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 Patricks Academy Dungannon

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ST PATRICK’S ACADEMY,  DUNGANNON

37 Killymeal Road  

Dungannon  

BT71 6DS  

Telephone: 028 8772 7400   

Fax:  028 8772 2745  

Email:  info@stpatricksacademy.dungannon.ni.sch.uk   

Website:  www.stpatricksacademy.org.uk  

Principal:  Mr Fintan Donnelly  

Chair of the Board of Governors: Mrs Fiona O’Hagan  

    

Voluntary Grammar School  


Age range:         11-18+    

Admissions Number:  193*                                                          

Enrolment Number: 1320*  

(*Under review)  


If you have any queries regarding the School or its Admissions Criteria contact the school principal.  

  

Due to the on-going pandemic, a virtual Open Day and prospectus will be available from the week beginning 17 January 2022

  

To Parents/Guardians naming St Patrick’s Academy as a Preference on your child’s Transfer Form  

 

Entrance Test Results

In assessing academic ability St Patrick’s Academy intends to rely upon the 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 school. Parents/Guardians should record their child’s candidate number and test result, which they receive on 5th February 2022, in section C of the Transfer Form.


Special Circumstances

Any parent/guardian claiming Special Circumstances must complete the documentation in the Special Circumstances Pack available from St Patrick’s Academy or from its website. This documentation: Form SCR, to be returned to the school by 2 pm on 15 December 2021; and Form SC1, together with the appropriate independent, verifiable documentary evidence, which corroborates the Special Circumstances claim, must be attached to the Transfer Form and returned to the EA by 23rd February 2022. Any information or documentation which the parent/guardian seeks to rely upon must be included.


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 attached to the Transfer Form. 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 St Patrick’s Academy by Friday 23rd February 2022. After this date claims for Special Provision should be made directly to St Patrick’s Academy and the EA Transfer Department notified. Any information or documentation which the parent/guardian seeks to rely upon must be included.


If you are applying for Special Circumstances or Special Provisions, please see Sections 3 and 4 of our Admissions Criteria below.


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

The Board of Governors has drawn up the admissions criteria and will delegate to an Admissions Sub-Committee, which includes the Principal and a Vice Principal, the responsibility for applying these criteria. Any reference herein to the term Board of Governors includes a Committee or Sub-Committee appointed by the Board of Governors for the purposes of applying the Admission Criteria set out herein.


ADMISSIONS CRITERIA

CRITERIA FOR ADMISSION INTO YEAR 8

SECTION 1:

1.1. Priority will be given to pupils resident in Northern Ireland at the time of their proposed admission, over those who will not be so resident.


1.2. Parents/Guardians should note that:

a. They may be asked to produce documents verifying information pertinent to the school’s admission criteria. Original documents are required; facsimiles or photocopies are not acceptable.

b. 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.

Due to the on-going pandemic, a virtual Open Day and prospectus will be available from the week beginning 17 January 2022

c. The Board of Governors reserves the right to require such supplementary evidence as it may determine necessary to support or verify information on any applicant’s Transfer Form.

d. Decisions will be taken on the basis of the information included on, or attached to, the Transfer Form. The school reserves the right to verify information provided.


CRITERIA FOR ADMISSION INTO YEAR 8

SECTION 2:

2.1. St Patrick’s Academy will consider initially for admission only those pupils who have taken the required entrance assessment (GL Assessment, as provided by the Post Primary Transfer Consortium, (PPTC)) or any subsequent appropriate entrance assessment procedure, in accordance with the Special Provision arrangement set out in Section 4. Information on the assessment process is available on the school website: www.stpatricksacademy.org.uk


2.2. St Patrick’s Academy will allocate places based on the results obtained in GL assessment taken on Saturday 13 November 2021 or the supplementary GL assessment taken on Saturday 11 December 2021. Available places will be allocated to pupils in the strict order of their GL assessment standardised score, in rank order, highest score to lowest, until all places have been filled up to the school admission number of 193 places.


2.3. Parents / Guardians should note that:

a. References to GL assessment standardised scores include those standardised scores obtained in the GL assessment taken on 13 November or 11 December 2021 or any score determined by the Admissions Sub-Committee following an application for Special Circumstances or Special Provision after consideration of Special Circumstances and Special Provisions. (See Sections 3 &4 below).

b. In the event of two of more applicants achieving the same standardised score in the PPTC GL Assessment, rank ordering will be carried out in accordance with the Criteria 2.4 a-b.

c. In the event that places remain after those who have taken the GL assessment have been admitted, then remaining places will be allocated using the Admissions Criteria 2.4 a-b, in the order set down, until the final place has been allocated.


