The Department is piloting a process designed to ‘normalise’ admission and enrolment numbers of schools, where there is evidence demonstrating an historical pattern of enrolment in excess of a school’s approved number.

Circular 2022/08 has been published which explains how the Department will implement the pilot exercise to approve increases to a grant-aided school’s approved numbers which may not require a Development Proposal (DP). 

The objective of the process is to introduce agility into the Area Planning process and create capacity for more meaningful DPs to come forward, to reduce the number of children in unsustainable schools and increase the pace towards achieving a network of more sustainable schools across Northern Ireland.

As stated in the circular, schools which have enrolments which meet the necessary criteria will be contacted by the Department in due course.

The circular can be accessed via the following link: 

Circular 2022/08 - Guidance on the Process for Normalising a School’s Approved Numbers (Increases only) | Department of Education (

Back to top