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.
 

Sullivan Upper School

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SULLIVAN UPPER SCHOOL

Belfast Road

Holywood

Co Down

BT18 9EP

Telephone: 028 9042 8780

Fax: 028 9042 7644

Email: info@sullivanupper.holywood.ni.sch.uk

Website: www.sullivanupper.co.uk

Headmaster: Mr C J W Peel BA PGCE MEd PQH(NI)

Chairman, Board of Governors: Mr C Warnock BSc C Dip AF MEI


Voluntary Grammar School  Non-Denominational  Co-Educational


Age Range: 11-18

Admissions No: 150

Enrolment No: 1060


OPEN DAY INFORMATION

A Virtual Open Day can be accessed via the school’s website (www.sullivanupper.co.uk).


TO PARENTS/GUARDIANS NAMING SULLIVAN UPPER SCHOOL ON A TRANSFER APPLICATION.


ENTRANCE TEST RESULTS

Please ensure that you enter the score awarded by the Association for Quality Education (AQE) in the Common Entrance Assessment (CEA), together with the AQE Candidate Number, on the Transfer Application.

The original notification from AQE indicating your child's CEA score should be uploaded to the Transfer Application.


SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES and/or SPECIAL PROVISIONS

If you are making a claim for consideration under Special Circumstances or Special Provisions, please apply using Form SC22 which is available both from the school and AQE. All appropriate information including the completed SC22 should be uploaded to the Transfer Application.


Further details can be found in the section ‘Special Circumstances & Special Provisions’.


Capital Fee

The Capital Fee is £140 per annum.


RESPECTIVE FUNCTIONS OF THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS AND HEADMASTER IN RELATION TO ADMISSIONS TO THE SCHOOL

The school’s Board of Governors draws up and publishes the statement of policy and the admissions criteria for admissions to Year 8. The Transfer Procedure and Admissions Committee, which is a sub-committee of the Board of Governors, is responsible for applying the admissions criteria and for admitting or refusing to admit a pupil to the school. The Headmaster will provide the necessary information to the committee, co-ordinate the application procedure and offer professional advice to the committee.


This statement of policy has been adopted by the School’s Board of Governors and sets out the criteria which will be used to determine which pupils will be admitted to Year 8 of the school for the 2022/2023 school year.


In this statement of policy, the term ‘the School’ is used throughout to denote Sullivan Upper School (both the secondary department and the preparatory department). References to the Board of Governors shall include references to the Board’s Education Policy Committee and the Board’s Transfer Procedure and Admissions Committee.


ADMISSIONS POLICY

The Board of Governors will consider for admission into Year 8 initially only those applicants who have taken the Common Entrance Assessment (CEA) provided by the Association for Quality Education (AQE) and who have been awarded a result in the form of a standardised score. The score in the AQE CEA, together with the candidate number, should be entered on the Transfer Application. The original notification from AQE indicating the child's AQE CEA score should be uploaded to the Transfer Application.


The Board of Governors will not use as a criterion for admission the position of preference given to the school by the applicant on the Transfer Application; for example a pupil who has chosen Sullivan Upper School as a second preference (and whose application to their first preference school has been unsuccessful) will be considered in the same way as all first preference applicants.


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 Transfer Application. It is the responsibility of parents to ensure that all information relevant to the School's criteria is detailed on or uploaded with the Transfer Application.


ADMISSIONS CRITERIA FOR ENTRY OF PUPILS INTO YEAR 8 (2022/2023)

1 Children resident in Northern Ireland at the time of their proposed admission will be selected for admission to the school before any child not so resident. The child’s birth certificate and proof of address should be uploaded to the Transfer Application.


Proof of address eg utility bill, bank statement, driving licence (with sensitive information redacted).


2 The first 120 places from the admissions total of 150 will be allocated to those applicants who have applied and provided a CEA score [including those to whom Special Circumstances or Special Provisions apply] on the basis of the rank order of their respective scores with those achieving higher scores being allocated places before those achieving lower scores. If several applicants are eligible for the 120th place because they have equal scores then all such applicants will be allocated places up to the school’s admission number and on application, if necessary, of the criteria listed in paragraph 3 (below).


3 Following the allocation of places as described in paragraph 2, a limited pool of around 45 applicants will be identified from the remaining applicants, again by rank order of their CEA scores [including those to whom Special Circumstances or Special Provisions apply], who are ranked within the highest 165 CEA scores with those achieving higher scores being allocated to the pool before those with lower scores. If several applicants are eligible for the 165th place because they have equal scores then all such applicants will be included within the pool. Then all remaining available places up to the school’s admissions number will be allocated from this pool upon application of the following criteria which will be applied in the order in which they are set out:


3.1 Applicants who are entitled to free school meals [“entitled to free school meals” will mean applicants who are listed on the Education Authority register as entitled to free school meals at the date on which their parent/guardian submitted the post-primary Transfer Application, or any date up to and including no later than 4.00 pm on 9 March 2022];


3.2 Applicants who, at the date of their application, have a child of the family currently enrolled at the school;


Child 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.


