NI Grammar School Admission criteria for
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 Louis Grammar School Ballymena
ST. LOUIS GRAMMAR SCHOOL
Telephone: 028 2564 9534
Fax: 028 2563 0287
Principal: Mr S Rafferty, BEd, MEd, PQH(NI)
Acting Principal: Mrs J O’Neill, BSc, PGCE, MBA, PQH(NI)
Chairman of Board of Governors: Mr J Stuart, BA, DipEd, DASE, MSc
Voluntary Grammar (Denominational)
Age Range of Pupils: 11-18
Admissions Number: 139
Enrolment Number: 960
For prospective pupils and their parents/guardians/carers:
Due to COVID-19, we are unable to showcase the School through our usual Open Nights. A Prospectus and Virtual Open Day will be available on our school website www.stlouisgrammar.com in January 2022.
Admission of Pupils to Year 8 in September 2022
To Parents/Guardians/Carers naming St Louis Grammar School as a preference on their child’s online Transfer Form/Application or its equivalent.
GL Entrance Assessment Results
In assessing academic ability St Louis Grammar School, Ballymena (“the School”) will use the Combined Standardised Score awarded to pupils completing the GL Entrance Assessment on Saturday 13th November 2021 or the Supplementary GL Entrance Assessment on Saturday 11th December 2021 as specified by the School. On the online Transfer Form/Application or its equivalent parents/guardians/carers must state the Combined Standardised Score achieved by the pupil and upload a copy of the statement of results which they receive on Saturday 5th February 2022.
Parents/Guardians/Carers wishing to claim Special Circumstances initially must complete the Form SCR contained in the ‘Claiming Special Circumstances Pack’ available from the school website. Following this, the completed Form SC1, together with appropriate documentary evidence which corroborates the Special Circumstances claim, must be uploaded with the online Transfer Form/Application or its equivalent. Parents/Guardians/Carers should register their intention to claim Special Circumstances (Form SCR) with the School before 2.00 p.m. on Wednesday 15th December 2021.
Parents/Guardians/Carers wishing to claim Special Provision must complete Form SP1, available from St Louis Grammar School or from the school website: www.stlouisgrammar.com
The completed Form SP1, together with appropriate documentary evidence corroborating the claim for Special Provision, must be uploaded with the online Transfer Form/Application or its equivalent. Special Provision will not be considered in advance of the School’s receipt of the online Transfer Form/Application or its equivalent from the Education Authority.
Upon receipt of a request in writing by a pupil’s parents/guardians/carers, a primary school must disclose the relevant pupil’s record of progress and achievement. The onus is on the parents/guardians/carers to obtain, from the primary school, full information on the pupil’s academic performance and test results and to provide this to St Louis Grammar School. No information will be sought by St Louis Grammar School directly from the primary school.
If you are applying for Special Circumstances or Special Provision please see the appropriate section of our Admissions Criteria below.
The Board of Governors is the relevant admissions authority for the School. The Board of Governors draws up and approves the Admissions Criteria and delegates to an Admissions Panel – nominated and approved by the Board of Governors, to include the Principal – the responsibility for considering all applications for admissions to Year 8 including applications for Special Circumstances and/or Special Provision.
Any reference to the term ‘the Board of Governors’ within this Admissions Criteria includes the Admissions Panel, nominated and approved by the Board of Governors, for the purposes of applying the Admissions Criteria set out in this document.
In determining those children to be admitted to the School, the Board of Governors will consider children who are resident in Northern Ireland at the time of their proposed admission to the School before those children who are not so resident.
The School will initially consider only those applicants who have taken the required GL Entrance Assessment (GL Entrance Assessment provided by the Post Primary Transfer Consortium).
ADMISSIONS CRITERIA FOR ENTRY INTO YEAR 8
The Board of Governors of the School will not use as a criterion the position of preference given to the School on the online Transfer Form/Application or its equivalent, i.e. a child who has chosen the School in any position on the online Transfer Form/Application or its equivalent will be considered equally with those who have put the School first.
Preference will be given in the strict order of GL Entrance Assessment Combined Standardised Score in rank order until all places have been filled up to the School admission number of 139 pupils.
References to GL Entrance Assessment Combined Standardised Score include those deemed to be equivalent after consideration of Special Circumstances and Special Provision (see note below).
In the event that two or more applicants are eligible for the remaining place or places because they have the same GL Entrance Assessment Combined Standardised Score the Tie Breaker criteria below will be applied in the order set down until the final place has been allocated.
Applicants who, at the date of their application, have a *child of the family currently enrolled at the School. Name and year group of present pupil must be provided.
AC2 Eldest Child
This criterion to be defined as “children who, at the date of their application, are the eldest *child of the family to be eligible to apply for admission to the school”. This wording covers “only” children and is also intended to treat twins (or other multiples) as joint eldest. Eldest child must be stated on the online Transfer/Application Form or its equivalent at time of application.
AC3 Basis of Age
Applicants will be selected on the basis of age with the oldest applicant being selected first, established by date of birth as entered on a birth certificate. A copy of the child’s birth certificate must be uploaded with the online Transfer Form/Application or its equivalent.
