Admissions Criteria

//Admissions Criteria
Admissions Criteria 2017-09-02T13:53:57+00:00

Admissions Arrangements

Parents considering sending their child to this school are invited to make a prior visit, to see the school and to talk to the Principal and teacher. This can be arranged by contacting the school directly to arrange a mutually suitable time. The admissions arrangements as set out in the Education Authority booklet Derry City Council Area, Preschool Admissions Arrangements will be used. Application forms are available from the school, Board offices or Education Authority website.

The current policy is to admit children, selected for enrolment, in small groups during the month of September. Each class is divided into two small groups of thirteen and admittance to each group is staggered over the first three weeks of September. At the end of September, the two groups are amalgamated and time increased according to individual needs. This method ensures that each child is provided with greater opportunities for individual staff attention as well as not being overwhelmed by entering a large group of children. It also ensures that all children have started nursery school before the end of September rather than the end of October.

This admissions process provides a smooth and happy transition from home to school. Parents are encouraged to remain with their child until their child has settled.

Admissions Criteria

Respecting functions of the Board of Governors and the Principal in relation to admissions. The Admissions Criteria will be applied by a Selection Committee consisting of the Principal and three Governors in the first instance. Thereafter the Principal will consider further applications, subject to the final approval of the Board of Governors.

Children who are not normally resident in Northern Ireland will not be considered for places until all children who live in Northern Ireland have been considered.

When considering which children should be selected for admission, the Board of Governors will only take into account information which is detailed on or attached to the application form. Parents should, therefore, ensure that all information pertaining to their child and relevant to the school’s admissions criteria is stated on the application form or attached to it. Examples of such information include if your child is attending the school in their penultimate pre-school year (2016/2017) on Wednesday 11th January 2017 plus the name(s) and year attended of brother/half-brother(s), sister/half-sister(s), step-brother/step-sister(s), foster/adopted brother/sister(s) who previously attended the school (Londonderry Nursery School or The Academy School).

The Board of Governors has determined that, in the event of there being more applicants than places available, the following criteria will be applied, in the order set down, to select children for the available places. Priority will be given to applicants who have placed The Academy Nursery School as their 1st Preference.

Statutory Criteria

  1. Children from socially disadvantaged circumstances born between 2 July 2013 and 1 July 2014.
  2. Children born between 2 July 2013 and 1 July 2014.

Note: “Children from socially disadvantaged circumstances” means a child whose parent is in receipt of Income Support or Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or an award of Income Support which has been converted into an Employment and Support Allowance and the level of benefit remains the same. When parents apply for places for their child on this basis they must have their application forms stamped by the Social Security Agency to confirm that they are in receipt of a qualifying payment.

Sub Criteria

If there are more pupils satisfying the last criterion which may be applied (1-2), then selection for the remaining places will be on the basis of the following sub-criteria in the order set down below:

(a) Children who are currently attending The Academy Nursery School in their penultimate pre-school year (2016/2017) on Wednesday 11th January 2017.

(b) Children who have had brother/sister(s), half-brother/half-sister(s), step-brother/step-sister(s), foster/adopted brother/sister(s) who previously attended the school (Londonderry Nursery School or The Academy Nursery School) – please include name of child, year attended and class.

(c) The eldest, first or only child in a family. (Verification may be sought.)

(d) Other pre-school children.

In the event of over-subscription in the last sub-criterion which can be applied then selection for all places remaining in this category will be on the basis of the initial letter of the surname as per the birth certificate in the order set out below:

R     Nic     M     O’     A     O     U     Mc     N     X     S     W     Y     P     Q     F   
Z     K    D     I      E      B     Mac     J     G    Ui     H     L     V     Ni     T     C

The order was determined by a randomised selection of letters of the alphabet. In the event of surnames beginning with the same letter, the subsequent letters of the surname will be used in alphabetical order. In the event of two identical surnames, the alphabetical order of the initials of the forenames as per the birth certificate will be used, both in ascending order.

Criteria 1-2 Tie-Breaker

In the event of two or more children presenting at the tie-breaker stage with the same surname and forenames, then selection for the remaining place or places will be on the basis of the chronological order of age – oldest first.

Non Statutory Criteria

3 Other children born on or between 2 July 2014 and 1 July 2015. Parent(s)/guardian(s) please note: places will be allocated on the basis of chronological age, ie oldest first under Criterion 3.


Criteria 3 Tie-Breaker

In the event of two or more children presenting with the same date of birth, then selection for the remaining place(s) will be on the initial letter of the child’s surname as per the birth certificate in the order set out above. In the event of surnames beginning with the same letter, the subsequent letters of the surname will be used in alphabetical order. In the event of two identical surnames, the alphabetical order of the initials of the forenames(s) as per the birth certificate will be used, both in ascending order.

It is important that parent(s)/guardian(s) when submitting the application form give all the relevant supporting information and written evidence that may be needed including the child’s full birth certificate. If a place is offered on the basis of incorrect or misleading information then the Board of Governors may withdraw the offer.

If parents/guardians have any difficulty in completing the form then they should consult the Principal of the school. At the time of their proposed admission children must not have a pre-school education place, full-time or part-time at any other school or premises.

Duty to Verify

The Board of Governors reserves the right to require such supplementary evidence as it may determine to support or verify information on any applicant’s application form.

Applicants should note that where an address contained within an application qualifies it for admission, then that address will be verified. To enable the Board of Governors to verify addresses, all applicants should provide any 2 of the following 4 documents.

  • A bank or building society statement, not more than 6 months old, which shows the address at which the child is resident in the name of one or both parent(s)/guardian(s);
  • A utility bill, not more than 6 months old, (for instance electricity, gas, Television Licence, telephone – landline not mobile) which shows the address at which the child is resident in the name of one or both parent(s)/guardian(s);
  • A letter awarding Child Benefit to the child or another letter relating to this benefit from relevant government bodies;
  • Valid Electoral ID card;
  • Valid Driving License;
  • Addressed payslip (not more than six months old);
  • Mortgage statement (not more than one-year-old);
  • Rental agreement (not more than a year old);
  • Land and Property Services rates demand (not more than a year old).

Please note that other documents equally capable of verifying your information, or other equally capable means of verification, will be considered at the discretion of the Board of Governors.

Original documents are required and not facsimiles or photocopies. The pre-school will photocopy the verification documents and return the originals to parents/guardians.

NOTE – 2nd and after preferences will be verified at a later date as above.

If the requested evidence is not provided to the Board of Governors by the deadline given, this will result in the withdrawal of an offer of a place. Similarly, if information is supplied which appears to be false or misleading in any material way, the offer of a place will be withdrawn.

Waiting List Policy

Should a vacancy arise after the 9th June 2017, all applicants for admission to the nursery school that were initially refused, new applications, late applications and applications where new information has been provided will be treated equally and the above criteria applied. This waiting list will be in place until the end of the academic year. The Academy Nursery School will contact you in writing if your child gains a place in the school by this method. Your child’s name will be automatically added to the list. Please contact the school if you wish for your child’s name to be removed from the list.

Part-time Admission Criteria

The same criteria will be used for part-time admissions as for full-time admissions.

Full-time and Part-time Admission Criteria

The same criteria will be used for applications after 1 September 2017 for full-time and part-time admissions.

Parent/Guardian(s) should also note that if their child is seeking nursery provision for the 2nd year they MUST reapply.