2.4.

a. A pupil who has a sibling (another child of the family; to include half brothers and sisters, adopted and fostered children and orphaned cousins being brought up by the family) enrolled in the school at the time of application or a pupil who is the only child or eldest child in the family* eligible to transfer to a mainstream post primary school**in Northern Ireland or a pupil who is the sibling of a pupil who previously attended St Patrick’s Academy.


*Twins or other multiples will be treated as eldest

**If you indicate in your application that your child is the eldest in the family eligible to transfer to a mainstream post primary school in Northern Ireland or an only child, you must be able to provide verification of this.


An older sibling who transferred to a Learning Support unit in a mainstream post primary school will not be considered to have transferred to a mainstream post primary school


b. If necessary, where over-subscription still exists, final selection will be on the basis of random selection, using the methods listed below, in the order in which they are given:

(i) Alphabetical: For admission to the school in September 2022, pupils will be selected for admission on the basis of initial letter of surname (as entered on the original Birth Certificate) in the order set out below:


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


This order was determined by a randomised selection of the letters of the alphabet by ballot, as approved the Board of Governors at its meeting on 10thDecember 2021


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 initials of the forenames will be used.


(ii) Random selection: In the event that the school cannot distinguish between pupils with exactly the same surname and forenames, computerised random selection will be used to determine rank order.


SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

SECTION 3:

3.1. The Admissions Sub-Committee will consider applications on behalf of pupils whose performance in the assessment was affected by medical or other problems in accordance with the ‘Special Circumstances’ information that is set out in the ‘Access Arrangements document which can be found in the Information for Parents section on the Post-Primary Transfer Consortium (PPTC website). Parents 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.stpatricksacademy.org.uk


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


3.3. Parents who have any concerns that medical or other problems affected their child just before or during the GL Assessment must register these concerns (with supporting documentation, if any) with the Assessment Centre in which the GL Assessment was done before 2.00 pm on Wednesday 15 December 2021. The registered claim will be held by this Assessment Centre as evidence that parents were concerned that their child experienced medical or other problems which might have affected his/her performance in the GL Assessment. Parents are referred to the Claiming Special Circumstances Pack, available from the school or from the school website:


3.4. a. 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 Sub-Committee to reach a decision as to whether any adjustment should be made to the score achieved by the child in the GL Assessment. All information provided must be verifiable.

b. Educational evidence provided to the Admissions Sub-Committee must include all of the results from the primary school administered standardised tests in English/Literacy and Mathematics/Numeracy taken since the beginning of the Key Stage 2 period.

c. It is emphasised that the onus is on the parent/guardian to ensure that all of the above information is verified and provided by the primary school to the parent/guardian under Regulation 11 of the Education (Pupil Records and Reporting) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009. The Admissions Sub-Committee 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.

d. When the Transfer Form is completed in February 2022, full details of the Special Circumstances together with independent supporting evidence must be provided and attached to the Transfer Form. Where the problem is a medical one which, it is claimed, affected the pupil at the time of the assessment, the school will require medical evidence showing that the pupil was examined by a medical practitioner in relation to the specific medical problem that affected the pupil’s performance in the assessment. Where the problem is of a non-medical nature, parents must set out the precise details of the problem and append to the Transfer Form all appropriate independent documentary evidence which corroborates its existence. The name of the Assessment Centre at which the child sat the Entrance Assessment must also be included. Parents should refer to the Claiming Special Circumstances Pack and other guidance information available from our school.


3.5. Having examined the documentary evidence that is submitted, the Admissions Sub-Committee of the Board of Governors will decide whether the applicant should be considered for admission under the score actually achieved in the GL assessment or should be allocated a higher score. Once a determination of the appropriate score has been made, that score will be used to place the child in a rank order with all other applicants in order to allocate places.


3.6. The judgement of the weight to be attached to the supporting documentation asserting Special Circumstances will be at the absolute discretion of the Admissions Sub-Committee of the Board of Governors.


