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.
 

St Colmans College Newry

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ST COLMAN’S COLLEGE, NEWRY   

Violet Hill 

46 Armagh Road   

NEWRY

BT35 6PP 

Telephone: 028 3026 2451 

Fax: 028 3026 7422 

Email:  info@stcolmans.newry.ni.sch.uk 

Website:  www.stcolmans.org.uk 

Principal:  Mr Cormac McKinney BA(Hons), PGCE, MEd, PQH(NI) 

Chairperson of Governors:  Mr Liam Quinn (Acting Chair) 

 

Boys  Voluntary Grammar School 


Age Range:             11 – 18  

Admissions Number:        125

Enrolment Number:          860    

 

Open Day 

Due to Covid restrictions schools are not permitted to host Open Days in the academic year 2021-22.  Further information about the College, including an online video presentation will be available at www.stcolmans.org.uk 

 


A Voluntary Contribution of £60 per annum is charged in regard to all pupils. 

 

Respective functions of the Board of Governors and Principal in relation to Admissions to the school 

The Board of Governors has delegated the responsibilities for the task of applying the criteria as indicated below to a Subcommittee.  Where this policy refers to the decision taken by the Board of Governors, it is with reference to the work of the Subcommittee set up by the Board, with its full approval and subject to its final ratification. 

 

ADMISSIONS POLICY 2022-23

St Colman’s College, Newry, is a Catholic grammar school for boys. This College normally accepts boys who are academically suited for the type of education it offers and whose parents/guardians are in agreement with the aims and ethos of the College.


St Colman’s College previously used the outcomes of GL Entrance Assessment as the basis of selection of P7 pupils for admission. The Board of Governors considered the impact of school closures on the College’s local community as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and recognised there has been disruption to the education of pupils since March 2020.


In March 2021, the Board of Governors agreed and communicated, that in light of the current Covid-19 circumstances, academic admissions criteria will not be used for the academic year 2022-23. As a result, St. Colman’s College will not use outcomes from GL Entrance Assessment as part of its Admissions Criteria for the academic year 2022-23. Parents/guardians will not be required to provide a GL Entrance Assessment result in support of their application for their son to attend the College. The College’s Admissions Criteria for the 2022-23 academic year has been amended accordingly.


Careful consideration was given to the decision to temporarily remove the academically selective element for the academic year 2022-23. St. Colman’s College remains committed to its ethos and academic focus on high quality teaching and learning. Those who would normally apply to be admitted are encouraged to continue to do so.


When considering which children can be selected for admission, the Board of Governors will only take into account information which parents/guardians detail on the Online Transfer Application. Parents/guardians must ensure that all information pertaining to their child and relevant to the school’s admission criteria is stated on the Online Transfer Application or included as an uploaded attachment. An example of such information is whether the child has or had a sibling (list name of sibling) who was enrolled in the school.


Please note:

In accordance with the 1997 Education Northern Ireland Order (Section 16 (4)), St Colman’s College has been directed to select for admission all children resident in Northern Ireland at the time of their proposed admission before any child not so resident may be selected for admission.


The child’s Birth Certificate and proof of address must 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.


The Board of Governors will not use as a criterion the position of preference given to St. Colman’s College on the Online Transfer Application i.e. an applicant who has chosen St. Colman’s College in any position on the Online Transfer Application will be considered equally with those who have put St. Colman’s College first.


ADMISSIONS CRITERIA

The Board of Governors will admit boys strictly on the following basis:


All boys who have applied to be admitted to St Colman’s College will be selected according to the following criteria applied in the order set down below: -


i. Boys who, at the date of their application, have a parent/guardian who is a member of the permanent teaching, administrative, or non-teaching staff of St Colman’s College.

Applicants must state name of member of staff and nature of relationship (mother, father, guardian) on the Online Transfer Application


ii. Boys who, at the date of their application, have another child of the family (as defined by DE in Transfer 2010 Guidance) enrolled in the College or having been selected for admission to the College in the coming academic year.

Applicants must state the name, date of birth and registration group of the child enrolled in the College on the Online Transfer Application.


iii. Boys who have had another child of the family (as defined by DE in Transfer 2010 Guidance) previously enrolled in the College.