3.3 Applicants who are transferring from one of the following schools (listed alphabetically):

  • Glencraig Integrated Primary School

  • Holywood Primary School

  • St Patrick’s Primary School, Holywood

  • Sullivan Upper Preparatory Department;

3.4 Applicants who, at the date of their application, are the eldest child of the family1 to be eligible to be admitted to the school, including only children.


[NB: twins and other multiple birth applicants will be regarded as joint eldest.] The eldest child criterion will also apply in the case where a family has not had the opportunity to enrol an elder child, such as in cases where the elder child has completed their post-primary education, could not attend mainstream school (eg attends a special school) or where a family has relocated to Northern Ireland.)


Proof of eldest child should be uploaded to the Transfer Application – a letter on headed note paper, stating that the child is the eldest eligible child of the family as defined in Sullivan Upper School’s Admissions Criteria for entry for pupils into Year 8 (2022/23) 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.


1Child of the family as defined in 3.2 above.


3.5 Applicants who are transferring from one of the following schools (listed alphabetically):

  •  Ballyholme Primary School, Bangor

  •  Bangor Central Integrated Primary School, Bangor;

  •  Crawfordsburn Primary School, Bangor

  •  Dundonald Primary School, Dundonald;

  •  Gilhahirk Primary School, Belfast

  •  Grange Park Primary School, Bangor

  •  Kilmaine Primary School, Bangor;

  •  Knocknagoney Primary School, Belfast

  •  Rathmore Primary School, Bangor

  •  St Comgall’s Primary School, Bangor

  •  St Malachy’s Primary School, Bangor

  •  Strandtown Primary School, Belfast

  •  Towerview Primary School, Bangor;

  •  Victoria Park Primary School, Belfast;


3.6 Applicants who are resident within the Holywood postal district of BT18;


In the event that there are fewer applicants complying with a particular criterion than there are places available or remaining, those applicants complying with that criterion will be admitted and the next criterion will be applied to the remaining applicants.


In the event that there are more applicants complying with a particular criterion than there are places available or remaining, those applicants complying with that criterion will go forward to be considered under the next criterion and those not complying will be eliminated.


3.7 In the event that there are more applicants than there are places available or remaining on the application of the last criterion above (3.6), applicants will be selected for the remaining place(s) on the basis of the following criteria, in order:


3.7.1 The CEA score, those achieving higher scores being allocated places before those achieving lower scores.


3.7.2 If more than one applicant is eligible for the final place because they have equal scores, preference will be given to the applicant whose normal place of residence is located nearest to the front entrance [Belfast Road entrance] of the school by the most direct route by road. The school will be responsible for determining the distance between the pupil’s home and the school and will use the RAC Route Planner in conjunction with maps to establish the distance. “Normal place of residence” will be taken to mean the applicant’s address appearing on the Transfer Application.


3.7.3 In the unlikely event that, on the application of the criteria above, two or more applicants are tied for the final place(s), then the applicants will be ranked for acceptance on the basis of a computer-based process which will make use of the names of applicants as shown on their Transfer Application. The process is carried out by means of a computer programme which, for each applicant, generates a ranking number using the details from the online Transfer Application as the seed for a random number generator. The outcome, for any given applicant, is dependent only on the applicant’s name ie “Forename”, “Middlename” (if applicable) and “Surname”, as recorded on the online 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 programme, 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. Further details may be obtained from the Headmaster.


4 If, following the application of the criteria outlined above (paragraphs 1, 2 and 3), all the available places for admission have not been filled, the Board of Governors will consider any other applications, firstly from applicants who have received a CEA score (those with higher scores being allocated places before those with lower scores), and then from applicants who have not taken the CEA. Allocation of these remaining places, if any, will be by application of the criteria outlined in paragraph 3 above.



SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES AND SPECIAL PROVISIONS – GENERAL INFORMATION

The purpose of a claim for Special Circumstances and/or Special Provisions is so that a child can be assigned a score equivalent to that which he or she would have obtained in the AQE CEA under normal conditions. Consideration of a claim for Special Circumstances and/or Special Provisions consists of 2 parts: the first requires the consideration of whether there is sufficient material to permit a child to be considered as having special circumstances or attracting special provisions, or both; if a child is permitted to be considered as having special circumstances or as attracting special provisions or both, the second part of the consideration requires an educational judgement to be made on the material available so that a mark equivalent to that which the child would have obtained in the AQE CEA under normal conditions can be awarded.


It is for parents/guardians to present all such material as they consider will assist the School in performing both parts of the consideration described above. All such material should be uploaded to the Transfer Application. It should be noted by parents/guardians that both parts of the consideration referred to involve an exercise in judgement.


