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Admission Criteria for September 2021

Abbey Christian Brothers’ Grammar School 

77a Ashgrove Road 


BT34 1QN 

Telephone: Newry (028) 3026 3142 

Fax:        Newry (028) 3026 2514 



Headmaster: Mr Seán Sloan 

Chairman of the Authority of Governors: Mr Sean Og McAteer 


 Voluntary Grammar - Boys 


Age Range 11-19 


Approved Admissions Number for 2021:   125 


Approved Enrolment Number for 2021:   850 


Open Day 

Due to Covid restrictions schools are not permitted to host Open Days in the academic year 2020-21.  Further information about the Abbey will be available at 






The Board of Governors has delegated the responsibilities for the task of applying the criteria as indicated below to a subcommittee. Where this policy refers to the decision taken by the Board of Governors, it is with reference to the work of the subcommittee set up by the Authority, with its full approval and subject to its final ratification. 


When considering which children can be selected for admission, the Board of Governors will only take in to account information which is detailed on or attached/uploaded to the Transfer Application. Parents should ensure that all information pertaining to their child and relevant to the school’s admission criteria is stated on the Transfer Application or attached/uploaded to it. Examples of such information include whether the child has or has had a sibling (list name of sibling) at the school or whether the father was a past pupil of the school (list dates when father attended). 


(Please note:  The Abbey Christian Brothers’ Grammar School has been directed by regulations to select for admission all children resident in Northern Ireland at the time of their proposed admission before any child not so resident may be selected for admission.) 


The Abbey Christian Brothers’ Grammar School is a Catholic grammar school for boys.  It normally accepts boys who are academically suited for the type of education it offers and whose parents/guardians are in agreement with the philosophy and aims of the school. 


The Abbey Christian Brothers’ Grammar School previously used the outcomes of GL Entrance Assessment as the basis of selection of P7 pupils for admission.   


The Board of Governors considered the impact of school closures on our local community as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and recognised there has been disruption to the education of pupils since March 2020. 


The Board of Governors agreed, in light of the current Covid-19 circumstances and for one year only, that academic admissions criteria will not be used for the academic year 2021-22.  As a result, The Abbey Christian Brothers’ Grammar School will not use outcomes from GL Entrance Assessment as part of its Admissions Criteria for the academic year 2021-22.  Pupils applying will not be required to provide a GL Entrance Assessment result.   


The Abbey Christian Brothers’ Grammar School’s Admissions Criteria for the 2021-22 academic year has been amended accordingly and is now based on the school’s sub-criteria from previous years. 


Careful consideration was given to the decision to temporarily remove the academically selective element for the academic year 2021-22.  The Abbey Christian Brothers’ Grammar School remains committed to its own ethos and academic focus on high quality teaching and learning.  Those who would normally apply to be admitted are encouraged to continue to do so.    







The Abbey Christian Brother’s Grammar School has always prided itself as a school that serves the local community and these are reflected in our past pupil links in the criteria below. We are also clear that, where possible, keeping together siblings and indeed parents and sons reinforces this sense of community. The Board of Governors will admit boys strictly on the following basis: 


(i) Boys who, at the date of their application, have a parent/guardian who is a member of the permanent teaching, administrative, or ancillary staff of the Abbey. 


(ii) Boys who, at the date of their application, have another boy of the family (as defined by DE in Transfer 2010 Guidance) attending the school or having been selected for admission to the school in the coming school year. 


(iii) Boys who have had another boy of the family (as defined by DE in Transfer 2010 Guidance) previously attend the school.  


(iv) Boys whose father/guardian attended the school. 


(v) Boys who are the first boy of the family (as defined by DE in Transfer 2010 Guidance) to transfer to secondary education, i.e. the eldest boy of the family as defined above. 


(vi) Boys who are the first boy of the family (as defined by DE in Transfer 2010 Guidance) to apply to a Grammar School.  


(vii) Boys who, at the date of their application, are entitled to Free School Meals Provision (as defined by DE in Transfer 2010 Guidance).  


(viii) Other boys ranked by date of birth with the youngest boy admitted first and all other boys admitted by age (youngest first) until all places have been filled.  


If there are more boys who meet one of the above sub-criteria (i) to (viii) than there are places available, then the remaining criteria will become sub-criteria and applied successively in the order set out until the final selection is completed. In the event of two or more boys having the same date of birth and thereby qualifying for the last place(s), the boys will be ranked by alphabetical order of surname and then forenames as listed on the birth certificate. 


Verification of all Information  


The Board of Governors reserves the right to require such supplementary evidence as it may determine to support or verify information on the Transfer Application or appended/uploaded to the Transfer Application by parents/guardians.  For verification purposes original documents are required and not facsimiles or photocopies.   


