Admission criteria for
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.
The Royal Belfast Academical Institution
The Royal Belfast Academical Institution
Voluntary Grammar School Boys Grammar
College Square East
Telephone: 028 9024 0461
Principal: Miss J Williamson MA (Oxon) NPQH
Chair of Board of Governors: Mr C D Gowdy LLB
Age Range: 11-18
Admission Number: 150
Enrolment Number: 1050
Due to Covid-19 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 son’s Transfer Application.
Please ensure that your son’s Transfer Application includes the primary academic evidence as defined below. The form in which such academic evidence is required is appended to these criteria and should be completed and signed by the Principal of your son’s primary school.
It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to make sure that the original form signed by the primary school Principal is uploaded with the Transfer Application or is otherwise made available to the School. The School reserves the right to verify the primary academic evidence. By making an application to the School, you authorise the Principal of your son’s primary school to disclose the primary academic evidence to the School.
Special Circumstances and/or Special Provision
If you are making a claim for your son 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/upload to the Transfer Application the secondary academic evidence, as defined below, or
- ensure that the secondary academic evidence is otherwise made available to the School (see Notes (a) and (b) below).
The School reserves the right to verify the secondary academic evidence. By making an application to the School, you authorise the Principal of your son’s primary school to disclose the secondary academic evidence to the School.
CAPITAL FEE £1,020 – 20/21 (2021/22 tbc)
Admissions Criteria for entry into Year 8 in 2021
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.
In these criteria:
“practice AQE papers” means those practice tests taken by the applicant supervised under controlled conditions by a teacher which consisted of papers set by the Association for Quality Education Limited and used as part of the Common Entrance Assessment offered by that body in previous years;
“practice PPTC papers” means those practice tests taken by the applicant supervised under controlled conditions by a teacher which consisted of papers used by the Post Primary Transfer Consortium as part of the assessment offered by that body in previous years;
“evidence form” means a form completed by the applicant’s primary school and signed by the Principal of that school in the form of the template annexed to these criteria and containing the information which that template states is required;
“primary academic evidence” means the results of the tests known as PTE and PTM taken in the applicant’s primary school during his P5 year expressed as a standardised age score and as a stanine derived from P5 children in Northern Ireland and as evidenced in the evidence form produced by the parents or guardians of the applicant to the School;
academic evidence” means:
(a) such other academic evidence as the applicant’s primary school can provide in respect of the applicant’s academic ability and which should, if possible, include the average of the results of the three best practice AQE papers and/or the three best practice PPTC papers taken by the Applicant, and/or
(b) such other information as to the applicant’s academic aptitude as is available to the School.
(a) It is emphasised that the onus is on the parents or guardians to ensure that the information referred to in the definitions of “primary academic evidence” and “secondary 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 secondary academic evidence as is provided to it.
“special cases” means
(a) the fact that an applicant is unable to provide primary academic evidence by reason of his not having taken any of the tests referred to in the definition of “primary academic evidence”;
(b) a claim that the applicant’s performance in any of the tests referred to in the definition of “primary academic evidence” was affected by a medical or other problem;
(c) a claim that the applicant’s performance in the tests referred to in the definition of “primary academic evidence” was affected by reason of the fact that he had at the time of those tests received more than half of his education outside Northern Ireland.
(a) Parents or guardians who wish to make a claim that their son or ward is a special case should specify the nature of their claim in writing and upload it together with the appropriate documentary evidence, including the secondary academic evidence, to the Transfer Application to be submitted to the Education Authority. In the event that the claim and the required documentary evidence cannot be uploaded to the Transfer Application, parents and guardians should ensure that it is delivered to the School
(b) Where the problem was a medical one of short term duration which affected the boy only at the time when any of the tests were taken, parents or guardians must provide evidence that the boy was examined by a medical practitioner in relation to the illness.
(c) 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.
