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 Wallace High School

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THE WALLACE HIGH SCHOOL

12A Clonevin Park

Lisburn

BT28 3AD

Telephone No: 028 9267 2311

Fax No: 028 9266 6693

Email: school@wallacehigh.org

Website: www.wallacehigh.org

Principal: Deborah O’Hare BA PGCE MEd PQH

Chairperson Board of Governors: Mrs S McCabe


Voluntary Grammar School

Age Range: 11-18

Admissions No: 170

Enrolment No: 1160



OPEN DAY INFORMATION

Saturday 8 January 2022 at 10.00am - 12.30pm.


 To Parents/Guardians naming The Wallace High School as a preference on your child’s Transfer Application. 


Verification of AQE registration Please ensure that you attach or upload a readable scanned version of the original AQE registration letter to your child’s online application form. This contains your child’s name and candidate number. 


Verification of non-Academic Stage 2 criteria Please ensure that the child’s birth certificate is uploaded to the online application to allow for verification of name and date of birth. Please ensure that where reference is made to another child of the family who is currently a pupil, his/her name should be included on the online application with the current year group and class set. 


Special Circumstances and/or Special Provision If you are making a claim for your child to be considered under Special Circumstances or Special Provision, please note that you are required to: (1) Present all such information as you consider will assist the Admissions Committee of the Board of Governors in determining if Special Circumstances/Special Provision apply; (2) Upload all such information with the Transfer Form. 


Further details can be found in the Section ’Special Circumstances and Special Provision’ see Appendix 1.


As the School is a voluntary grammar school, a mandatory capital fee of £140 per annum is currently charged. This is reduced to £70 for the third and subsequent children in a family. This money is used to help finance new school buildings and equipment. Parents are asked to make an additional voluntary contribution of between £80 and £250 to support whole school initiatives and general upkeep of the buildings and grounds. The school’s “Charges and Remissions Policy” outlines optional extras of which parents may avail for their children. It can be found at www.wallacehigh.org.


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

Selection of the intake for Year 8 has been delegated by the Board of Governors to an Admissions Committee appointed by the Board of Governors.


ADMISSIONS CRITERIA

The School is a co-educational, non-denominational, Voluntary Grammar School. The School’s enrolment number is 1160 and its admissions number is 170. For transfer to Year 8 the Admissions Committee of the Board of Governors will consider, in the first instance, those children who have taken the Common Entrance Assessment (CEA) provided by the Association for Quality Education (AQE) and who have been awarded a mark in the form of a standardised score. Information on this test is available from the School or on the AQE website www.aqe.org.uk


It should be noted that the Admissions Committee of the Board of Governors will not take into account the position of preference given, to the School, by the applicant on the transfer form. An application from a child who has placed the School 2nd in order of preference, and who has not been offered a place in the school of first choice, will be considered in the same way as all first preference applications to the School.

It is the responsibility of the parents of the child applying to ensure that all relevant information is made available to the School.


Applications for Special Circumstances and Special Provisions will be considered first and equally with all applications. (see Appendix 1).


It should also be noted that children resident in Northern Ireland at the time of their proposed admission must be admitted before any child not so resident.


The process for admissions, should the School have more applicants than places available, is as below:-

Allocation of places by the Admissions Committee of the Board of Governors will be made in two stages:-


Stage 1

The results of the CEA will be reported as a standardised score out of a maximum of 140.

The standardised scores of all applicants will be placed in rank order and banded in ranges of a score of 5. Higher scores will precede lower scores ie;

140 – 136 being the first band,

135 – 131 the second band,

130 – 126 the third band,

125 – 121 the fourth band,

120 – 116 the fifth band,

115 – 111 the sixth band,

110 – 106 the seventh band,

105 – 101 the eighth band, and so on in ranges of a score of 5.

Places will be allocated to all the applicants in the bands above the band containing the 170th applicant.


Stage 2

The remaining places will be allocated from the applicants in the band containing the 170th applicant by applying, in order, the criteria below:

a) Children who are attending the Preparatory Department of the School.

b) Children who have a child of the family enrolled in the School on the date of transfer.

c) Children whose twin or triplet sibling(s) has (have) already been admitted to the School.

d) Children who are transferring from primary schools from which the School has received pupils within the last five years (see accompanying list) and who are the elder/eldest children in their respective families or who are the first in the family to transfer to a mainstream school or who are the only child in their family.

e) Other children who are transferring from primary schools from which the School has received pupils within the last five years (see accompanying list).

f) Children *entitled to free school meals at the time of application.

