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.
 

Strabane Academy

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STRABANE ACADEMY  

61 Derry Road Strabane

Co Tyrone BT82 8LD 

Email: info@strabaneacademy.strabane.ni.sch.uk 

Web: www.strabaneacademy.co.uk

Tel No: 028 7188 2578 

Fax No: 028 7188 2988

Principal: Mr D Hampton B.Ed M.Sc AdvCertEd. PQH(NI) 

Chair of the Board of Governors: Mrs Mary Smyth


Controlled Grammar Boys and Girls

Age Range 11-18

Admissions No: 110

Enrolment No: 700

Roll: 608


This year we will again be holding a Virtual Open Evening, details of which, will be posted online at the beginning of Term Two.


The Board of Governors has determined that all children resident in Northern Ireland at the time of their proposed admission to the School will be selected for admission before any child not so resident.


When considering which children should be selected for admission, the Board of Governors will only take into account information which is detailed on or attached to the Transfer Form. Parents/Guardians should therefore ensure that all information pertaining to their child and relevant to the school’s admissions criteria is stated on the Transfer Application or attached to it. Examples of such information include the score provided by AQE (or awarded as a result of Special Circumstances or Special Provisions).


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

• An original copy of the results issued by AQE must be attached to the Transfer Application.

• The candidate number issued to your child by AQE when you registered for the assessment.


Parents/Guardians should note that they may be required to produce documents verifying information pertinent to the School’s Admissions Criteria.


Special Circumstances and/or Special Provision

Admission through the Academic based entry has academic performance as its first criterion, subject only to the consideration of medical or other problems which may have affected performance in the AQE test and which are supported by documentary evidence of a medical or other appropriate nature. These 'medical or other problems' are commonly referred to as 'Special Circumstances'.


Please note that an application for both Access Arrangements and Special Circumstances cannot be made for the same reason. Where a problem or need 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 of the assessments on the day of the AQE test.


Parents/Guardians who wish to apply to the School under Special Circumstances should complete the appropriate forms obtainable from AQE and attach it with suitable documentary evidence, as detailed below, to the Transfer Application.


• Details of Medical or Other Problems


Where it is claimed that a child's performance in the AQE has been affected by a medical or other problem, it is the responsibility of the parents/guardians to set out on the appropriate forms precise details of the problem and append evidence to corroborate its existence.


Where the problem is a medical one of short term duration which affected the pupil only at the time of the AQE test, the School will give greater weight to evidence that the pupil was examined by a medical practitioner in relation to the illness at the time of the assessment.


Where the problem is of a non-medical nature the parents/guardians should set out on the appropriate forms precise details of the problem and append any appropriate evidence to corroborate its existence.


Educational Evidence

• The score awarded by AQE (if the child sits two or three AQE assessments) or the raw score awarded by AQE, where only one assessment was taken because of illness, self-isolation or other unforeseen circumstances.

• Objective documentary evidence must be provided by the parents/guardians. This may include the results for the applicant of any standardised tests conducted in Year 5, Year 6 and Year 7 and the results in any end of year tests in English and Mathematics.


Parents/Guardians may also provide additional comparative information verified by the Primary School and attach this to the Transfer Application.


The Admissions Sub-Committee will consider the application for Special Circumstances. Where this is accepted, the panel will determine, on the basis of the information available, an appropriate score for the child. Such children will then be considered with all other children who have received a Transfer Test result and the Admissions Criteria applied.


SPECIAL PROVISIONS

Special provisions will apply for:

• Children whose parents/guardians wish them to transfer from schools outside Northern Ireland;

• Children who have received more than half of their primary education outside Northern Ireland;

• Children, entered for the AQE, who because of unforeseen and serious medical or other problems (including absence for all three assessments due to COVID-19 or the need to self-isolate for all three assessments due to COVID-19) which are supported by appropriate independent documentary evidence, were unable to participate in any of the assessments.


Note: It is expected that all those seeking admission through the Academic based entry should sit the AQE assessments with the exception of those applicants who take up residence in Northern Ireland after the start of Year 7.


Parents/Guardians who wish to apply to the School under Special Provisions should complete the appropriate forms obtainable from AQE stating the precise reason why they believe the applicant is eligible for consideration under Special Provisions. This should be sent to the School with appropriate independent documentary evidence.


The Admissions Sub-Committee of the Board of Governors will consider the application for Special Provisions. Where this is granted, the following procedures will apply:

• The School will consider any accredited assessments including information supplied by the child's Primary School, and will accept additional objective evidence of the child’s academic ability including a Psychologist’s Report.