AC4 Random Selection of Letters
The final selection will be made on the basis of initial letter(s) of surname (as entered on birth certificate) in the order set out below:
D, U, W, L, C, E, T, S, M, Mac, K, Y, N, F, Mc, J, G, O’, A, I, O, H, R, V, P, Z, Q, X, B
This order was determined by random selection.
In the event of surnames beginning with the same initial letter, the subsequent letters of the surname will be used in alphabetical order. In the event of two identical surnames, the alphabetical order of the forename(s) on the birth certificate will be used. Hyphenated surnames, consisting of two separate surnames will be treated as one complete word for selection purposes.
*Child of the family as defined by the Department of Education to include, for example, half-brothers and sisters, together with children who are adopted or fostered and this fact is included on the online Transfer/Application Form or its equivalent or uploaded with it.
In the event that places remain, after those who have taken the GL Entrance Assessment have been admitted (including those admitted following claims for Special Circumstances/Special Provision), then remaining places will be allocated using the above criteria in the order set down until the final place has been allocated. This includes children who have not taken the GL Entrance Assessment required by the School.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES AND/OR SPECIAL PROVISION
The Board of Governors will consider applications claiming “Special Circumstances” and “Special Provision”. Where it is determined that Special Circumstances and/or Special Provision exist they will be considered first.
The Admissions Panel will consider applications on behalf of pupils whose performance in the GL Entrance Assessment was affected by medical or other problems in accordance with the ‘Special Circumstances’ information that is set out in the ‘Claiming Special Circumstances’ document of the Post-Primary Transfer Consortium (PPTC). Parents/Guardians/Carers should carefully read this document together with the accompanying guidance in the Claiming Special Circumstances Pack, available from the school or from the school website: www.stlouisgrammar.com
If a claim for Special Circumstances is made in respect of matters for which Access Arrangements were provided to a pupil sitting the GL Entrance Assessments on 13th November 2021 or 11th December 2021, the Admissions Panel may take into account the fact that the pupil was provided with such Access Arrangements.
Parents/Guardians/Carers who have any concerns that medical or other problems affected their child before or during the GL Entrance Assessment should register these concerns with the Assessment Centre in which the GL Entrance Assessment was taken before 2.00 p.m. on Wednesday 15th December 2021. The registered claim will be held by this Assessment Centre as evidence that parents/guardians/carers were concerned that their child experienced medical or other problems which might have affected his/her performance in the GL Entrance Assessment. Parents/Guardians/Carers are referred to the Claiming Special Circumstances Pack, available from the school or from the school website: www.stlouisgrammar.com
• All claims for Special Circumstances must include objective and relevant educational evidence of a pupil’s academic ability. This evidence must be sufficient to enable the Admissions Panel to reach a decision as to whether any adjustment should be made to the score achieved by the child in the GL Entrance Assessment. All information provided must be verifiable.
• Educational evidence provided to the Admissions Panel must include recent results from the primary school administered standardised tests in English/Literacy and Mathematics/Numeracy taken since the beginning of the Key Stage 2 period.
• It is emphasised that the onus is on the parents/guardians/carers to ensure that all of the above information is verified and provided by the primary school to the parents/guardians/carers under Section 10, The Education (Pupil Reporting) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009. The Admissions Panel is not responsible for and cannot take into account educational evidence that cannot be verified or has not been presented in time, or at all.
• When the online Transfer Form/Application or its equivalent is completed in February 2022, full details of the Special Circumstances together with independent supporting evidence must be provided and uploaded with the online Transfer Form/Application or its equivalent.
• Where the problem is a medical one (please see “Details of Medical or Other Problems” below).
• Where the problem is of a non-medical nature (please see “Details of Medical or Other Problems” below).
Having examined the documentary evidence that is submitted, the Admissions Panel of the Board of Governors will decide whether the applicant should be considered for admission under the score actually achieved in the GL Entrance Assessment or should be allocated a higher score using the school’s Special Circumstances Protocol (which is available on request). Once a determination of the appropriate score has been made, by the Admissions Panel, that score will be used to place the child in a rank order with all other applicants in order to allocate places.
The judgement of the weight to be attached to the supporting documentation asserting Special Circumstances will be at the discretion of the Admissions Panel of the Board of Governors.
Where Special Circumstances are requested by parents/guardians/carers, it is the responsibility of the parents/guardians/carers to produce sufficient, objective, probative documentary evidence to establish that a pupil should have achieved a higher score in GL Entrance Assessment than that actually achieved. This is an exercise in educational judgment, not precise calculation and the determination of the Admissions Panel will be based only on consideration of the documentation uploaded with the online Transfer Form/Application or its equivalent. It is strongly emphasised that a claim of Special Circumstances does not, of itself, lead to automatic upgrading or admission to the school nor does the allocation of a higher score necessarily result in the offer of a place in the school.