* “entitled to free school meals” will mean children who are listed on the Education Authority register as entitled to free school meals at the date on which their parent has signed their post-primary Transfer Form. If a child becomes eligible subsequent to this but prior to the final publication by the Board of Governors of allocated places, i.e. Wednesday, 9 March 2022, the parent must inform the school so that this criterion can be applied to the application.

g) Random computer generated tie-breaker. The following random selection process, as determined by the Board of Governors and overseen by the Admissions Committee, shall be applied to determine the remaining applications to be accepted:


- each application to be considered at this stage is allocated a random number electronically generated within Microsoft Excel;

- the applications are then ranked in order of the random number with higher numbers having preference.


Appendix 1

Guidelines on the arrangements for Special Circumstances and Special Provision.


“Explanation of Special Circumstances and Special Provision”

The purpose of a claim for Special Circumstances and/or Special Provision 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 Provision consists of two parts. The first requires the consideration of whether there is, in the judgement of the Admissions Committee of the Board of Governors, sufficient material to permit a child to be considered as having Special Circumstances or attracting Special Provision, or both. If a child is permitted to be considered as having Special Circumstances or as attracting Special Provision or both, the second part of the consideration requires an educational judgement to be made on the totality of the material presented to the Admissions Committee of the Board of Governors so that a score equivalent to that which the child would have obtained in the AQE CEA under normal conditions can be awarded.


It is for parents to present all such material as they consider will assist the Admissions Committee of the Board of Governors in performing both parts of the consideration described above. It should be noted by parents that both parts of the consideration referred to involve an exercise in judgement and not precise calculation.


Special Circumstances

The 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 CEA 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’.


Parents who wish to apply to the School under Special Circumstances must complete Form SC21 obtainable from the School or AQE, and upload it with appropriate documentary evidence to the Transfer Form, as detailed below.

The content and length of assessment of AQE CEA has been amended to accommodate for Covid related circumstances which have impacted the day to day lives of children, since the beginning of the pandemic in February 2020.


Parents are asked to note that the Board of Governors will not accept a ‘medical or other problem’ which is Covid related as an application for Special Circumstances, in itself, unless accompanied by independent, verifiable and contemporaneous evidence.


Details of Medical or Other Problems

Where it is claimed that a child’s performance in the CEA has been affected by a medical or other problem, it is the responsibility of the parents to set out in the Form SC21 precise details of the problem and must append evidence to corroborate its existence.


Where the problem is a medical one of short term duration, which affected the child only at the time of the CEA, the Admissions Committee of the Board of Governors will give greater weight to evidence that the child 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 should append appropriate evidence. It should be noted that in all cases independent evidence will carry greater weight.


Educational Evidence

Objective documentary evidence must be provided by the parents. This should include the score achieved in the CEA and, where they exist, the results for the child of any standardised test(s) conducted in Year 5, Year 6 and Year 7, and the results in any end of year tests in English and Mathematics in Year 5 and Year 6.


It would be useful for the Admissions Committee of the Board of Governors to have additional comparative information from the primary school. This should include 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 Year 5 and Year 6.


The Admissions Committee of the Board of Governors will consider the application for Special Circumstances. Where Special Circumstances are accepted, the Admissions Committee of the Board of Governors will determine, on the basis of the information available, a score for the child. Such children will then be considered with all other children who have received a CEA score and the admissions criteria applied.


Special Provision

Parents can apply for Special Provision in respect of:

i) Children whose parents wish them to transfer from schools outside Northern Ireland.

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

iii) Children, entered for the CEA, who because of unforeseen and serious medical or other problems were unable to participate in any of the assessments.

Note: It is expected that all those seeking admission should sit the CEA, with the exception of those children who take up residence in Northern Ireland after September 2021.


Parents who wish to apply to the School under Special Provision should contact the School as soon as possible. In addition, they should complete Form SC21, obtainable from the School or AQE (www.aqe.org.uk), stating the precise reason why they believe the child is eligible for consideration under Special Provision and provide appropriate independent documentary evidence. A copy of SC21 and all the documentary evidence should be attached to the Transfer Form.