3.7. Where Special Circumstances are requested by a parent/guardian it is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to produce sufficient, objective, probative documentary evidence for the Admissions Sub-committee to establish that a pupil should have achieved a higher score in GL Assessment than that actually achieved. This is an exercise in educational judgment, not precise calculation and the determination of the Admissions Sub-Committee will be based only on consideration of the documentation attached to the Transfer Form. 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 entrance assessment has been affected by a medical or other problem, independent evidence of it must be provided and attached to the Transfer Form. Where the problem is a medical one of short-term duration, which affected the child only at the time of the 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 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 Entrance Assessment. Where the problem is of a non-medical nature, the parents must set out the precise details of the problem and append to the Transfer Form all appropriate, independent documentary evidence which corroborates its existence. The name of the assessment centre at which the child sat the assessment must also be included. Please refer to the Entrance Assessment: Access Arrangements & Special Circumstances Policy and other guidance available from our school in the Claiming Special Circumstances Pack.


SPECIAL PROVISION

SECTION 4:

4.1. 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 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 as a consequence has been unable to take either the GL Entrance Assessment on 13 November 2021 or the Supplementary GL Assessment on 11 December 2021.


4.2. In the case of a pupil who registered but could not participate in the GL Entrance Assessment, it is the responsibility of parents to provide (a) precise reasons why the pupil did not take part in the assessment, (b) appropriate corroborative documentary evidence of this, in keeping with the PPTC Access Arrangements and Special Circumstances policy and (c) objective and relevant educational evidence of their child’s academic ability, in line with the procedures indicated in Section 3, Paragraphs 3.4(b) & 3.4(c) in relation to Special Circumstances.


4.3 For those pupils currently in primary schools in Northern Ireland, claims for Special Provision should be made on Form SP1 and attached to the Transfer Form. The SP1 Form is available from the school or its website. Parents/guardians wishing to claim Special Provision should also forward a completed copy of Form SP1 directly to St Patrick’s Academy by 4.00 pm on Wednesday 23rd February 2022. After this date, claims for Special Provision should be made directly to St Patrick’s Academy, no later than 8th March 2022 and the Education Authority, Armagh Office Transfer Department notified.


4.4 On receipt of an application for Special Provision for a child, The Admissions Sub-Committee of the Board of Governors may 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 Sub-committee will form an educational judgement based on the available evidence of the child’s ability, including the result of this assessment. The Admissions Sub-Committee 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.


4.5. Parents/guardians 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 Sub-Committee will consider this along with the educational evidence referred to in the previous paragraph.


4.6. It is strongly emphasised that the claim of Special Provision does not, of itself, lead to automatic admission to the school. Further guidance on applying for Special Provision is provided with the SP1 form available from the school or its website.


APPLICATIONS AND ADMISSIONS TO YEAR 8


Year   2019/20

Admissions No   193

Total Applications All Preferences   270

Total Admissions   *208*


Year   2020/21

Admissions No   193

Total Applications All Preferences   248

Total Admissions   215*


Year   2021/22

Admissions No   193

Total Applications All Preferences   288

Total Admissions   225*


*Includes Appeals and pupils with Statement of Special Needs and Temporary Variation


CRITERIA FOR ADMISSION INTO YEAR 8 AFTER THE BEGINNING OF THE SCHOOL YEAR

SECTION 5:

If any places are available, the same criteria as for admission at the beginning of the school year will apply.


The school will retain the list of applicants in ranked order according to the published criteria and this list will be used as a waiting list by the school to determine which child or children can be admitted after 18 May 2022 and up to 30 September 2022 should a place or places become available after 18 May 2022. (Please refer to the school’s waiting list policy).


CRITERIA FOR ADMISSION INTO YEAR GROUPS 9-12

SECTION 6:

Priority will be given to pupils resident in Northern Ireland at the time of their proposed admission, over those who will not be so resident. All applications should be made to the school using Form AP1.


Applications for admission into Years 9-12 in September 2022 should be submitted to the school to be received on 1 June 2022. The Admissions Sub-Committee of the Board of Governors will convene to consider all applications within one week of this date and decisions will be notified to applicants by 17 June 2022.


