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Primary school places in Northern Ireland

(6 Posts)
herethereeverywhere Sun 22-Apr-12 16:36:46

Hi, Hoping someone can help. I am due to move from London to Northern Ireland next year and as I have a young son nursery and then primary school places will be an important factor in our move.

Coming from London I know the competition for school places here is immense and the process of having to list your preferred choices etc but I was hoping that someone would be able to tell me if the process is similar in NI? Is it just as competitive? Are catchement areas still of big importance? confused
It is likely that we will be living in either Newry or Banbridge area if that makes a big difference.
Any information gratefully received. Thank you smile

cestlamemechose Fri 04-May-12 16:02:27


Am going on my own experience in the state sector in a different part of NI.

Usually the places have to be applied for around Christmas/New Yr, so you would have to ask a school in your proposed area to send out the form and booklet in advance of this time. The booklet sets out the criteria for each school.

You then set out your choices in order of preference. If I remember, each school is a bit different, but along similar lines i.e. first child in family, did siblings/parents attend etc. Not sure address is always a big factor, but you should look very carefully at each school's critreria.

There has been something in the news about changing the preference given to older children in the allocation of nursery places, but not sure if/when this is to happen.

Our children's school is oversubscribed but some will always be more popular than others. Maybe have a word with a local Principal to get some ideas?

Also, Dept of Ed website? don't rely on me! happy to help though.

herethereeverywhere Wed 09-May-12 10:38:58

Thanks for the response. The Dept. of Ed website just confused me totally so nice to have explained in normal terms!

Thanks again

Scapp Tue 29-May-12 22:23:05

I did exactly the same thing about 12 years ago, moved from London to Banbridge. I had to apply to the individual schools for a place for my son who was 4 at that time. He didn't get into my first choice which was an Integrated school in Banbridge so I went to an appeal and he was subsequently admitted to my first choice. You just need to stick to your guns and use whatever anomolies on their admission criteria you can find.

HappyHugs Thu 23-Aug-12 21:55:06

Hi HTE. Just seeing this now. You should gather information on all the local schools you're interested in with a view to making an application in jan. This will give you plenty of time to consider which one best suits your needs. Nursery places here are very competitive (there aren't enough really) but I think primaries are much less so. Do your homework and check which second level schools the primaries tend to 'feed' and that might help you decide (if a grammar education is important to you.

Sophiathesnowfairy Wed 03-Apr-13 18:13:08

Have you moved? Am moving to Annalong ( about 40 mins from Newry .) in September. Any words of wisdom?

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