Admissions Policy
Friday, 12 November 2010 12:40

Criteria for Admission to Year 8 in 2011-2012

Dalriada School, as a co-educational grammar school, provides secondary education for girls and boys in the upper band of the range of academic ability.  The School draws its pupils from a wide geographical area and from the full range of social, religious and cultural backgrounds.

The School’s Board of Governors determines Criteria for Admission.  The Education Committee of the Board of Governors considers applications to Year 8 and selects pupils for admission in the light of the criteria set out below.

Please note that it is expected that all those seeking admission to Dalriada School should sit the Common Entrance Assessment for admissions in 2011-2012, conducted by the Association for Quality Education Limited (hereinafter referred to as the AQE CEA).

If the number of applications for Year 8 in September 2010 exceeds the number of places available, pupils will be selected for admission according to the following criteria.  They are set out in order of priority.

Criteria 1

Academic ability as indicated only by the result awarded in the AQE CEA.  Children will be admitted in rank order according to their result with higher scores preceding lower scores.  The score in the AQE CEA should be entered in Section C of the transfer form in the following format:  AQE CEA score, followed by the score.

Application for Special Circumstances/Special Provision will be considered by the Education Committee of the Board of Governors.  Where it is accepted the Education Committee will determine, on the basis of the information available, a score for the pupil.  The pupil will then be considered with all other pupils who have received an AQE CEA score and the Admissions Criteria applied.  In both Special Circumstances and Special Provisions the School will be looking at other relevant factors, as explained below, in assessing those qualifying candidates.  It is important that those seeking such qualification make sure that the relevant material and evidence is submitted, setting out clearly why the criteria for this consideration should be applicable.

(a) Special Circumstances

An exception may be made where there is documentary evidence that a child’s overall AQE CEA result may have been adversely affected by medical or other problems.

Parents who wish to claim Special Circumstances should:-

  • read carefully Dalriada School’s Admissions Criteria.  The Education Committee of the Board of Governors will consider claims and decide on the validity of each case.
  • obtain Form SC10 from either AQE or Dalriada School.
  • provide the appropriate documentary evidence to validate the claim.
    • Where the problem is a medical one, 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 assessment.
    • Where the problem is of a non-medical nature, appropriate evidence should be provided.
    • Objective documentary educational evidence must be provided.  This should include where they exist, the results for the pupil of any standardised test conducted in Year 5, Year 6 and Year 7 and the results in any end of year tests in English and Maths.
    • Complete form SC10 and then attach it, along with the supporting evidence to the transfer form.  It is essential that all evidence is provided at the time of application.

(b) Special Provisions

If the child has not taken the AQE CEA for one of the reasons below, other evidence of academic ability and aptitude will be considered in deciding whether the applicant should be admitted:

  • transfer from a school outside Northern Ireland after the closing date to register to sit AQE CEA tests.
  • more than half of primary education received outside Northern Ireland.
  • children were entered for the AQE CEA, and because of unforeseen and serious medical or other problems were unable to participate in all of the three AQE CEA tests.

Parents who wish to apply to the school under Special Provisions should contact the School as soon as possible.

Parents who wish to claim special provisions must:-

  • read carefully the requirements set out in Dalriada School’s admissions criteria.  The Education Committee of the Board of Governors will consider claims and decide on the validity of each case.
  • obtain Form SC10 from either AQE or Dalriada School.
  • provide the appropriate independent documentary evidence required to validate the claim.  It is essential that all the evidence is provided at the time of application.
  • complete Form SC10 and then send it to Dalriada as your first choice school along with the appropriate independent documentary evidence in support of the claim.
  • a copy of the SC10 Form should be attached along with the appropriate independent documentary evidence to the transfer form.

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.

Where it is necessary to distinguish between children who have been awarded the same score in the AQE CEA, criteria 2-7 will be used.

Criteria 2

Children enrolled in the Preparatory Department of Dalriada School at the time of the first AQE CEA test.

Criteria 3

Children with a brother or sister presently enrolled in the Secondary Department of Dalriada School.

Criteria 4

Children with a brother or sister previously enrolled in the Secondary Department of Dalriada School.

Criteria 5

Children who are the first or only child of a family.

Criteria 6

Children who are entitled to free school meals.

Criteria 7

The age of the child, preference being given to an older child.

If the School’s Admission’s number has not been reached consideration will be given to the pupils according to criteria 2–7 and applied in order of priority.

Note: The criteria above will be applied to applications for admission to Year 8 throughout the 2011-2012 school year.

Applicants may be required to provide original documentation verifying their home address.


Criteria for Admission to years 9 to 12 in 2011-12

To gain admission, applicants must demonstrate that they have academic ability within the range existing in the year group to which application is made.  The academic ability, aptitude and achievement of applicants will be assessed mainly on the basis of reports from their present schools, but other evidence may be sought and considered.

If there are more suitable applicants than places available, preference will be given (in the following order of priority):

  • to pupils whose record of behaviour, school attendance and attitude to study is generally satisfactory;
  • to pupils demonstrating greater academic ability as evidenced by reports from their present schools;
  • to pupils whose families have links with the school, where:
  • the applicant was formerly enrolled in the Preparatory Department of Dalriada School;
  • a brother or sister of the applicant is presently enrolled at Dalriada School.
  • a brother or sister of the applicant was formerly enrolled at Dalriada School.
  • Children who are the first or only child of a family.
  • Children who are entitled to free school meals.
  • The age of the child, preference being given to an older child.


Criteria for Admission to the Sixth Form 2011-12

To gain admission, applicants must demonstrate that they have the behavioural attitude and academic aptitude to achieve success in their chosen GCE A2/AS level courses.  Academic potential will be assessed on the basis of GCSE examination results and school reports.  Please note that where an AS or A2 course is oversubscribed, numbers entering such courses will be limited.

  • Applicants with 6 higher grades (A*,A,B,C) in the GCSE examinations, including grades A*, A or B in subjects to be studied at GCE A/AS level, will be accepted if places are available.  Entry to A2 Courses in Upper Sixth Form will be dependent on success at AS level in 3 AS courses.
  • Applicants with lower achievements in the GCSE examinations may be accepted if other evidence suggests that they are likely to achieve success in the GCE A/AS level examinations in courses available to them.
  • Applicants with fewer than six higher grades, including at least three grades A*, A or B are unlikely to be admitted.

If the number of applicants exceeds the number of places available, preference will be given (in the following order of priority):

  • to applicants from Dalriada School
  • to applicants demonstrating greater academic ability as evidenced by GCSE results and reports from their present schools;
  • to applicants with a brother or sister presently enrolled at Dalriada School;
  • to applicants with a brother or sister previously enrolled at Dalriada School;
  • to applicants who are the first or only child of a family;
  • to an older applicant.