Update on post-primary transfer process

Date published: 04 June 2020

Parents and carers will receive letters today informing them of the post-primary school in which their child has been placed.

News Update

Almost 1,000 additional places have been created in post-primary schools, resulting in the highest proportion of children placed at this stage of the process in three years.

In addition, almost 24,000 applications were submitted by parents for admission to Year 8, which is 2,158 more than transferred three years ago. 

Education Minister Peter Weir said: “As in previous years, my Department has been involved in detailed preparation for this year’s post-primary transfer process. 

“As a result, almost 1,000 additional Year 8 places have been created, resulting in the highest proportion of children placed at this stage of the process in three years, despite rising demographic pressures.

“Over 99% of pupils have been placed already, with almost 88% placed at their first preference school.  I want to reassure parents and carers of children who have not been successful in securing a school place during the process that available places remain in schools across Northern Ireland.   Advice on how to access the list of schools with available places and contact details for the Education Authority helpline are available in the letter they received today.

“I would encourage parents in this position to apply to schools with places remaining in the coming days, when the choice of schools with available places will be greatest.”

As children who are unplaced apply for schools in the coming days, requests for further increased admissions at schools will be considered by the Department.

    Notes to editors: 

    1. The post-primary admissions process concluded on 29 May. 
    2. In planning for future years, the Department conducted an ‘additional places’ exercise for both 2020 and 2021. An additional 433 Year 8 places were approved for September 2020 and 361 additional places for September 2021.  To date, in addition over 500 Year 8 places have been approved via Temporary Variation (TV) resulting in nearly 1,000 additional places being provided.
    3. To date, 174 children remain unplaced. This figure is a marked improvement on 2019 when the total was 226 and 2018 when the total was 313 in a smaller cohort.
    4. The figures show that 99.27% of children were placed during the procedure, with 87.7% placed at their first preference school. 
    5. The EA is also operating a dedicated helpline for parents of unplaced pupils and the details are contained within the letters parents will receive.  Parents will be advised to make an application to schools that have places available and a list of these schools will be made available on the EA’s website on Thursday 4 June 2020.
    6. Media enquiries to DE Press Office via email: press.office@education-ni.gov.uk
    7. Follow us on Twitter @Education_ni
    8. The Executive Information Service operates an out-of-hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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