Access Keys:

Saint Joseph's Primary School, Ballycruttle

Advice for Parents of children in P6 and P7.

26th Oct 2022

Please find attached the booklet which describes the process of transferring to Post Primary School.

Parents of P6/7 children can access advice provided by the Department describing
in detail their role in the transfer procedure on the Department’s website at:
Advice for P6 Parents - January 2022 - Final.pdf (

Parents are ultimately responsible for ensuring that Transfer Applications contain all
the information necessary for schools to apply their admissions criteria and the
applications are submitted on time.

The following website will provide details of this years P7 transfer process :

This website link will provide parents with a way to check if their child will receive transport assistant to the schools they will be applying for:

Eligibility for transport assistance for children of compulsory school age is set out in the Department of Education Circular 1996/41, (updated September 2009).

The statutory qualifying distance is

  • 2 miles in relation to a pupil under 11 years of age and
  • 3 miles in relation to a pupil over 11 years of age.


Parents must apply to all schools of the same category within the statutory qualifying distance from the home address to be eligible for transport assistance to a further away school.

YOU WILL NEED TO TAKE ACCOUNT OF THIS WHEN DECIDING ON YOUR ORDER OF PREFERENCES. For full details on School Transport Assistance please go to

To help you decide on your preferences the Eligibility Checker will advise you:-

  1. If your child will/will not be eligible for transport assistance to a chosen school;
  2. Of any closer school(s) within your chosen category and the distance from your home address to those schools


Please see the timetable below for further information on the Transfer process

Key Date Step in Process
• Parents of P6/7 children can access information and
advice on the Department website about the transfer
procedure, including how to go about choosing a postprimary school using the link below:
Advice for P6 Parents - January 2022 - Final.pdf
• Parents may request prospectuses and take part in open
days/nights with schools they are considering for their
• The EA publishes information on the post-primary
transfer procedure, including each post-primary school’s
admissions criteria, on its website.

• Primary school principals issue parents of P7 children
information from the EA about the transfer process and
submitting an online Transfer Application including the
deadline for doing so.
• Parents decide which schools they would like their child
to be considered for in order of preference.
• Applications are made available to those schools listed
as first preferences.
to May
• Applications are considered by post-primary schools
and where a school is not oversubscribed it must admit
all applicants. If over-subscribed with applications, it
selects pupils using its admissions criteria. Schools are
not allowed to use any information other than that
relevant to their published admissions criteria in
deciding which pupils to admit.
• The Transfer Applications of those pupils not selected
are passed to their second preference schools and the
same process is applied. This is repeated until as many
pupils as possible are placed.
• Where a pupil is not selected by any of the schools they
have listed as preferences, his/her parents will need to
liaise with the EA to find a school with places available
after the placement notifications have issued. The EA
will not seek further preferences from parents prior to
the date when placement notification issues.

May • Placement notification advising parents which postprimary school their child has been admitted to.
Within 10 days of notification of the outcome of applications
• Parents who consider that a school did not apply its
admissions criteria when selecting pupils, or applied the
criteria incorrectly, have a right to appeal to an
independent Appeal Tribunal established by the EA.
• Ten days after the notification of the outcome of
applications is the date by which parents must submit
appeal forms to the EA against post-primary schools’
admissions decisions.
Any point in the year
• Parents are also advised in the placement notification of
their right to submit an application to the independent
ECB if they consider there are compelling reasons why
their child must attend a particular post-primary school.
• There is no equivalent closing date for applications to the
ECB as this Body considers cases that relate to Year 8-
12 admissions at any point in the year.

Advising parents on their role:

parents have a key role to play in the transfer process as it is their responsibility to:
• complete a Transfer Application for each child transferring to post-primary
school. Parents should be advised that they can complete a hard copy
Transfer Application in Irish if they so wish, but they should not complete
applications in both English and Irish. The parents should contact the EA if
an Irish Transfer Application form is required;
• state their preference for the schools where they would like their children to
be considered for admission. Parents should be made aware that they have
the right to state their preference of school, but that if the school is oversubscribed then their child may not be admitted; and,
• ensure that all the relevant information (relating to the admissions criteria
of all the schools they have listed, for example, whether their child is the
eldest or only child or first boy/girl to transfer, and whether siblings attend) is
correct and is provided when they complete the Transfer Application to
enable schools to consider their child’s application properly. Parents should
be made aware of the importance of ensuring that information provided on
the Transfer Application is accurate, especially personal details including their
address and that it is the child’s normal place of residence. Also, parents
should understand that, where relevant to an admissions decision,
declarations of FSME registration will be checked by the EA and other
important qualifying information, such as address details, and ‘eldest child’
will be checked by over-subscribed post-primary schools in accordance with
the Department’s Duty to Verify Guidance.
8. Parents should be advised that there will be no limit to the number of preferred
schools which a parent may list on the Transfer Application and that at least four
should be selected including at least one non-grammar school. Failure to
express sufficient preferences risks a child being left without a school placement
at the end of the procedure, resulting in a limited offer of schools with places still
9. Parents should be encouraged to think carefully about the preferences they
express for their child’s post-primary school, taking into account the following:
• the admissions criteria of schools - whether the schools are traditionally
oversubscribed and therefore likely to apply their admissions criteria, and if
so, to what extent the child meets these criteria;
• the child’s own views on where he/she would be happiest;
• the child’s aptitudes and the school(s) and provision to which they would best
be suited

the impression of schools gained from a range of sources eg. from visits to
the schools, reading school prospectuses, talking to other parents etc;
• the arrangements schools make for pupils who may require additional help;
• the arrangements schools make to provide support for pupils who are not
able to keep up with their class in specific subjects;
• the information that will be published in schools’ prospectuses;
• school fees (if relevant) and other additional costs (eg. are pupils required to
participate in certain activities such as particular sports, which also have costs
associated with kit etc.);
• transport entitlement ; and,
• travelling time and travel arrangements.

. In relation to schools that use first a criterion giving a degree of priority to children
who are listed on the EA register as entitled to free school meals (FSME),
explaining in particular:
• that if a school adopts the FSME criterion in the form recommended by DE
this will not mean automatic entry into a school for all FSME registered
applicants, but they will be given a degree of priority to ensure that the
proportion of such pupils admitted reflects the proportion of first preference
applicants to that school who are FSME registered;
• that it will be very important therefore that parents register their child’s
entitlement to FSM with the EA as soon as possible so that they are in a
position to record this registered entitlement on the Transfer Application; and,
• parents should also be made aware that declarations of entitlement recorded
on Transfer Applications will be checked with the EA if relevant to an
admissions decision.
11. In general, the importance of the information published online by the EA should
be stressed to parents. In particular, parents should understand that the EA’s
online directory will tell them the admissions criteria that schools will use to select
children if they are oversubscribed. These criteria will help parents understand
the importance of the information that they will be responsible for providing when
completing their child’s Transfer Application.

Sources of information:
Parents may be directed to:
• The Departments information leaflet for parents of children due to transfer.
This helps parents get ready for their child’s move to post-primary school and
can be found on the Departments website at:
Advice for P6 Parents - January 2022 - Final.pdf (
• Information published online by the EA (, including a
searchable directory containing the admissions criteria of all post-primary
schools. A guidance leaflet setting out the transfer procedure, which will direct
parents to this information on the EA website, will be shared with parents via
their child’s primary school. This leaflet can be accessed at:
Admissions | Education Authority Northern Ireland (
• School prospectuses. These will be available free from post-primary schools
(they may also be available on school websites) and contain much more
detailed information about each school.
• The school operating an entrance test, if a parent is seeking advice on how a
test result should inform completion of a Transfer Application.