• The Admissions Sub-Committee will determine, on the basis of all the available information, an appropriate assessment of the child. Such children will then be considered with all other children who have received an AQE outcome and the Admissions Criteria applied.


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

In the event of the school being oversubscribed the Board of Governors has approved the criteria described below. Decisions in respect of "Special Circumstances" and "Special Provisions" are taken by the Board of Governors in consultation with the Admissions Sub-Committee. Further reference, therefore, to the Board of Governors may imply the Admissions Sub-Committee.


The school will not use as a criterion the position of preference given to the school on the Transfer Form; for example, a child who has chosen the school as a second preference school will be considered in the same way as all first preference applicants.


ADMISSIONS CRITERIA 2022

Route 1 – Academic based entry

Academic ability entry can admit 50% of students. Its purpose is to further the all ability aim of the school and to ensure that each year group caters for students of all abilities including the most academically able.


Consideration will also be given to those children claiming "Special Circumstances", as defined above, in respect of medical or other problems which may have affected performance in the Assessment.


Criterion 1

Under this criterion, the Board of Governors will first consider for admission to Year 8, children who have taken the AQE Common Entrance Assessment and been awarded a score or been awarded a score as a result of Special Circumstances or Special Provisions, as defined above.


AQE will provide parents with an age adjusted Standardised Score for each applicant who has taken that assessment in Northern Ireland in 2021. Pupils will be allocated a place using a strict rank order of marks, so that higher scores precede lower scores.


If the number of applications is greater than the admissions number, the following criteria shall be applied in the order set down below until the point where the admissions number is reached.


1. Children who, at the date of their application EITHER have a child of the family¹ (sibling) currently enrolled at the school [state name(s) and Registration Group(s) on the Transfer Application] OR are the eldest² child of the family¹ to be eligible to transfer to a mainstream Post-Primary School (details to be supplied on the Transfer Application).

2. Children who are transferring from Controlled Primary Schools

3. Children who are transferring from Maintained Primary Schools

4. The age of the child. This will be alternated each year between eldest child and youngest child with preference this year being given to the youngest child (established by date-of-birth on the Birth Certificate)


¹Child of the family covers: a child born to a married couple or to a couple in a civil partnership; a child born to a co-habiting couple; a child born to a single parent; a child of either/any of those people by a previous marriage, civil partnership or relationship; a child living with a couple who has been treated as a “child of the family” whether there is a marriage or a civil partnership or not; a child living with an individual, who has been treated as a “child of the family”; an adopted or fostered child; a situation where, for example, an orphaned cousin is being brought up with a family or individual.

2 Twins and other multiple birth applicants will be regarded as joint eldest. Eldest ‘child of the family’ eligible to transfer includes cases where the eldest child has completed his/her post-primary education, the eldest child of a reconstituted family, the eldest child of the family was statemented or attended a special school or where a family has relocated to Northern Ireland.


Proof of eldest child should be uploaded with the 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.


In the event of being over-subscribed in any of the above criteria then selection for places remaining at that stage will be in accordance with the Tie-breaker criterion set out below.


Tie-breaker

The age of the child. This will be alternated each year between eldest child and youngest child with preference this year being given to the youngest child (established by date-of-birth on the Birth Certificate)


Further tie-breaker

In the unlikely event, in the tie-breaker criterion of two or more children having the same birthday, children will be selected by establishing a rank order determined on the basis of the order of surnames A to Z, using the surname as entered on the Birth Certificate or Adopted Children's Register. In the event that two or more such children have identical surnames then the rank order will be determined on the basis of the order of the initials of the forenames (as entered on the birth certificate). In the event of the matter not being resolved using the above methods children will be selected by establishing a rank order determined on the basis of the order as detailed below:


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


In the event that applications considered for Route 1 exceed the number of places available, all applications which are not admitted via Route 1 will automatically be considered for Route 2.


Route 2 – All ability based entry

The all ability entry will be selected with no reference to test scores. Those children who if the number of applications is greater than the Admissions Number, the following criteria shall be applied in the order set down below until the point where the admissions number is reached.

1. Children who, at the date of their application EITHER have a child of the family¹ (sibling) currently enrolled at the school [state name(s) and Registration Group(s) on the Transfer Application] OR are the eldest² child of the family¹ to be eligible to transfer to a mainstream Post-Primary School (details to be supplied on the Transfer Application).