Educational Evidence to be provided in support of a claim for Special Circumstances and/or Special Provisions

In reaching the education judgement needed to award the score that the child would have obtained in the AQE CEA under normal circumstances, the School will consider any material uploaded to the Transfer Application by the parents/guardians. This material may include any or all of the following:


i the standardised score awarded by AQE in the CEA (if the child sits 2 or 3 AQE CEAs) or the raw score awarded by AQE in the CEA (where only one assessment was taken because of illness, self-isolation or other unforeseen circumstances);

ii the results for the child 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 in Years 5 and 6;

iii comparative information from the Primary School, including the results, without names, for other children in the child’s Year 7 class 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 in Years 5 and 6 and where available the respective CEA scores;

iv any other relevant material.


The Information Commissioner’s website www.ico.gov.uk contains guidance for parents with regard to how to access information held by schools in relation to their child.


Special Circumstances

Sullivan Upper School has academic performance as its first criterion, subject only to the consideration of medical or other problems which may have affected performance in the Common Entrance Assessment (CEA) and which are supported by independent documentary evidence of a medical or other appropriate nature. These ‘medical or other problems’ are commonly referred to as ‘special circumstances’.


Please note that if a claim for the consideration of Special Circumstances is made in respect of matters for which Special Access arrangements were granted for a pupil, the School will take into account the fact that the pupil was granted Special Access arrangements for those matters.


Parents/Guardians who wish to apply to the School under Special Circumstances should complete Form SC22 obtainable from the School or AQE, and upload it, with appropriate documentary evidence, to the Transfer Application.


  • Details of Medical or Other Problems

Where it is claimed that a pupil’s performance in the AQE CEA has been affected by a medical or other problem, it is the responsibility of the parents/guardians to set out in the Form SC22 precise details of the problem and upload to the Transfer Application the 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 CEA, the School will require the production of evidence that the pupil was examined by a medical practitioner in relation to the illness at the time of the assessments.


Where the problem is of a non-medical nature the parents/guardians should set out in the Form SC22 precise details of the problem and upload appropriate documentary evidence to the Transfer Application.


A Panel of Governors will consider the application for Special Circumstances. Where this is accepted, the Panel will determine a score for the applicant. In determining an appropriate score, the panel will consider all of the academic information available (see Educational Evidence points i to iv above) and, in the absence of comparative information (see point iii above), other equivalent data collected by the school. Such applicants will then be considered with all other applicants who have received a AQE CEA score and the admissions criteria applied.


Special Provisions

Special Provisions will apply for:

(a) Children whose parents/guardians wish them to transfer from schools outside Northern Ireland.

(b) Children who have received more than half their primary education outside Northern Ireland.

(c) Children entered for the AQE CEA, who because of unforeseen and serious medical or other problems (including absence due to COVID-19 or the need to self-isolate 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 should sit the AQE CEA, with the exception of those applicants who take up residence in Northern Ireland after the 24 September 2021.


Parents/Guardians who wish to apply to the School under Special Provisions should complete Form SC22, obtainable from the School or AQE, stating the precise reason why they believe the applicant is eligible for consideration under Special Provisions. This should be uploaded to the Transfer Application along with the appropriate documentary evidence.


A Panel of Governors will consider the application for Special Provisions. Where this is accepted, the Panel will determine a score for the applicant. In determining a score, the panel will consider all of the academic information available (see Educational Evidence points i to iv above) and, in the absence of comparative information (see point iii above), other equivalent data collected by the school. Such applicants will then be considered with all other applicants who have received a AQE CEA score and the admissions criteria applied.


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 any applicant’s 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.


WAITING LIST

The school operates a waiting list policy. For Year 8, all applications for admission to Year 8 that were initially refused [ie in the Transfer Procedure] will be automatically added to the waiting list. Late applications and new applications received after the Transfer Procedure concludes and applications where new information has been provided will also be added to the waiting list. All applications on the waiting list are ranked according to the published criteria for entry of pupils into Year 8 for the academic year for which application is made. The waiting list will be in place until the end of the academic year for which application is made. Parents should contact the school if they wish their child’s name to be removed from the waiting list.


Should a place become available after the day on which the Year 8 placement letters have been issued, the waiting list will be used to select the pupil to be offered a place. The school will contact parents in writing if a child gains a place in the school by this method.


APPLICATIONS & ADMISSIONS


Year   2019/20

Admissions Number   150

Total Applications ie All Preferences   176

Total Admissions   150


Year   2020/21

Admissions Number   150

Total Applications ie All Preferences   210

Total Admissions   150


Year   2021/22

Admissions Number   150

Total Applications ie All Preferences   299

Total Admissions   152*

*Temporary variation



Criteria for entry into Years 9 to 14 can be found on the school website – www.sullivanupper.co.uk.

** 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.**