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.
 

The Royal Belfast Academical Institution

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THE ROYAL BELFAST ACADEMICAL INSTITUTION

College Square East

Belfast

BT1 6DL

Telephone: 028 9024 0461

E-mail: prinsec@rbai.belfast.ni.sch.uk

Web-site: www.rbai.org.uk

Principal: Ms J Williamson MA (Oxon) NPQH, CF

Chair of Board of Governors: Mr R M Howard BSc, FCA


Voluntary Grammar School  Boys Grammar

Age Range: 11-18

Admission Number: 150

Enrolment Number: 1050



OPEN DAYS

Due to Covid Restrictions there is a virtual Open Day Tour on the school website.


To Parents/Guardians naming The Royal Belfast Academical Institution as a preference on your child’s Transfer Form.


Exam Test Results

Please ensure that Section C of your son’s Transfer Form includes the AQE and/or GLA score.

It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to make sure that the original notification received from the AQE and/or GLA indicating their child’s score is attached to the Transfer Form. A photocopy will not be accepted.


Special Circumstances and/or Special Provision

If you are making a claim for your child to be considered under Special Circumstances or Special Provision (and these are called “special cases” in the Admissions Criteria) please note that you are required to:

- Attach to the Transfer Form the information required by the School as referred to in the Admissions Criteria in

“Special Cases”, Notes 1-7.


CAPITAL FEE £1,045 – 2021/22 (2022/23 tbc)


ADMISSIONS POLICY

Admissions Criteria for entry into Year 8 in 2022

The Board is responsible for the Admissions Criteria set out below. The Board in applying those criteria may delegate that responsibility to a sub-committee appointed by the Board for that purpose. Only boys may apply for admission to the School, and in the event that the School has more applicants than it has places, it will apply the criteria set out below in selecting those applicants to whom it will offer places.


The Board will consider the outcome of a boy’s performance in either the Common Entrance Assessment conducted by The Association for Quality Education Limited (“AQE”) or the GL assessment (“GLA”) organised by the Post Primary Transfer Consortium. On the Transfer Form parents should provide details of the candidate number issued to their son by AQE and/or GLA when he was registered for the assessment.


In these criteria:


“alternative

academic evidence” means any or all of the following:

(a) such objective evidence of the applicant’s primary school test results in English and Mathematics (i.e. internal school tests and standardised tests) from the beginning of the Key Stage 2 period (i.e. P5) as the parents or guardians of the applicant produce to the School

(b) such comments of the principal of the applicant’s primary school on the pupil’s academic achievements in comparison with the other members of the pupil’s P7 class as are produced to the School

(c) a report from an educational psychologist

(d) any accredited assessments of the applicant’s ability in English, Mathematics and verbal reasoning

(e) such other information as to the applicant’s academic ability as is provided to the School


NOTES:

(a) It is emphasised that the onus is on the parents or guardians to ensure that the information referred to in (a) to (e) in the definition of “alternative academic evidence” above is provided to the School. Failure to provide such information may adversely affect the School’s ability to assess into which Band the applicant should be placed.

(b) The School will give such weight as it considers appropriate to such alternative academic evidence as is provided to it


“the Board” means the Board of Governors of the School.

“AQE test” means the Common Entrance Assessment conducted by the Association for Quality Education Limited in November/December 2021

“GL test” means the GL assessment organised by the Post Primary Transfer Consortium and held in November 2021

“Standardised Score” means the age adjusted standardised score obtained by a boy in the AQE test.

“Cohort Percentile” means the Cohort Percentile of the score obtained by a boy in the GL test

“Band 1” means a group those boys whose Standardised Scores exceeded 106 or whose Cohort Percentiles exceeded 60, but subject to clause 1.1.

“Band 2” means a group those boys whose Standardised Scores were between 103 and 105 or whose Cohort Percentiles were between 50 and 59, but subject to clause 1.1.

“Band 3” means a group those boys whose Standardised Scores were between 99 and 102 or whose Cohort Percentiles were between 40 and 49, but subject to clause 1.1.

“Band 4” means a group those boys whose Standardised Scores were between 94 and 98 or whose Cohort Percentiles were between 30 and 39, but subject to clause 1.1.

“Band 5” means a group those boys whose Standardised Scores were between 88 and 93 or whose Cohort Percentiles were between 20 and 29, but subject to clause 1.1.