2. Children who are transferring from Controlled Primary Schools

3. Children who are transferring from Maintained Primary Schools

4. The age of the child. This will be alternated each year between eldest child and youngest child with preference this year being given to the youngest child (established by date-of-birth on the Birth Certificate)


¹Child of the family covers: a child born to a married couple or to a couple in a civil partnership; a child born to a co-habiting couple; a child born to a single parent; a child of either/any of those people by a previous marriage, civil partnership or relationship; a child living with a couple who has been treated as a “child of the family” whether there is a marriage or a civil partnership or not; a child living with an individual, who has been treated as a “child of the family”; an adopted or fostered child; a situation where, for example, an orphaned cousin is being brought up with a family or individual.

2 Twins and other multiple birth applicants will be regarded as joint eldest. Eldest ‘child of the family’ eligible to transfer includes cases where the eldest child has completed his/her post-primary education, the eldest child of a reconstituted family, the eldest child of the family was statemented or attended a special school or where a family has relocated to Northern Ireland.


Proof of eldest child should be uploaded with the 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.


In the event of being over-subscribed in any of the above criteria then selection for places remaining at that stage will be in accordance with the Tie-breaker criterion set out below.


Tie-breaker

The age of the child. This will be alternated each year between eldest child and youngest child with preference this year being given to the youngest child (established by date-of-birth on the Birth Certificate)


Further tie-breaker

In the unlikely event, in the tie-breaker criterion of two or more children having the same birthday, children will be selected by establishing a rank order determined on the basis of the order of surnames A to Z, using the surname as entered on the Birth Certificate or Adopted Children's Register. In the event that two or more such children have identical surnames then the rank order will be determined on the basis of the order of the initials of the forenames (as entered on the birth certificate). In the event of the matter not being resolved using the above methods children will be selected by establishing a rank order determined on the basis of the order as detailed below:


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


Special Educational Needs

The procedures for children in receipt of a Statement of Special Educational Needs will operate outside the normal enrolment procedures in order to ensure that such children are provided with the most appropriate school placement. Further advice may be obtained from the Education Authority as appropriate.


Admissions to Year 8 following completion of the Transfer Procedure

Should the Board of Governors determine that a child who has arrived in Northern Ireland after the Transfer Process has been concluded is suitable for admission and our Admissions Number has been reached, it will seek approval from the Department of Education to admit the child through the allocation of an additional place.


Parents/Guardians who wish to have their child considered for admission in the event of a place arising after the beginning of the school year should write to the Principal stating this. An acknowledgement will be issued. If any place(s) become available after 1 September 2022 and there are more applicants than places available, then decisions will be made on application of the Year 8 Admissions Criteria to those children seeking admission at the time the place(s) become available. When the Board of Governors considers that the admission of the child would prejudice the efficient use of resources it may refuse admission.


It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to ensure that all information on the above relevant factors is given on the child’s Transfer Form and in documents attached thereto.


lf the Board of Governors becomes aware of;

(a) Any material irregularity in the application made to the Association for Quality Education Limited in connection with the prescribed test, or

(b) Any falsification of any documents submitted to the Association for Quality Education Limited in connection with the prescribed test, or

(c) Any material breach of the conditions on the part of the child or his/her parents/guardians relating to the prescribed test.

The Board of Governors reserves the right to reject the application of such a child.


THE VERIFICATION OF INFORMATION

Those making applications should note that the information contained within an application that qualifies the child for admission will be verified. The Board of Governors therefore reserves the right to require such supplementary evidence as it may determine to support or verify information on any Application Form/Transfer Form. This information will be requested from those whose applications have been successful on or shortly after Sat 21 May 2022 when they have been notified of their allocation of a place at the school. Those making applications should also note the provision of false information or incorrect information, or the 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.


NUMBERS OF APPLICATIONS AND ADMISSIONS





Year   2018/19

Admissions No.   110

Total Applications All Preferences   91

Total Admissions   87


Year    2019/20

110

100

100


2020/21

Admissions No.   110

Total Applications All Preferences   129

*119


Year    2021/22

Admissions No.    110

Total Applications All Preferences    112

112

*Temporary Variation granted



ADMISSION CRITERIA FOR ENTRY TO YEARS 9 – 12

Applications should be made in writing, to the school using the relevant application form obtainable from the school (AP1 form). All those seeking admission will be required to provide reports from their present school.

The admissions criteria for the above Year groups is available upon request from the school office.

Following receipt of an application, the school will advise as to the next steps to be taken and subsequently provide written notification of any decision to admit the pupil or otherwise.

** 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.**