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.

Strathearn School

Strathearn School    

Girls’ Grammar   Voluntary Grammar School 



188 Belmont Road 


BT4 2AU  

Telephone No: 028 9047 1595 

Fax No: 028 9065 0555 



Principal: Mrs N Connery MEd BA PQH(NI) 

Chair of Board of Governors:  Mrs L Mallon LLB


Age Range:      11-18 

Admission No:         120 

Enrolment No:         770 



A virtual Open Day will be held and can be accessed via the School’s website from 1st February 


To:  Parents / Guardians naming Strathearn School as a preference on their daughter’s Transfer Application. 

The Board of Governors of Strathearn School (the School) remains firmly committed to academic selection as the method of entry to the School. In this unprecedented year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the cancellation of the Common Entrance Assessment (CEA) administered by the Association of Quality Education (AQE), alternative criteria have been adopted for those pupils seeking entry to Year 8 of the School in September 2021.  


Special Provisions  

If you are making a claim for your daughter to be considered under Special Provisions, please read carefully the information given in the relevant sections below and act accordingly. 


Capital Contribution  

The Capital Contribution is £140 per annum 



The Admissions Criteria set out below have been drawn up and approved by the Board of Governors; their application has been delegated to the Principal. 





Strathearn is an all-girls grammar school offering a wide-ranging curriculum of academic courses.    

Strathearn will not use as a criterion the position of preference given to the School by the applicant on the Transfer Application.  Therefore, a girl who has listed Strathearn as a second or subsequent preference school will be considered in the same way as those who have placed Strathearn first on the list. 

Girls resident in Northern Ireland at the time of their proposed admission to the School will be selected for admission before any girl not so resident. 


In the allocation of the pupils for admission to Strathearn School, the Board of Governors will apply the following criteria, in the order in which they are set out below; 

a. girls who were registered to sit the 2020/21 CEA* or girls who were not entered for the CEA, because they are entitled to apply for Special Provisions (as set out below);  

b. girls enrolled in the School’s Preparatory Department as of 1 September 2020;  

c. girls with a child of the family** as at the date of application currently enrolled in the School’s Secondary Department (details to be supplied) or accepted for enrolment in September 2021; 

d. girls who are the eldest child of the family to be eligible for admission*** in September 2021 (details to be supplied); 

e. girls who are entitled to Free School Meals (details to be supplied)****; 

f. girls with another child of the family as at the date of application who has attended the School’s Secondary Department (name and date of attendance to be supplied); 

g. girls  

- with another child of the family as at the date of application  currently enrolled in Years 8 to 14 or accepted for enrolment in September 2021, in Campbell College or RBAI (Senior School) (details to be supplied), or 

- having a parent currently employed by the School for a continuous minimum period of one year at the date of transfer, or 

- with a parent or guardian who has attended the School’s Secondary Department (name and date of attendance to be supplied) 

If more than one girl is eligible for the final place, priority will be given to the girl whose home is closer to the School.  Distance will be measured in a straight line using an Ordnance Survey web distance measurement tool from the front door of the girl’s home to the front entrance of the School’s main administrative building.  

Home will be taken to mean the girl’s address appearing at the commencement of the Transfer Application Form. 

* Parents / Guardians must provide appropriate documentary evidence that the pupil was registered for the Common Entrance Assessment (AQE). (This evidence should include the candidate number together with the registration letter or registration card.)  

** for the purposes of the Admissions Criteria, the phrase “child of the family” shall have the same meaning as in Article 2(2) of the Domestic Proceedings (NI) Order 1980. 

***”eldest child eligible for admission” will mean the eldest or only girl in the family, with eldest sibling twins (or other multiples) regarded as the joint eldest. The ‘eldest child’ criterion will also apply in the case where a family has not had the opportunity to enrol an elder daughter, such as the case where the elder daughter has completed her post-primary education, could not attend a mainstream school (eg attends a special school) or where the family has relocated to Northern Ireland. 

**** “entitled to Free School Meals” will mean girls who are listed on the Education Authority register as entitled to Free School Meals at the date on which their parent or guardian has signed their post-primary Transfer Application, or at any date up to and including 12 April 2021 no later than 4pm. 


Duty to verify 

The Board of Governors reserves the right at its sole discretion to require such supplementary evidence as it may determine to support or verify information on any applicant’s Transfer/Application Form. 


To this end, the School will adhere to the Department of Education’s verification procedures (Circular 2011/20) which state: 

‘The provision of false or incorrect information or the failure to provide information within the deadlines set by schools can result in the withdrawal of a place and the inability to offer a place on the part of any school nominated on the applicant’s Transfer Form’ 


Special Provisions  

Claims under Special Provisions will be examined and decided upon before the application of any of the Admissions Criteria.  

Special provisions will only apply to children who have not entered for the CEA because they took up residence in Northern Ireland after 9th October 2020 or who have received more than half of their primary education outside Northern Ireland. 

Parents who wish to apply to the School under Special Provisions should contact the School as soon as possible.  In addition, they should complete Form SP20, obtainable from the School, stating the precise reason why they believe the child is eligible for consideration under Special Provisions and provide appropriate independent documentary evidence.  

A copy of SP20 and all the documentary evidence should be uploaded with the Transfer Application. 

For those pupils whose parents wish them to transfer from schools outside Northern Ireland, applications for Special Provisions should be received by the School by 16th March 2021. 

A panel of Governors will consider the application of Special Provisions. If it is decided that Special Provisions do apply, then that child shall be considered for admission in accordance with the Admissions Criteria set out above. 


Waiting Lists. 

Strathearn School operates a waiting lists policy.  For Year 8, all applications for admission to Year 8 that were initially refused will be automatically added to the waiting list.  New applications, late applications and applications where new information has been provided will also be added to the waiting list.  This waiting list will be in place until the end of the following academic year, that is, the end of Year 8.  Please contact the School if you wish your daughter’s name to be removed from the list. 

Should a vacancy arise after the day placement letters will be issued, the published criteria will be applied to the waiting list to select the next candidate for admission. 

Waiting lists are also maintained for other Years and applications should be made in writing using the form available on the School website or from reception. 



Applications and Admissions 


Year      2018/19

Admissions No    110

Total Applications ie. All preferences     166

Total Admissions     110


Year      2019/20

Admissions No    120

Total Applications ie. All preferences     157

Total Admissions     122*


Year      2020/21

Admissions No    120

Total Applications ie. All preferences     167

Total Admissions     121*

*Figures include pupils with a full SEN statement 





Years 2-5 ADMISSION 


1. Admission to Forms 2-5 will be governed by the availability of places within that year group, class sizes including practical class sizes and the School’s planned allocation and usage of staff, accommodation and other resources.  Admission to the School will depend on the applicant’s ability to benefit from the academic and creative life of the School.


2. In the case of applicants from other post-primary schools, the Board of Governors will give preference to girls on the basis of academic achievement.  Academic achievement will be judged with reference to the transfer grade/score (if there was one) and evidence of academic achievement and pastoral information from the current school’s reports.   

3. In the event of being oversubscribed with applicants for any year group the following criteria will apply: 


I. Academic Record (AQE/ GL Score, examination results, current school’s reports) 

II. Applicant attended the Preparatory Department of the School 

III. Sister of the applicant attends or attended the School 

IV. Applicant is the first born girl in the family 

V. Sister of the applicant is accepted for the secondary department of the School for the forthcoming academic year 



Available on the School’s website.  


The Admissions Criteria have been drawn up and approved by the Board of Governors; their application has been delegated to the 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.**