The Admissions Committee of the Board of Governors will consider the application for Special Provision. Where Special Provision is accepted, the following procedure will apply:

• the Admissions Committee of the Board of Governors will consider any assessment information, including the child’s score in the CEA, if completed;

• the Admissions Committee of the Board of Governors will determine, on the basis of all available assessment information, an appropriate score for the child. The child will then be considered with all other children who have received a CEA score and the admissions criteria applied.


Please note:

It is recognised that some parents may feel that their child’s case falls into more than one of the above categories. In this instance, all evidence within the relevant categories should be appended to Form SC21.


If an application is accepted by the Admissions Committee as meeting the criteria for (1) Special Provision and (2) Special Circumstances, it will be treated as follows:

(1) Special Provision

If the application meets one or more of the three criteria as set out at Special Provision above, Educational Evidence (as defined above under the heading Educational Evidence) will be considered. A CEA score will then be assigned.

(2) Special Circumstances

In respect of a further consideration of Special Circumstances as outlined above, Special Circumstances must be contemporaneous to the child sitting the AQE CEA tests. An additional consideration of the already assigned CEA score through Special Provision will not be considered unless there is contemporaneous evidence, which shows that all the educational evidence provided has been impacted by these Special Circumstances.


It is therefore, in respect of an application for both Special Provision and Special Circumstances, the responsibility of the parents to provide Educational Evidence (as defined above under the heading Educational Evidence).


The Admissions Committee of the Board of Governors will not adjust a mark solely on the basis of statements made but not supported by evidence.


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.


It is the responsibility of the parents to attach the requested information to Form SC21.


DUTY TO VERIFY

The Admissions Committee of the Board of Governors reserves the right to require additional information or evidence, for example educational information, to determine, support or verify information on the Transfer Form. The provision of false or incorrect information or the failure to provide information within the deadlines set by the School 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.


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 should therefore ensure that all information pertaining to their child and relevant to the School’s Admissions Criteria is stated on the Transfer Form or attached to it.


Primary Schools from which the School has received pupils in the last five years.

Anahilt

Drumlin Integrated

Maghaberry

St Aloysius’

Ballinderry

Dunmurry

Maralin Village

St Colman’s

Ballycarrickmaddy

Fair Hill

McKinney (Dundrod)

St Joseph’s (Crumlin)

Ballymacash

Fairview

Meadow Bridge

St Joseph’s (Lisburn)

Ballynacrickett

Finaghy

Moira

St Mary’s (Deramore)

Brooklands

Fort Hill Integrated

Oakwood Integrated

Stranmillis

Brownlee

Friends’ Prep

Old Warren

Tonagh

Carntall

Harmony Hill

Our Lady Queen of Peace

Victoria College Prep

Carr

Killowen

Pond Park

Wallace Prep

Carrick

King’s Park

Riverdale

Waringstown

Downshire

Knockmore

Rowandale Integrated

William Pinkerton Memorial

Dromara

Largymore

Seymour Hill

Dromore Central

Lisburn Central

Spa


WAITING LIST POLICY

If a vacancy arises and is to be filled during Year 8 the next applicant on the original transfer list rank order will be contacted. This list does not transfer automatically into applications for other year groups.


APPLICATIONS AND ADMISSIONS


Year   2019/20

Admissions No   170

Total Applications ie. All preferences   267

Total Admissions   176 *


Year   2020/21

Admissions No   170

Total Applications ie. All preferences   292

Total Admissions   180**


Year   2021/22

Admissions No   170

Total Applications ie. All preferences   430

Total Admissions   178***


* Includes 5 SEN children an


d 1 child admitted under ECB

** Includes 3 SEN children, 6 additional spaces by DENI under Temporary Variation, and 1 child admitted under Appeal.

*** Includes 2 SEN children, 2 children admitted under ECB and 4 additional spaces by DENI under Temporary Variation.


For 2021/22 Year 8 admissions, the Board of Governors applied its Covid Criteria, using non-academic criteria for selection.


Criteria for admission to years 9 onwards

For applications for a place in years other than Year 8 parents must complete and return the Application for Admission form, available on www.wallacehigh.org/about/admissions-criteria/admissions-non-yr8/

The criteria used to establish a rank order of applications is published on www.wallacehigh.org/about/admissions-criteria/admissions-non-yr8/

Please refer to the school website for guidance on admission to Sixth Form. https://www.wallacehigh.org/about/admissions-criteria/admissions-non-yr8/.

** 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.**