Admission criteria for

September 2021

In recent years the Transfer Test - either the AQE or GL (PPTC) version has been used as part of the admissions policy for entry into year 8. In 2020 the Transfer Test did not take place and so this school has developed new criteria for entry into Year 8 in September 2021.


These 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 2021.


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 2021.

St Marys Grammar School Magherafelt

St Mary’s Grammar School Magherafelt  

Voluntary Grammar School  (Denominational) 


3 Castledawson Road 


BT45 6BE 

Telephone: (028) 7963 2320 



 Principal: Ms D A Gillespie, MEd, BSc (Hons), PGCE, PQH (NI) 

Chairperson of the Board of Governors: Mrs AM Campbell 

Age Range of pupils:     11-18

Admissions No:      165

Enrolment No:     1070


Open Evenings 

Due to Covid-19, we are unable to showcase our school through the usual Open Evenings.  

A Virtual Tour and School Prospectus are available on our website 



Under normal circumstances, St Mary’s Grammar School will give preference to, (apart from those who qualify for either the Special Circumstances or Special Provision procedures), those applicants awarded a Standardised Age Score by GL in completing the GL Entrance Assessment or the Supplementary GL Entrance Assessment. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and following Public Health restrictions, the GL Entrance Assessment and Supplementary GL Entrance Assessment have been cancelled this year. 

Consequently, in these exceptional circumstances and for this year only, our normal entrance criteria have been amended to reflect this. Parents/guardians whose children wish to apply for a Year 8 place in St Mary’s Grammar School should still do so through the normal post primary admissions process as set out by the Education Authority.


TO PARENTS/GUARDIANS naming St Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt as a preference on your child’s on-line Transfer Application 

GL Entrance Assessment 

Please ensure that you provide the following information on your child’s on-line Transfer Application: 

• The name of the Assessment Centre where your child was registered to sit the GL Entrance Assessment (and upload a copy of the GL Registration Card to your on-line application). 



Parents are requested to make an annual voluntary contribution of £100 per pupil, up to a maximum of £200 per family, to help develop existing facilities. This should be paid by October of each year. Charges for educational trips/visits will be made according to DFE regulations. In addition, there is a £20 stationery fee. 




The Board of Governors draws up the Admissions Criteria and delegates to the Principal and a Selection Committee the responsibility of applying the criteria. 




a) In accordance with DENI regulations, all children 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. 

b) It is the sole responsibility of the parents/guardians of prospective pupils to ensure that all information relevant to the Admissions Criteria of St Mary’s Grammar School is submitted either on the on-line Transfer Application or is uploaded to that Application at the time of submission. Only evidence submitted either on the on-line Transfer Application or uploaded to that Application at the time of submission shall be considered by the Board of Governors in the allocation of a place. 


c) The Board of Governors will initially consider applications for a place in St Mary’s Grammar School for entry to Year 8 in September 2021 from pupils who had registered to sit the GL Entrance Assessment in any PPTC Assessment Centre. 




Special Provision will only apply to children who were not entered for the PPTC GL Entrance Assessment because they took up residence in Northern Ireland after 16 October 2020 or received more than half of their primary education outside Northern Ireland. Claims for Special Provision, verified by the child’s primary school Principal, should be made on Form SP1 and submitted with the on-line Transfer Application with independent, verifiable documentary evidence, as appropriate. 

Using the information provided, the Board of Governors will determine whether Special Provision applies. If it does, those children who the Board of Governors considers to be eligible will be considered under Criteria (a) to (d) of the Admissions Criteria. 


Form SP1 is available from St Mary’s or its website at Parents/Guardians wishing to claim Special Provision should forward a completed copy of Form SP1 directly to St Mary’s by Tuesday, 16 March 2021. After this date, claims for Special Provision should be made directly to St Mary’s, and parents/guardians should notify the Education Authority’s Post Primary School Admissions Team. The final date for receipt of new applications/additional information is Monday, 12 April 2021, no later than 4pm. 




Applicants who had registered to sit the GL Entrance Assessment in any PPTC Assessment Centre will be considered first, along with any applicants who the Board of Governors considers to be eligible for Special Provision. A copy of the GL Registration Card must be uploaded to the on-line Transfer Application. In the event that there are more applications than places available, then the criteria set out below from (a) to (d) will be applied, in sequence, to allocate places. This information must be submitted either on the Transfer Application or is attached to that Application at the time of submission. 


(a)  Pupil of whom a child of the family is or was a pupil at the school. 


(b) Pupil from a Feeder Primary School. 


(c) Pupil who is the first or only child of the family. 


(d)  Final selection will be made on the basis of a computer-based process. The process is carried out by means of a computer program which, for each applicant, generates a ranking number using the details from the 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 written on the on-line 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. This will be overseen by a member of the Board of Governors and an external supervisor. 