The provision of false or incorrect information or the failure to provide any requested verifying documents within the deadline set by the Abbey Christian Brothers’ Grammar School will result in either the withdrawal of a place or the inability of the school to offer a place. 


The responsibility to ensure that: 


. The Transfer Application and other necessary documentation is correctly completed;  


. Any required verification documents are provided within specified deadlines, 


Waiting List 


The Abbey will admit all applicants to Year 8 according to its admissions criteria.  Where a criterion is insufficient to allocate places or fewer places are available to meet the demand of the pupils satisfying any one criterion, the subsequent sub sections of criteria will be used to assign each applicant in list order.  The first 125 places will be filled in this way and all other applicants will be listed from number 126 up to the last number needed in order to give a number to each applicant satisfying this criterion.  In the event that all of these applicants are admitted, the process will be repeated for the students who meet the next criterion. 



This forms the waiting list and students will be admitted in to Year 8 in this order if and when a place becomes available.  This waiting list will cease to operate after the 1st September of each academic year. 






Admissions No 

 Total Applications All Preferences 


Total Admissions 


2018 / 2019 





2019 / 2020 





2020 / 2021 













   *inc SEN & Appeals 




Applicants should provide documentary evidence that he is suited to a grammar school education in the Abbey, and then admissions may be made in the following order: 


1. Applicants who wish to enter Sixth Form in order to follow ‘A’ Level courses subject to the criteria overleaf. 

2. Applicants who wish to follow GCSE courses subject to an academic and behavioural report from their former school commensurate with a Grammar school education. 

3. Applicants to the Junior School subject to an academic and behavioural report from their former school commensurate with a Grammar school education. 




All Applicants for Admission will be considered with reference to the following criteria.  Additional places over the school’s enrolment number will be allocated at the discretion of the DENI. 


Firstly, those applicants who have shown by their record a commitment and motivation to academic studies (normally an applicant would be expected to have obtained at least 3 Grade B’s and 4 Grade C’s at GCSE Level) and also have an exemplary behavioural record.  


In the event that a student has received additional support at any prior point in his education, the parent(s) / guardian(s) of the student must notify the school of this and, if necessary, provide any documentation deemed relevant by the Board of Governors, in respect of such additional support, by Monday 24th August 2020.  


Failure to provide any such requested documentation will result in the withdrawal of an offer of a place. In addition, if any information in respect of an admission application is supplied, or omitted, which appears to be false or misleading in any way, then the offer of a place will be withdrawn 


In addition to any academic and behavioural criteria, the Board of Governors will also take into account the efficient discharge of the school’s resources in respect of any admission decision. 


Then if there are more pupils eligible than there are places available, places shall be awarded in the following order. 


1. Applicants will be ranked in order of a points score band as the following: - 

A* = 5 pts  A  =  4pts   B =  3pts   C* = 2pts  C  =  1pt 

With the lowest score listed last. 


2. In the event of a tie, priority shall be established by computerised random selection. 


Abbey Christian Brothers’ Grammar School Criteria for any Extra Places made Available by The Department Of Education for Admission into Year 13 (Sixth Form) 


The Department of Education may, on request, increase the number of pupils that the school can admit to its Year 13.  Places that become available in this way shall be allocated only to pupils who meet the basic eligibility criteria for 

sixth form study (as above) and shall be allocated in the order determined by the criteria to be applied in the order set down. 


1. Pupils who have most recently completed Year 12 in Abbey Christian Brothers’ Grammar School. 

2. Pupils from other schools where admission to an extra place at Abbey Christian Brothers’ Grammar School has been agreed by the Department of Education*. 


*Parents should note how the Department of Education (DE) will, in response to a school’s request, increase the school’s enrolment number in order to allow an extra post-16 pupil to enrol.  DE will first check whether there is another school or schools of a type suitable for that pupil within an hour’s journey of where the pupil lives.  If there is, DE will then check whether this other school or schools with places available may provide all of the post-16 courses that the pupil wishes to pursue.  If these checks find that no other suitable school may provide all of the post-16 courses that the pupil wishes to pursue – then DE will agree a school’s request for an extra place. 


What is a school of a type that is suitable for a pupil?  


 To determine this, DE first considers all schools to be one of 4 types:  (i) denominational (ii) non-denominational (iii) integrated and (iv) Irish-medium.  A School requesting an extra place for a post-16 pupil will belong to one of these 4 types and DE will consider any other school or school from this same type as suitable for the pupil.   DE will also consider as suitable for the pupil any school from the same type as the type of school that the child attended in Year 12. 

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