“the Board” means the Board of Governors of the School;
“the School” means The Royal Belfast Academical Institution but does not include Inchmarlo;
“stanine” means the method of scaling test scores on a nine-point standard scale with a mean of five and a standard deviation of two;
“aggregate stanine” means the sum of the stanines attributable to the applicant in the tests which comprise the primary academic evidence;
“Band 1” means a group of those boys whose aggregate stanine is 17 or 18;
“Band 2” means a group of those boys whose aggregate stanine is 15 or 16;
“Band 3” means a group of those boys whose aggregate stanine is 13 or 14;
“Band 4” means a group of those boys whose aggregate stanine is 11 or 12;
“Band 5” means a group of those boys whose aggregate stanine is 9 or 10;
“Band 6” means a group of those boys whose aggregate stanine is 7 or 8;
“Band 7” means a group of those boys whose aggregate stanine is 5 or 6;
“Band 8” means a group of those boys whose aggregate stanine is 3 or4;
“Band 9” means a group of those boys whose aggregate stanine is 2.
1.1 The School will admit 150 boys, admitting in the following order, but subject to clause 1.2
1.1.1 boys in Band 1,
1.1.2 boys in Band 2,
1.1.3 boys in Band 3,
1.1.4 boys in Band 4,
1.1.5 boys in Band 5,
1.1.6 boys in Band 6,
1.1.7 boys in Band 7,
1.1.8 boys in Band 8,
1.1.9 boys in Band 9.
1.2 Where a selection has to be made as between boys within a Band, to determine who should be admitted to the School, priority will be determined by applying, in order, the criteria set out in clause 2.
1.3 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 primary academic evidence (if it is available) and the secondary academic evidence and shall estimate the aggregate stanine for that boy and place him in the appropriate Band.
2. The following are the criteria to be applied (a) for the purposes of clauses 1.2, or, (b) in the event of the School not admitting 150 boys by the application of clause 1.1, and a selection has to be made from among other applicants, such criteria being applied in the following order:
2.1 An applicant who is a pupil of Inchmarlo ;
2.2 An applicant who has, or has had, a brother attending the School;
2.3 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 criterion 2.3.1 will be admitted before a pupil from the school named at criterion 2.3.2, and so forth;
2.3.1 Strandtown PS
2.3.10= Moira PS
2.3.2 Downshire PS
2.3.12 Ballymacash PS
2.3.3 Pond Park PS
2.3.13= Cavehill PS
2.3.4 Harmony Hill PS
2.3.13 = Meadow Bridge PS
2.3.5= Finaghy PS
2.3.15 = Moneyrea PS
2.3.5= Dundonald PS
2.3.15 = Andrews Memorial PS
2.3.7 Whiteabbey PS
2.3.15 = Orangefield PS
2.3.8= Gilnahirk PS
2.3.18 = Academy PS
2.3.8= St Bride’s PS
2.3.18 = Cairnshill PS
2.3.10= Stranmillis PS
2.3.18 = Fullerton Prep
2.4 An applicant who is the only or eldest boy in his family;
2.5 An applicant whose father or grandfather attended the School (please provide name and years of attendance);
2.6 An applicant selected by computerised random selection.
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 POLICY
Should a vacancy arise after 18 June 2021 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 2022. Please contact the School if you wish your son’s name to be removed from the list.
APPLICATIONS AND ADMISSIONS
Admissions No 150
Total Applications ie. All preferences 228
Total Admissions 151*
Admissions No 150
Total Applications ie. All preferences 215
Total Admissions 155#
Admissions No 150
Total Applications ie. All preferences 227
Total Admissions 152#
* additional place: Appeals Process
# additional places: Department of Education awarded additional places for this year only
Academic Data Submission Form
Pupil name: __________________________ Primary School: ___________________________________
AQE / GL candidate number: ______________ / _________________
In the table below, please provide evidence for the above named pupil of:
• The standardised score for the GL Assessment Progress Test in English (PTE 9) and Progress Test in Maths (PTM 9) as assessed in Primary/Year 5
• The stanine band that this standardised score equates to
This information should be derived from the GL Testwise report (NI)
Standardised Age Score
( NI comparison )
Stanine band ( 1-9)
In the tables below, please provide evidence of results in the pupil’s 3 best AQE/PPTC (GL) practice papers.
“practice AQE/PPTC papers” means those practice tests taken by the applicant supervised under controlled conditions by a teacher which consisted of papers set by the Association for Quality Education Limited / Post Primary Transfer Consortium and used as part of the entrance assessment offered by that body in previous years.
Table 2 – AQE Table 3 – GL (PPTC)
Average of 3 papers
Average of 3 papers
Comments (if any) of Principal of primary school:
I verify that the data contained in Tables 1, 2 & 3 is true and accurate.
Signed: ____________________________________ Date: __________________
** 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.**