“Band 6” means a group those boys whose Standardised Scores were 87 or less or whose Cohort Percentiles were 19 or less, but subject to clause 1.1.

“Band 7” means those boys who did not participate in either the AQE test or the GL test and who are not entitled to claim to be treated as a special case but who are considered by the Board, having used alternative academic evidence, to have such academic ability as to be able to benefit from the academic education offered by the School.

“Pool” means a group of 20 boys identified by the application of the criteria set out in in sub-clauses 1.2.1 to 1.2.6 (inclusive) and paragraph 2.


NOTES:-

As evidence of a boy’s score in either the AQE test or the GL test (as the case may be), parents should attach the original AQE results form or a copy of the GLA results form (or both where an applicant has sat both assessments) to the Transfer Form.


“sibling” means: In the case of a boy applying for admission to the School:

(a) a child born to one or both of the boy’s parents, or

(b) a child who has been adopted by one or both of the boy’s parents, or

(c) a child living in the same household as the boy and the child is treated by one or both of the boy’s parents as if the child had been born to one or both of the parents.


“special cases” means: (a) a claim that an applicant’s performance in the prescribed test has been affected by a medical or other problem or circumstance and independent evidence of its existence is provided to the School; or

(b) a claim that an applicant’s performance in the prescribed test has been affected by the fact that he has received more than half his primary school education outside Northern Ireland; or

(c) a claim that an applicant who had applied to sit the prescribed test was unable to take at least two of the assessments making up the prescribed test because of a medical or other problem; or

(d) the fact that an applicant did not take up residence in Northern Ireland until after 3rd September 2021.


NOTES:

1 Parents or guardians who wish to make a claim that their son or ward is a special case should obtain the appropriate form from the AQE or PPTC website, complete it and attach it with the appropriate documentary evidence to the Transfer Form to be submitted to the Education Authority.

2 Where the problem is a medical one of short term duration which affected the boy only at the time when any of the tests were taken by him, parents or guardians must provide evidence that the boy was examined by a medical practitioner in relation to the illness.

3 In the case of the AQE test, where the problem is a medical one which prevented the boy taking at least two of the assessments making up the AQE test, parents or guardians must forward to the School evidence that the boy was examined by a medical practitioner in relation to the illness who has certified that by reason of such illness the boy was unable to participate in at least two of such assessments.

4 Where the problem or circumstance is of a non-medical nature, parents or guardians should provide precise details of the problem and append any appropriate credible evidence to corroborate its existence;

5 Where a boy was granted special access arrangements in connection with his participation in the AQE test or the GL test, as the case may be, and the boy’s claim for special circumstances is based on the same problem for which special access arrangements were given, that fact shall be taken into account by the Board when considering if the applicant is entitled to claim for special circumstances

6 In considering a claim by a boy who sat all three assessments making up the AQE test for special circumstances affecting only one of the assessments, the Board may take into consideration the fact that the applicant sat all three assessments and that the applicant’s result in the AQE test is based on his two best scores.


1.1 If a boy participated in both the AQE test and the GL test, and the result of one test would allow him to be placed in a higher band than his result in the other, he shall be placed in the higher band.


1.2 The School will admit 140 boys, admitting

1.2.1 boys in Band 1 before boys in Band 2,

1.2.2 boys in Band 2 before those in Band 3,

1.2.3 boys in Band 3 before those in Band 4,

1.2.4 boys in Band 4 before those in Band 5,

1.2.5 boys in Band 5 before those in Band 6, and

1.2.6 boys in Band 6 before those in Band 7.


1.3 The School will identify the Pool and 10 of the boys in the Pool will be admitted by applying, in order, the criteria set out in clause 3.

1.4 Where a boy has asked to be treated as a special case and the Board on the evidence produced to it has concluded that the boy is entitled to be so treated, the Board shall make an assessment of the academic ability of that boy taking into account the score(s) (if any) of the boy in the AQE test and/or the GL test and, using such alternative academic evidence as is available to it, shall accord to that applicant an estimated score and shall place that boy in the Band appropriate for that estimated score.


