It’s been widely reported in various news channels that over 1000 extra school places were put in place in post-primary schools across Northern Ireland, to cater for the extra pupil numbers in September 2019.
I was curious about how these extra places were allocated and so I wrote to the Department of Education for clarification. In response I received a very comprehensive and polite letter providing the exact detail I (and others) were looking for, so I trust you’ll find this interesting.
Extra Places Allocated Before Transfer Process
The letter explained that the “Department of Education decided to increase admissions at a number of schools across Northern Ireland for September 2019 admission before the commencement of the transfer procedure. This unprecedented move was taken because of the significant growth in the size of the cohort transferring to post-primary education in 2019. It was decided that increasing the number of places available in this way would ensure we maximised the number of children who secured places during the admissions procedure.”
These increases can be seen below in Table 1.
Table 1: Before Transfer Process
|ANTRIM GRAMMAR SCHOOL||8|
|ASHFIELD GIRLS’ HIGH SCHOOL||17|
|ASHFIELD BOYS’ HIGH SCHOOL||20|
|AQUINAS DIOCESAN GRAMMAR SCHOOL||20|
|BELFAST MODEL SCHOOL FOR GIRLS||20|
|BANGOR ACADEMY AND 6TH FORM COLLEGE||40|
|DROMORE HIGH SCHOOL||12|
|LISNAGARVEY HIGH SCHOOL||30|
|ST PIUS X COLLEGE||20|
|PRIORY INTEGRATED COLLEGE||23|
|REGENT HOUSE GRAMMAR SCHOOL||30|
|ST COLUMBANUS’ COLLEGE||15|
|ST PATRICK’S ACADEMY||15|
|ST PATRICK’S COLLEGE||20|
|STRANGFORD INTEGRATED COLLEGE||40|
Extra Places Allocated Through Temporary Variation Process
It also went on to explain that, “The Department’s objective in this exercise was to provide sufficient places across Northern Ireland to allow the admissions and TV (temporary variation) processes to conclude successfully, thereby maximising the number of children placed during the procedure and minimising the stress caused by families having to seek a school place in June.”
Therefore, as expected and planned for, additional places were also provided through the normal temporary variation process, where grammar and high schools request extra places in line with the normal procedure.
These increases can be seen in Table 2.
Table 2: Through TV Process
|NAME OF SCHOOL||Extra|
|Abbey Christian Brothers’ Grammar, Newry||6|
|Antrim Grammar School||17|
|Ashfield Boys’, Belfast||13|
|Ashfield Girls’, Belfast||1|
|Ballyclare Secondary School||14|
|Ballymoney High School||3|
|Bangor Grammar School||5|
|Bloomfield Collegiate, Belfast||6|
|Dalriada School, Ballymoney||4|
|Dean Maguirc, Carrickmore||4|
|Dominican College, Belfast||11|
|Down High, Downpatrick||8|
|Dunclug College, Ballymena||23|
|Edmund Rice, Glengormley||21|
|Glastry College, Newtownards||5|
|Glenlola Collegiate, Bangor||2|
|Hunterhouse College, Belfast||15|
|Integrated College Dungannon||4|
|Lisneal College, Derry||5|
|Malone Integrated College||10|
|Markethill High School||7|
|Mercy College, Belfast||17|
|Methodist College, Belfast||10|
|New-Bridge Integrated College Banbridge||5|
|Newtownhamilton High School||4|
|Our Lady & St Patrick’s, Belfast||10|
|Parkhall Integrated College, Antrim||33|
|Rainey Endowed, Magherafelt||15|
|RBAI (Belfast Inst)||5|
|Saintfield High School||4|
|Slemish College, Ballymena||5|
|Sperrin Integrated College, Magherafelt||27|
|St Catherine’s College, Armagh||21|
|St Cecilia’s College, Derry||6|
|St Ciaran’s High, Ballygawley||9|
|St Colm’s High, Draperstown||14|
|St Dominic’s, Belfast||25|
|St Fanchea’s, Enniskillen||1|
|St Joseph’s Grammar School||23|
|St Joseph’s High, Crossmaglen||10|
|St Killian’s College, Carnlough||11|
|St Louis Grammar, Ballymena||10|
|St Malachy’s College, Belfast||20|
|St Mark’s High School, Warrenpoint||9|
|St Mary’s College, Derry||18|
|St Mary’s High School, Newry||4|
|St Mary’s, Magherafelt||13|
|St Patrick’s College, Maghera||21|
|St Patrick’s Grammar School||7|
|St Patrick’s High, Keady||7|
|St Paul’s High School, Bessbrook||64|
|St Pius X College, Magherafelt||11|
|Ulidia Integrated College, Carrickfergus||10|
|Victoria College, Belfast||5|
|Wallace High School, Lisburn||6|
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