The Department of Education has published new Transfer guidance for admissions to post-primary schools.
This new guidance succeeds the Transfer 2010 Guidance which was issued in June 2009, and applied to the transfer process for admissions into post-primary schools for the start of the 2010/11 school year. The new guidance applies to post-primary admissions during the 2010/11 school year and the annual transfer processes for the 2011/12 school year and beyond.
The Guidance reaffirms the policy of the Department of Education not to include academic admissions criteria in its recommended admissions criteria.
State-funded post-primary schools’ Boards of Governors should not exclude children through the use of the socially divisive and educationally unsound practice of ‘academic’ selection.
The Guidance sets out the overall policy for the transfer of children from primary to post-primary school. The aims and objectives of the arrangements for the admission of these pupils to post-primary schools, as set out in this guidance, will be:-
· that admissions decisions are fair and give each child the opportunity to reach his/her full potential; · that the overall arrangements for admissions, and within that the respective roles of the Department, the Education and Library Boards/Education and Skills Authority, primary schools’ and post-primary schools’ Boards of Governors are clear and understood; and · that post-primary schools’ Boards of Governors achieve robust and accurate admissions decisions.
The guidance recommends a menu of admissions criteria from which post-primary schools’ Boards of Governors should draw up their admissions criteria. The recommended menu of admissions criteria is as follows:-
Recommended first criterion:
· Applicants who are entitled to Free School Meals (FSME): priority to be given so that the proportion of such children admitted is not less than the proportion of first preference FSME applications received within the total number of first preference applications received.
· Applicants who have a sibling currently attending the school.
· Applicants who are the Eldest Child.
· Applicants from a Feeder/named primary school.
· Applicants residing in a named Parish (with nearest suitable school).
· Applicants residing in a named Catchment Area (with nearest suitable school).
· Applicants for whom the school is the Nearest Suitable School.
· Tie-breaker criteria.
The Transfer guidance has been forwarded to schools and is available on the Department of Education’s website at: http://www.deni.gov.uk/index/85-schools/6-admission-and-choice/6-transfer-procedure.htm