Applicants must state the name, date of birth and the dates that the previously enrolled child attended the College.


iv. Boys who are the first boy of the family (as defined by DE in Transfer 2010 Guidance) to transfer to secondary education, i.e. the eldest boy of the family as defined above. Eldest boy includes

a. the eldest boy of the family by age

b. a boy whose older brother attends a special school or unit within a mainstream school

c. a boy of a family which has moved to the area (within 30 miles of the school, as measured from the postcode of the school to the postcode of the applicant) within two years of the start of the academic year 2022-23 (ie since 1st September 2020).

d. A child whose older brother is more than 7 years older than the applicant.

Proof of eldest boy must be uploaded with the Online 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.


v. Boys, who at the date of their application, are entitled to Free School Meals Provision (as defined by DE in Transfer 2010 Guidance)

‘Entitled to Free School Meals’ will mean applicants who are listed on the Education Authority register and who are entitled to Free School Meals at the date on which their parent or guardian has completed their Online Transfer Application. Should family circumstances change after completion of the Online Transfer Application it is essential that parents/ guardians inform the Education Authority before 4pm on Wednesday 9th March 2022.


vi. Tie Breaker Criteria outlined as follows

The process is carried out by means of a computer program which, for each applicant, generates a ranking number using the details from the full name as entered on the Online 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 entered on the Online 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 program, what the result will be for any given set of details. Applicants with the lowest ranking numbers will be given places up to the number of places available. [Each letter of the alphabet will be given a random value. Some will be positive and the others negative numbers.] This will be overseen by the Admissions Sub Committee of the Board of Governors.


Tie Breaker Criteria for twins and children of other multiple births

Where, in the event of having to use the tie breaker in the process of determining rank order for twins and other children of multiple births, the procedure will be conducted as set out above but, on completion, the ranking number of the second and any subsequent boy of the multiple birth will be changed to that number immediately after the ranking number of the first boy and the ranking number of all other applicants whose ranking was lower than that of the first boy will be changed accordingly as a result.


The individual rank within each criteria is determined by whether the applicant qualifies for lower criteria applied in the order set down. This results in a complete rank order of all applicants. The first ranked 125 applicants as outlined above will be admitted.


Verification of all Information

The Board of Governors reserves the right to require such supplementary evidence as it may determine to support or verify information on the Online Transfer Application or appended to the Online Transfer Application by parents/guardians.


The provision of false or incorrect information or the failure to provide any requested verifying documents within the deadline set by St Colman’s College will result in either the withdrawal of a place or the inability of the College to offer a place.


The responsibility to ensure that:

• The Online Transfer Application and other necessary documentation is correctly completed;

• Any required verification documents are provided within specified deadline


lies with the parents/guardians of the child. Failure to ensure that this occurs will lead to the application not being considered by the Board of Governors and/or the withdrawal of a place in the College. Information on the College’s waiting list is available from the College or Website.


APPLICATIONS AND ADMISSIONS TO YEAR 8


Year   2019/20

Admissions No   125

Total Applications All Preferences   193

Total Admissions   129*


Year   2020/21

Admissions No   140

Total Applications All Preferences   156

Total Admissions   140


Year   2021/22

Admissions No   140

Total Applications All Preferences  213

Total Admissions    146*


*Includes pupils admitted on Appeal or through SEN provision



ADMISSIONS POLICY TO YEARS 9 to 14

The Board of Governors delegates the admission of pupils other than to Year 8 to the College Principal.


Admissions to Years 9 -12

The following criteria will be applied to applicants for Admissions to Years 9 -12 in the following order:


1. There must be a place available in the required year, within the College's approved enrolment number.

2. In every case, suitability for Grammar School education will be an over-riding consideration. Convincing evidence of this suitability must be provided from his former school including reports, examples of classwork and homework and copies of completed examination papers. The College may also require applicants to complete assessments in Literacy and Numeracy.

3. The parent/ guardian must provide all additional relevant information in a timely manner to allow decisions to be made in the best interests of the pupil and for the efficient discharge of the College’s resources.

4. A pupil must come with the recommendation of the Principal of his previous school.


Conditions

Application for entry will include an interview with the Principal and/or Vice-Principal;

• The applicant must show an acceptance of the required academic standard and a willingness to achieve and maintain this standard.

• The applicants must have demonstrated a very good behaviour and attendance record in his previous school.

• The applicant and his parent(s)/guardian(s) must accept the rules and regulations of the College.