DETAILS OF MEDICAL OR OTHER PROBLEMS
Where it is claimed that a child’s performance in the GL Entrance Assessment has been affected by a medical or other problem, independent evidence must be provided and uploaded with the online Transfer Form/Application or its equivalent. Where the problem is a medical one of short term duration, which affected the child only at the time of the GL Entrance Assessment the school will require the production of evidence that the child was examined by a medical practitioner in relation to the illness at the time of the GL Entrance Assessment and the result of that examination. Similarly, if the medical problem is other than of short term duration, the school will require evidence from a medical practitioner who treated the child and which explains the condition and how it could have affected the child in the GL Entrance Assessment.
Where the problem is of a non-medical nature, the parents/guardians/carers must set out the precise details of the problem and upload with the online Transfer Form/Application or its equivalent all appropriate, independent documentary evidence which corroborates its existence. The name of the assessment centre at which the child sat the GL Entrance Assessment must also be included. Please refer to the GL Entrance Assessment Special Circumstances Policy and other guidance available in the Claiming Special Circumstances Pack from our school website www.stlouisgrammar.com
CLAIMING SPECIAL PROVISION
Special Provision may be made by the Board of Governors for pupils:
• Who are transferring from primary schools outside Northern Ireland;
• Who have received more than half of their education in a school outside Northern Ireland;
• Whose educational provision to date has been negatively affected by serious medical or other problems, supported by independent probative documentary evidence, and who may, as a consequence, have been unable to take either the GL Entrance Assessment on 13th November 2021 or the GL Supplementary Assessment on 11th December 2021.
In the case of a pupil who registered but could not participate in the GL Entrance Assessment or the GL Supplementary Assessment, it is the responsibility of parents/guardians/carers to provide (a) precise reasons why the pupil did not take part in either assessment, (b) appropriate corroborative documentary evidence of this, in keeping with the PPTC Special Circumstances Pack and (c) objective and relevant educational evidence of their child’s academic ability, in line with the procedures indicated previously in relation to Special Circumstances.
For those pupils currently in primary schools in Northern Ireland, claims for Special Provision should be made on Form SP1 and uploaded with the online Transfer Form/Application or its equivalent. Parents/Guardians/Carers wishing to claim Special Provision should also forward a completed copy of Form SP1 directly to St Louis Grammar School, Ballymena by Wednesday 23rd February 2022. The Form SP1 is available from the school or its website. After this date, claims for Special Provision should be made directly to St Louis Grammar School, Ballymena only and the Transfer/Open Enrolment Ballymena Branch, Education Authority notified by parents/guardians/carers. The final date for receipt of new applications/additional information is Wednesday 9th March 2022, no later than 4pm.
On receipt of an application for Special Provision for a child, the Admissions Panel of the Board of Governors will require an assessment of the child’s ability to be carried out by a suitably qualified person or body approved by the school. The Admissions Panel will form an educational judgement based on the available evidence of the child’s ability, including the result of this assessment. The Admissions Panel will decide whether this child should be considered for admission on the basis that he or she falls within the ability range of other pupils being admitted in that year.
Parents/Guardians/Carers may be required to provide additional appropriate documentary educational evidence which should include the results of standardised testing carried out during Key Stage 2, or its equivalent period, in primary school. In exercising their judgement, the Admissions Panel will consider this along with the educational evidence referred to in the previous paragraph.
It is strongly emphasised that a claim of Special Provision does not, of itself, lead to automatic admission to the school. Further guidance on applying for Special Provision is provided on the Form SP1 which is available from the school website.
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, or uploaded with, any applicant’s online Transfer Form/Application or its equivalent.
Parents/Guardians/Carers should note that they may be asked to produce documents verifying information pertinent to the School’s Admissions Criteria.
The provision of false or incorrect information or 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. Similarly, if information is supplied which appears to be false or misleading in any material way, the offer of a place will be withdrawn.
It is emphasised that the onus is on the parents/guardians/carers to ensure that all of the above information is provided. When considering which children should be selected for admission, the Board of Governors will only take into account information which is detailed on and/or uploaded with the online Transfer Form/Application or its equivalent. Parents/Guardians/Carers should ensure that all information pertaining to their child and relevant to the school’s Admissions Criteria is stated on the online Transfer Form/Application or its equivalent or uploaded with it.
WAITING LIST PROCEDURE FOR ADMISSIONS TO YEAR 8
St Louis Grammar School retains a Waiting List for admission to the School where a place becomes available in Year 8. Parents/Guardians/Carers who wish to have their child considered for admission to the School, in the event of a place becoming available in Year 8, should write to the Principal clearly stating this request. In the event of a vacancy arising, after 1st September 2022, the above Admissions Criteria will be applied, in the order set down, to these applications only. The School will contact parents/guardians/carers if their child gains a place in the School by this method.
Parents/Guardians/Carers are requested to make an annual contribution of £100 per pupil, up to a maximum of £200 per family, to help develop existing facilities. There is no capital fee.
Number of Applications and Admissions
Admissions No. 139
Total Applications All Preferences 214
Total Admissions 162*
Admissions No. 139
Total Applications All Preferences 188
Total Admissions 168*
Admissions No. 139
Total Applications All Preferences 261
Total Admissions 161*
This table does not include children who were admitted to the school with a statement of special educational needs.
*Includes pupils admitted on Appeal/Exceptional Circumstances Body/Temporary Variation
Criteria for Years 9 and 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.**