2. Where a selection has to be made as between boys within a Band, to determine whom should be admitted to the School or to the Pool, priority will be determined by applying, in order, the criteria set out in clause 3


3. The following are the criteria to be applied for the purposes of clause 2:

3.1 An applicant who is a pupil of Inchmarlo;

3.2 An applicant who has, or has had, a sibling attending the School;

3.3 An applicant who has a sibling attending a girls’ only post primary school (please provide name of such child, the school attending and the Year group);

3.4 An applicant who is the only or eldest boy of his family;

3.5 An applicant who is a pupil of any of the following primary schools:


NOTE - These schools are those which have in the past seven years sent most pupils to R.B.A.I. ranked in accordance with the actual number of pupils so sent, but so that a pupil from the school named at paragraph 3.5.1 will be admitted before a pupil from the school named at paragraph 3.5.2, and so forth;


3.5.1 Strandtown PS

3.5.12 Cairnshill PS

3.5.2 Downshire PS

3.5.13= Cavehill PS

3.5.3 Pond Park PS

3.5.13 = Orangefield PS

3.5.4 Harmony Hill PS

3.5.15= Academy PS

3.5.5= Dundonald PS

3.5.15 = Ballymacash PS

3.5.5= Finaghy PS

3.5.15 = Greenisland PS

3.5.5= Stranmillis PS

3.5.18 = Meadow Bridge PS

3.5.8= Gilnahirk PS

3.5.18 = Moneyrea PS

3.5.8= St Bride’s PS

3.5.20 = Killowen PS

3.5.8= Whiteabbey PS

3.5.20 = Maghaberry PS

3.5.11 Moira PS


3.6 An applicant whose parent is a member of the staff of the School;

3.7 An applicant who is entitled to receive free school meals;

3.8 An applicant selected by computerised random selection.


WARNING

If the Board of Governors becomes aware of

(a) any material irregularity in the application made by the applicant 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 applicant or his parents or guardians relating to the prescribed test.


it reserves the right to reject the application to the School of such applicant.


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 Form.


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 POLICY

Should a vacancy arise after 30 May 2022 all applications for admission to Year 8 that were initially refused, 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 until 30 June 2023. Please contact the School if you wish your son’s name to be removed from the list.


APPLICATIONS AND ADMISSIONS


Year   2019/20

Admissions No   150

Total Applications ie. All preferences   215

Total Admissions   155@


Year   2020/21

Admissions No   150

Total Applications ie. All preferences   227

Total Admissions   152@


Year   2021/22

Admissions No   150

Total Applications ie. All preferences   352

Total Admissions   156*#


* additional places : Appeals Process

# additional places : Exceptional Circumstances Body, Department of Education

@ additional places : Temporary variation by Department of Education for one year only


ADMISSIONS TO YEARS 9 – 11

If there are places available in Years 9, 10, or 11, the School will wish to be satisfied that applicants:-

1. have favourable comments as to their a) academic attainment and progress (have reached and are sustaining a standard which is compatible with the demands and requirements made upon the year group which they hope to enter); b) behaviour; and c) attendance.

2. have the ability and aptitude to benefit from the education provided at RBAI.

3. A Cognitive Ability Testing (CATS) and interview may be part of the admissions procedure.


PROGRESS AFTER ADMISSION

RBAI expects pupils to maintain a satisfactory level of progress and achievement throughout their career at the School. Once admitted to the School, a boy must maintain academic progress in line with the School’s expectation that admitted pupils will gain at least five GCSE grades C or above and 12 points or equivalent. If a pupil’s progress at any stage in the years 8 - 12 drops below this minimum level he and his parents will be warned about the situation, and if his progress does not improve sufficiently by the end of the following term he may be advised that education at RBAI will no longer be in his best interests, and his parents will be required to withdraw him from the School.


ADMISSIONS TO SIXTH FORM

Pupils wishing to enter the Sixth Form will normally require a minimum of 12 points (A*= 4 points, A = 3 points, B = 2 points, C* = 1 ½ points, C = 1 point) and undertake 3 AS or equivalents. Pupils are generally expected to have achieved at least a Grade B or a high Grade C* at GCSE level in the subjects they wish to continue with in the Sixth Form. If a subject is oversubscribed criteria may be enhanced. Returning to the Sixth Form is also dependent upon a pupil’s disciplinary record, an average attendance of 95%, and the professional judgement of staff that a pupil has the self-motivation to follow a post-16 course. Credit will also be given to the contribution a pupil has made to the co-curricular life of the school. Progression to A2 requires students to have achieved a minimum of 3 D grades. A pupil will only be considered to repeat Year 13 under exceptional circumstances.

** 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.**