ADMISSIONS POLICY FOR SIXTH FORM

The following criteria will be applied to applicants who wish to study AS/A2 in St Colman’s College.


As a Catholic Grammar School, St Colman’s College aims to ensure that every individual pupil will realise his full potential in spiritual, moral, social and academic terms. While it is assumed that pupils who enrol in St Colman’s in Y8 – Y12 will remain to study A Levels, entry into Sixth Form for existing St Colman’s pupils is conditional on:


• A very good academic record of 7+ A* - C or equivalent at GCSE including English and Mathematics.

• A very good behaviour and attendance record.

• A very good level of performance in the subjects or curriculum areas that he wishes to study in Sixth Form, normally a B grade or equivalent or better.

• Attending a meeting on results day with a member of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) to confirm subject choices.


These conditions reflect that which would have been expected from a St Colman’s pupil throughout his education at the College. If a pupil’s achievements do not meet the conditions listed above but he wishes to apply to return to the College to study A Levels, he will have to attend an interview with the Principal and/or Vice-Principal for his individual case to be considered.


In the best interests of each pupil, it is expected that a good level of achievement, application, behaviour and attendance is demonstrated at AS level and consideration is given to this as the pupil progresses from AS to A2 Level.


Pupils applying to join Sixth Form from other Colleges and Schools

The Department of Education may, on request, increase the number of pupils that the school can admit to its Year 13. Places that become available in this way shall be allocated only to pupils who meet the basic eligibility criteria for Sixth Form study (as below) and shall be allocated in the order determined by the criteria to be applied in the order set down.

1. Pupils who have most recently completed Year 12 in St Colman’s College, Newry.

2. Pupils from other schools where admission to an extra place at St Colman’s College, Newry has been agreed by the Department of Education*.


* Parents/ guardians should note how the Department of Education (DE) will, in response to a school’s request, increase the school’s enrolment number in order to allow an extra post-16 pupil to enrol. DE will first check whether there is another school or schools of a type suitable for that pupil within an hour’s journey of where the pupil lives. If there is, DE will check whether this other school or schools may provide all of the post-16 courses that the pupil wishes to pursue. If these checks find that no other suitable school may provide all of the post-16 courses that the pupil wishes to pursue – then DE will agree a school’s request for a place.


What is a school of a type that is suitable for a pupil? To determine this, DE first considers all schools to be one of 4 types: (1) denominational (2) non-denominational (3) integrated and (4) Irish-medium. A School requesting an extra place for a post-16 pupil will belong to one of these 4 types and DE will consider any other school or schools from this same type as suitable for the pupil. DE will also consider as suitable for the pupil any school from the same type as the type of school that the child attended in Year 12.


Pupils applying to join Sixth form from other colleges and schools will be required to attend an interview with a member of the SLT. The interview process will establish if St Colman’s College is the most appropriate option for the individual candidate.


Conditions

• There must be a place available in the College for the pupil.

• There must be a place available in the specific subject(s) that the pupil wishes to study.

• The pupil must be able to demonstrate a very good level of performance in the subjects or curriculum areas that he wishes to study in Sixth Form, normally a B grade or better at GCSE or equivalent.

• The pupil must be able to demonstrate a very good academic, behaviour and attendance record.

• The pupil must show an acceptance of the required academic standard and a willingness to achieve and maintain this standard.

• The pupil and his parent(s)/guardian(s) must accept the rules and regulations of the College.

• The parent/ guardian must provide all additional relevant information in a timely manner to allow decisions to be made in the best interests of the pupil and for the efficient discharge of the College’s resources.


Applicants must bring a copy of their GCSE or equivalent results slip and their two most recent school reports with them to their interview.


In the event of there being more applicants than places available either in the year group or in an individual subject then the applicants shall be ranked according to a points score for GCSE subject(s) or equivalent according to the following scale, with the higher ranking pupil(s) being offered a place. Numerical scored subjects shall be included according to the respective numerical score achieved from 9 – 1 as outlined below.


A*(9) = 5 points A(8,7) = 4 points B(6) = 3 points C*(5) = 2 points C(4) = 1 point


In the best interests of each pupil, it is expected that a good level of achievement, application, behaviour and attendance is demonstrated at AS level and consideration is given to this as the pupil progresses from AS to A2 Level.

** 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.**