The Admission Policy will be administered by the Principal.   Applications for admission to St Paul’s High School will be divided into two categories – A and B.

St Paul’s High School, Bessbrook

Admissions Policy for September 2012


Respective functions of the board of Governors and principal in relation to admission to the school.


The Board of Governors draws up the admissions criteria and delegates to an Admissions Sub-Committee, which includes the Principal, the responsibility for applying these criteria. Any reference herein to the term Board of Governors includes any Committee or Sub-Committee appointed by the Board of Governors for the purposes of applying the Admission Criteria set out herein.

Admissions Policy – Year 8 Admission


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 Form. The provision of false or incorrect information or the failure to provide information within the deadline 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 Transfer Form.

The Sub-Committee on behalf of the Board of Governors will apply the criteria listed below to identify which children will be admitted to Year 8. In selecting children for admission, children resident in Northern Ireland at the time of their proposed admis- sion to the school will be selected before any child not so resident.

Application for admission to St Paul’s High School will be divided into two categories A and B.

All applications will be considered but applications belonging to category A will be given preference over applications belonging to category B.


1. Applications from pupils who normally reside in the traditional catchment area of the school namely:

(a) Parish of Lower Killeavy.
(b) Parish of Loughgilly.
(c) Parish of Dromintee.
(d) Parish of Upper Killeavy provided they attend Cloughoge Primary or Killeen Primary or St Joseph’s Primary Meigh.
(e) Newtownhamilton part of Lower Creggan Parish that traditionally contributes to St Paul’s High School.
(f) Cladybeg and Ballylane parts of Ballymacnab Parish, that traditionally contribute to St Malachy’s PS Ballymoyer, Co Armagh.
(g) Parish of Middle Killeavy provided they attend Cloughoge Primary or Killeen Primary or St Joseph’s Primary Meigh.
(h) Applications from pupils whose parent/guardian is a permanent employee of the school.

The above named parishes are not listed in any order or priority.


All other applicants.

In the event of over-subscription within any of the above categories, the following sub-criteria will be applied to determine which children should be admitted:

1.  Those pupils whose transfer form expresses a first preference for St Paul’s.
2.  Those pupils who have a sibling, living at the same address, in attendance at
St Paul’s on or before April 30th 2012.
3.  Those pupils who are the first child in their family transferring to second level education.
4.  Those pupils who have had a sibling previously in attendance at St Paul’s.
5.  Those pupils whose transfer form expresses a first preference for St Paul’s and who do not have a sibling at the school.
6.  Those pupils whose transfer form expresses a second preference for St Paul’s.
7.  Those pupils whose transfer form expresses a third preference for St Paul’s.
8.  Those pupils whose transfer form expresses a fourth preference for St Paul’s.
9.  Those pupils whose transfer form expresses a fifth preference for St Paul’s.

Should there, at any of these stages, be more than one applicant for the final place, lots will be drawn to complete the admissions selection.

Transfer Form

All applicants will be obliged to present two forms of verification to correspond with the address on the transfer form. This will be requested in writing by the school on receipt of the transfer form.
In the event where the parent/guardian surname as signed at the bottom of the transfer form differs from the surname of the child, two forms of identification will have to be shown which place the child at the address named on the form.

The school will not accept any address other than that written on the application form when it arrives at the school. Any change of address in the period during which the form is in the possession of the school, will not be accepted.

The process for admission to Year 8 in St Paul’s concludes on 31st August and applications to Year 8 received on or after 1st September will not be dealt with within the Year 8 transfer process. Applications to Year 8 received on or after September 1st in each year will, as is already custom and practice in St Paul’s, be treated within the normal mid year admissions process as laid down by the SELB.

Year Admissions No. Total Applications

All PreferencesTotal Admissions2009 / 2010215274239*2010 / 2011215270257*2011 / 2012207252228*

* These figures include pupils with Statement of SEN


Pupils will be considered for enrolment providing that their admission:

(a) would not cause the school to exceed its enrolment number as determined by the Department of Education; class sizes, including practical class sizes as determined by the Department of Education would not be exceeded.

(b) would not prejudice, in the opinion of the Board of Governors, the efficient use of the school’s resources.

If at the time of the consideration of the application, there are more eligible applicants than places in a particular year group available, then the admission criteria to Year 8 will be applied to select pupils to fill available places.


Category 1

Pupils attending St Paul’s High School and who meet the minimum criteria at (a), (b), (c) below have priority over all other applicants.
(a) Six GCSEs or more, Grades A* to C for entry to A Level courses
(b) Four GCSEs or more, Grades A* to C for entry to BTec courses
(c) Three GCSEs or more, Grades A* to C for entry to CACHE courses

Category 2

Pupils who meet criteria (a), (b), (c) above and who attend St Joseph’s High School, Crossmaglen and are unable to obtain their Post 16 subject choice in their own school.

Category 3

Pupils who meet criteria (a), (b), (c) above and who attend St. Joseph’s High School, Newry.

Category 4

Pupils who meet criteria (a), (b), (c) above and who are unable to obtain their A level subject choice in their current school.
The categories above are in rank order.
External applicants for A Level study from categories 2, 3 and 4 will be graded on their academic performance at GCSE and/or equivalents as recognised by DE in the following manner:

Grade A*

4 pts.

Grade A

3 pts.

Grade B

2 pts.

Grade C

1 pt.

External applicants for other Post 16 courses, who meet the required academic standard as at (b) and (c) above will be ranked by interview only and will have the opportunity to outline their aptitude, experience and achievements to date relevant to the course of choice.

Should there be a tie for a final place; the decision will be by lot. All applications to Post 16 study will be subject to pupils having;
(i) an acceptable attendance record,
(ii) an acceptable behavioural record,
(iii) an acceptable punctuality record,
(iv) places being available in the subjects sought.

All pupils applying under Categories 2, 3 and 4 above will be subject to approval by the Department of Education before admission can be confirmed.

[reproduced from ‘The Guide for Parents 2012/13’, published by SELB]