a) who are transferring from primary schools outside Northern Ireland

b) who have received more than half of their primary education outside Northern Ireland

c) whose educational provision to date has been negatively affected by serious medical or other problems which is supported by independent verifiable documentary evidence and who have not taken the GL Assessment or the Supplementary Assessment

d) who were entered for the GL Assessment, but the applicant was unable to sit either the GL Assessment or Supplementary Assessment as a result of COVID-19.


It is the responsibility of parents/guardians/carers to provide precise reasons why the applicant did not take part in the GL Entrance Assessment and to submit appropriate documentary evidence uploaded with the online Transfer Application.


Applicants in categories (a) and (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 obtained would also be considered.


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


The Board of Governors, within the operation of its admissions criteria, will decide whether the applicant should be admitted on the basis that they fall within the ability range of other pupils being admitted in that year.


Parents of pupils presently enrolled in P7 wishing to claim Special Provision should complete the appropriate documentation, stating the case for eligibility under this category, and upload with the pupil’s online Transfer Application before it is sent to the Education Authority (Transfer Department) by 4.00 pm on Wednesday 23 February 2022. After this date, claims for Special Provision should be made directly to Rathmore Grammar School by no later than 4.00 pm on Friday 11 March 2022.


The Board of Governors will consider each application for Special Provision. Where this is granted, the Board of Governors will;

  • contact parent(s)/guardian(s)/carer(s) of the applicant;

  • arrange a date and time for the applicant to sit the above assessment in the School. As with the GL Assessment the Special Provision Assessment will also be marked by GL;

  • The result of the test will be converted into a grade/score;

  • When the grade has been assigned parents will be informed.


Where Rathmore Grammar School is not your first preference school and you have sat a Special Provision Assessment in another school, Rathmore Grammar School will use the results of that Special Provision Assessment in the Special Provision Procedure.


Such applications will then be considered with all other applicants who have received a GL Entrance Assessment grade and the admissions criteria applied.


ALLOCATION OF PLACES

Rathmore Grammar School will give preference to those pupils for whom a grade relating to the GL Entrance Assessment method has been awarded by GL or assigned by the Board of Governors pursuant to the Special Circumstances/Special Provision procedures. Information on the GL Entrance Assessment is available from the School, or available to download from the School website at www.rathmoregrammarschool.org.

All pupils resident in Northern Ireland at the time of their proposed admission to the School will be selected for admissions before any pupil not so resident.


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


Groups of Applicants with a Grade A:

(i) applicants who, at the date of their application, have a child of the family currently or previously enrolled at the School; (Name and year of present pupil and name and dates of attendance of past pupil must be given.)


(ii) applicants whose parent is a member of the permanent staff of the School


(iii) applicants who are the eldest* child of the family to have achieved a grade A or the only child of the family to have achieved a grade A or whose brother or sister is an eldest child who achieved grade A and applied to the School but was not selected. (Certificate of Verification must be provided.)


*twins and other multiples who are eldest in the family and have each achieved a Grade A or the particular grade being considered are treated as joint eldest children.


If oversubscribed in Criterion (iii) applicants will be selected by rank order according to the combined standardised age score attained in the GL Assessment tests, the highest scoring applicant being ranked first, the next highest candidate being ranked second etc. Applicants will be admitted in rank order up to the maximum order of the school’s admissions number (180).


Where 2 or more applicants have an identical combined standardised age score and their position in the rank order means that there are insufficient places to admit all of them, priority will be given to

(a) applicants in receipt of Free School Meals Entitlement at the time of application.

(b) the remaining 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 online Transfer Applications.


(iv) applicants who are not allocated to any of the groups (i) to (iii) above.


If oversubscribed in Criterion (iv) applicants will be selected by rank order according to the combined standardised age score attained in the GL Assessment tests, the highest scoring applicant being ranked first, the next highest candidate being ranked second etc. Applicants will be admitted in rank order up to the maximum order of the school’s admissions number (180).


Where 2 or more applicants have an identical combined standardised age score and their position in the rank order means that there are insufficient places to admit all of them they 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 online Transfer Applications.


If all places are not filled by applicants with a Grade A, the same process will be applied to applicants with a Grade B1 and then to each subsequent grade in turn until all places are filled.


Twins and children of other multiple births

Where twins and other children of multiple births are eligible for criterion (iii), the procedure will be conducted as set out – applicants will be selected by rank order according to the combined standardised age score attained in the GL Assessment tests but, on completion of the procedure, the ranking number of the second and any subsequent child of the multiple birth will be changed to that number immediately after the ranking number of the first child and the ranking number of all other applicants will be changed accordingly as a result.


N.B. exception – as the school is not permitted to exceed its admission number (180), in the event of the first child of a multiple birth being ranked 180 the second and any subsequent child of that multiple birth cannot be admitted in the manner provided above.


Applicants who have a Statement of Special Educational Needs as defined in DENI circular 2009/7 will have their applications dealt with by the Education Authority under separate arrangements and are supernumerary to the school’s admissions and enrolment numbers.


WAITING LIST POLICY

Should a vacancy arise after 21 May 2022 all applications for admission to Year 8 that were initially refused, new applications and applications where new information has been provided will be treated equally and the published criteria applied. This waiting list will be in place until 30 June 2023. The school will contact you in writing if your child gains a place in the school by this method.


Your child’s name will be automatically added to the list. Please contact the school if you wish for your child’s name to be removed from the list.


DUTY TO VERIFY

When considering which children should be selected for admission, the Board of Governors will only take into account information which is detailed on or uploaded with the online Transfer Application. Parents should ensure that all information pertaining to their child and relevant to the school’s admissions criteria is stated on the online Transfer Application and uploaded with it.


The Certificate of Verification and an Admissions Criteria Check-list compiled by the Board to assist parents in completing the Form are available from the School. If it is found, whether prior to enrolment or post-enrolment, that false information has been given in support of an application, the school will not offer the child a place or will withdraw the offer of a place if it has already been made.


Applications and Admissions





Year   2019/20

Admissions No   180

Total Applications i.e. All preferences   299

Total Admissions   181*


Year   2020/21

Admissions No   180

Total Applications i.e. All preferences   253

Total Admissions   180


Year   2021/22

Admissions No   180

Total Applications i.e. All preferences   457

Total Admissions   181*


*includes children admitted through the Exceptional Circumstances Body or Admission Appeals Tribunal


Criteria for admission to Years 9 onwards - Available on request from the school

** 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.**