In the event that places remain, after those who were registered to sit the Entrance Assessment have been admitted, then remaining places will be allocated using the above criteria (a) to (d) in sequence, until the final place has been allocated.  



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 on-line Transfer Application. Parents/Guardians should ensure that all information pertaining to their child and relevant to the school’s admission criteria is stated on the on-line Transfer Application or uploaded with it. 



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 on-line Transfer Application. 


If the requested evidence is not provided to the Board of Governors by the deadline given, 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. 



Should a vacancy arise after 18 June 2021, all applications for admission to Year 8 that were not placed, 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 for the remainder of the academic year. The school will contact you 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. 


Number of Applications and Admissions  


Year     2018/19 

Admissions No.    153

Total Applications All Preferences    211

Total Admissions    157

Year     2019/20

Admissions No.    153

Total Applications All Preferences    186

Total Admissions    161*


Year     2020/21

Admissions No.    153

Total Applications All Preferences    196

Total Admissions    164* 

*Temporary variation granted for additional places 


This table does not include children who were admitted to the school with a Statement of Special Educational Needs. 


Entry to Years 9-12 


Those wishing to apply for entry to Years 9-12 must make a formal application each year using the School Application Form and provide the two most recent reports from their present and any previous schools.  Full details, including the School Application Form, may be obtained by contacting the Principal’s Secretary or by downloading from the School website 




Anahorish Primary School, Toomebridge, BT41 3SS 

St Eoghan’s Primary School, Moneyneena, BT45 7EN 

Ballylifford Primary School, Cookstown, BT80 0AY 

St John Bosco Primary School, Ballynease, BT44 8NZ 

Creggan Primary School, Randalstown, BT41 3LH 

St John’s Primary School, Swatragh, BT46 5PY 

Crossroads Primary School, Kilrea, BT51 5TW 

St Joseph’s Primary School, Crumlin, Antrim, BT29 4LA  

Derrychrin Primary School, Cookstown, BT80 0BX 

St Joseph’s Primary School, Killeenan, BT80 9JB 

Gaelscoil an tSeanchaí, Magherafelt, BT45 6BW 

St Joseph’s Primary School, Stiles, Antrim, BT41 1JZ  

Gaelscoil Eoghain, Cookstown, BT80 8QD 

St Malachy’s Primary School, Drummullan, BT45 7XR 

Gaelscoil na Speiríní, Draperstown, BT45 7BB 

St Mary’s Primary School, Bellaghy, BT45 8HX  

Holy Family Primary School, Magherafelt, BT45 6AX 

St Mary’s Primary School, Draperstown, BT45 7AF 

Holy Trinity Primary School, Cookstown, BT80 8AG 

St Mary’s Primary School, Dunamore, Cookstown BT80 9NT 

Knocknagin Primary School, Desertmartin, BT45 5LE 

St Mary’s Primary School, Glenview, Maghera, BT46 5AP 

Lissan Primary School, Cookstown, BT80 9XE 

St Mary’s Primary School, Gortnaghey, Dungiven, BT47 4PZ 

Millquarter Primary School, Toomebridge, BT41 3PY 

St Mary’s Primary School, Greenlough, BT44 8NN 

Moneynick Primary School, Randalstown, BT41 3HS 

St Mary’s Primary School, Portglenone, BT44 8BL 

Mount St Michael’s Primary School, Randalstown, BT41 2AF 

St Oliver Plunkett’s Primary School, Toomebridge, BT41 3NJ 

New Row Primary School, Castledawson, BT45 8AP 

St Patrick’s Primary School, Castlederg, BT81 7EE 

Phoenix Integrated Primary School, Cookstown, BT80 8QF 

St Patrick’s Primary School, Glen, Maghera, BT46 5JN 

Spires Integrated Primary School, Magherafelt, BT45 6HH 

St Patrick’s Primary School, The Loup, BT45 7TS 

St Brigid’s Primary School, Mayogall, BT45 8PG 

St Patrick’s Primary School, Moneymore, BT45 7NG 

St Brigid’s Primary School, Tirkane, BT46 5NH 

St Patrick’s Primary School, Mullinahoe, Ardboe, BT71 5AU 

St Canice’s Primary School, Dungiven, BT47 4SE 

St Paul’s Primary School, Ahoghill, BT42 1LF 

St Columb’s Primary School, Cullion, BT45 5NQ 

St Peter’s Primary Schoool, Moortown, BT80 0HT 

St Columba’s Primary School, Kilrea, BT51 5UT 

St Peter’s and St Paul’s Primary School, Dungiven, BT47 4PJ 

St Columba’s Primary School, Straw, BT45 7BB 

St Trea’s Primary School, Ballymaguigan, BT45 6LL 

St Comgall’s Primary School, Antrim, BT41 4JG 





** 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.**