Where over-subscription occurs, those to be considered for admission will be identified by the Admissions Sub-Committee through the application of the criteria set out below:


6.1. Availability of a place in the relevant year group;


6.2. For Years 11 and 12, availability of places in the pupil’s optional subjects;


6.3. Pupils who have a proven ability to benefit most from what the school offers, as indicated in information supplied from the school currently attended, including reports, PIE, PIM and CAT scores, if available, principal’s assessment and recommendation, commitment to the ethos of the school, application to study, behaviour, attendance, punctuality and so on. Parents are reminded that they should provide all information at their disposal to the Admissions Sub-Committee as the Sub-Committee will not consider any information which cannot be properly verified. The school may invite applicants for interview to assist it in reaching a decision.


6.4 The Admissions Sub-Committee of the Board of Governors may require an assessment of the child’s ability to be carried out by a suitably qualified person or body approved by the school.


6.4. If necessary, where over-subscription still exists, final selection will be on the basis of random selection, using the methods listed below, in the order in which they are given:

(i) Alphabetical: For admission to the school in September 2022, pupils will be selected for admission on the basis of initial letter of surname (as entered on the original Birth Certificate) in the order set out below:


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


This order was determined by a randomised selection of the letters of the alphabet, by ballot by the Board of Governors at its meeting on 10th December 2021 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 initials of the forenames will be used.


(ii) Random selection: In the event that the school cannot distinguish between pupils with exactly the same surname and forenames, computerised random selection will be used to determine rank order.


CRITERIA FOR ADMISSION INTO YEAR 13

SECTION 7:

7.1. Those pupils currently on the school roll who wish to continue into Year 13 should satisfy the following:


a. A minimum of 7 GCSE passes, with a minimum combined GCSE points score of 13. Combined points scores will be worked out on the following basis.

Grade A* = 4 points,

Grade A = 3 points,

Grade B/C* = 2 points and

Grade C = 1 points


Where an applicant has received GCSEs from Examination Boards other than CCEA, the scores will be converted to grade equivalents and points assigned accordingly.

Where an applicant has received alternative qualifications such as BTec Level 2, this will be converted to a GCSE grade equivalent and points assigned accordingly.


b. The ability to satisfy the entry requirements for each of their AS/A level subjects;


c. The availability of a place in the preferred A Level subjects;


d. A previous record, which clearly indicates that high standards have been consistently met in the following areas:

(i) Commitment to the aims and ethos of the school

(ii) Conduct

(iii) Application to study

(iv) Attendance

(v) Punctuality


e. If deemed necessary, pupils will have to satisfactorily complete an interview with the Principal and/or another member of the school’s management team.

Applicants will, on the basis of their combined GCSE points score, be guided towards courses that maximise their chances of success, consistent with their career aspirations. Designation of pupils to courses and classes will be at the discretion of the school.


7.2. To accommodate those from outside the school who wish to join the Sixth Form, if any places remain, the above criteria for admission to Year 13 will apply. In addition:


a. All such applicants should provide satisfactory reports from their previous schools in relation to attendance, punctuality and conduct;


b. All external applicants will be obliged to complete satisfactorily an interview with the Principal and/or another member of the school’s management team;


c. In the event of there being more applicants than places available, those to be admitted will be identified by the application, in the indicated order (1-2) of the criteria set out below:

(i) Applicants who have previously attended a ‘non-grammar’ school whose AS/A2 provision does not meet their needs;

(ii) Pupils with the highest combined GCSE score. Total points score at GCSE will be worked out on the basis of:

Grade A* = 4 points,

Grade A = 3 points,

Grade B/C* = 2 points and

Grade C = 1 points


Where an applicant has received GCSEs from Examination Boards other than CCEA, the scores will be converted to grade equivalents and points assigned accordingly.

Where an applicant has received alternative qualifications such as BTec Level 2, these will be converted to GCSE grade equivalents and points assigned accordingly.


7.3. Criteria for any extra places made available by the Department of Education for admission into Year 13.

The Department of Education (DE) 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 above) and shall be allocated in the order determined by the criteria to be applied in the order set down below.


(i) Pupils who have most recently completed Year 12 in St Patrick’s Academy

(ii) Pupils from other schools where admission to an extra place at St Patrick’s Academy has been agreed by the Department of Education.*


*Parents 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 then 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 an extra place.


What is a school of a type suitable for a pupil?

To determine this, DE first considers all schools to be of four 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 type as suitable for the pupil. DE will also consider as suitable for the pupil any school from the same type of school as the type of school that the child attended in Year 12.


If you have any queries regarding the School or its Admissions Criteria, contact the school principal.

** 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.**