Admissions FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions on school admissions.

For more information on the admissions process and what to expect when applying for a place in a pre-school / primary / post-primary school for your child see our Pre-School Admissions Guide, Primary Admissions Guide and Post Primary Admissions Guide.

Admissions General FAQs

What documents do I need with my application?

All pre-schools/schools will require the birth certificate to verify a child’s name and date of birth. Either a full (long) or short birth certificate may be used or an amended birth certificate or an adoption certificate, where appropriate, is acceptable. If a birth certificate is not available you should consult the pre-school/school to determine what alternatives may be acceptable e.g. a biometric card, passport, medical card etc.

You should refer to the admissions criteria to find out if other supporting documents are required by each of the pre-schools/schools you have chosen e.g. proof of address.

  • Gather all the required documents (in some cases this may be the birth certificate only). 
  • For GDPR purposes you may wish to remove personal/sensitive/private information from your documents before uploading e.g. financial details in bank statements.
  • You can attach multiple documents under each category of document type if required.

Do not upload documents unless they are required by the admissions criteria of any of the pre-schools/schools listed on your application.

Socially Disadvantaged Circumstances (applicable to Pre-School)

For information on what socially disadvantaged circumstances means when applying for a funded pre-school place and how to provide proof of benefit entitlement if applicable to you, visit Applying for a Pre-School Place – SDC information under Supporting Documents section.

Should I tick the Eldest Child/Eldest Boy/Eldest Girl box on the application?

As the definition of eldest child may differ from school to school you should carefully read and check if there is any particular definition of eldest child in the admissions criteria of all the schools you are applying, e.g. some schools may place a particular definition which includes children who are the eldest eligible child to transfer. 

If your child is the eldest or only child of the family you should tick the relevant box when adding your child’s details on your application.  Please note that when this box is ticked, the box for ‘Eldest girl/boy in family (applicable for single sex schools) is also automatically ticked.

If your child is not the eldest child, but rather is the eldest boy or eldest girl of the family, you should tick the appropriate box on the application as this may be relevant to the admissions criteria where you are applying to single-sex schools.

If appropriate, include any information which may be relevant to your child’s circumstances in the text box for each individual school preference as well as ticking the relevant eldest child/eldest boy/eldest girl box when making your application.

What information should I give in the ‘Your School Choices’ text box?

You need to outline how your child meets the admissions criteria of each pre-school/school listed.  The information you type will only be seen by the pre-school/school named above the box.  Therefore, if there are reasons relating to admissions criteria which are also relevant to your other pre-school/school preferences you will need to indicate these again in the application when you list those pre-school/school preferences.

If you have already typed up your reasons as per the published admissions criteria, you can copy and paste them into this textbox.  There is a 3000 character limit on the text box at each preference in which you can describe how your child meets the admissions criteria. You may also upload a document(s) with this information later in the application if you need to.  Any documents which are uploaded will be visible to any pre-school/school that considers your child’s application.

It is extremely important that you provide all relevant details on your application as this information will be used by individual pre-schools/schools to determine which children will be selected for admission.

How many school preferences should I list on my application?

Up to 12 preferences can be selected on EA Connect. We recommend at least four preferences* be nominated as there is no guarantee your child will be offered a place in your first preference pre-school/school.

*For Post Primary Year 8 applications we recommend at least one non-grammar school is listed.

How can I indicate my child’s community background when applying for a place in an Integrated school?

If you list an integrated school(s) as a preference, please ensure you complete the ‘Additional Information’ section on the application form as this information is required by integrated schools to apply their balance, as stated in their published admissions criteria. 

If applying online this information will only be visible to integrated schools that you list on your online application.  You will be presented with an additional question at the end of the application to select your child’s community background from the options Protestant community, Roman Catholic community or None/Other.  You may also provide any additional information relating to an individual school's admissions criteria in the ‘Your School Choices’ text box for each school listed e.g. if you are in a mixed religion marriage.

If applying using a paper form, all information you provide, including that relating to your child’s community background, may be visible to any school listed as a preference on your paper form which considers the application.  If, when applying on a paper form, you wish to keep your community background private from other schools, you should contact the integrated school(s) you wish to apply for, to find an agreed alternative method of providing this information e.g. some integrated schools may have a separate pro-forma that you can complete and submit directly to the school.

Can I make more than one application?

You can only make one application for your child.  Otherwise, you will have made a false declaration.  In the event that a parent is discovered to have lodged more than one application for a child, then the first application lodged will normally be treated as the formal expression of parental preference and their other applications will not be considered.

You should not create your child’s details more than once in theMy Applications’ section.  An on-screen prompt will alert you if you attempt to create the same child name more than once.  If you have made an error and/or need to amend your child’s details simply click ‘Edit Child Details’ and make the changes as necessary.

By exception to the above position, should duplicate applications be submitted by parents/or those with parental responsibility where agreement on a child’s application has not been reached, the EA will process the applications and make contact with all parties as set out in the section below ‘Parents disagree on which schools to apply to/priority order for preferences’.

Parents disagree on which schools to apply to/priority order for preferences

Only one application can be processed for your child. The system will highlight where 2 applications have been made and you will be contacted by EA Admissions to withdraw one of these applications.

In the case where there is disagreement between parents/guardians and two applications are lodged with different preferences and/or addresses, the Education Authority’s Admissions Service will contact both parties asking them to agree on a single application to go forward for processing. 

In cases where parents cannot agree on the preferences for their child they should endeavour to do so as soon as possible.  If mutual agreement is not possible ultimately you may need to obtain a Specific Issues Order from the court.  If an agreement on a valid application form to be processed is not received separate applications will continue to be processed until an agreement is made or a court order is provided.  If you require further advice you should contact the EA Admissions Helpdesk.

Who has Parental Responsibility?

  • Every mother automatically has parental responsibility for her child, as does every father who is married to the mother at the time of the birth.
  • A father of a child acquires parental responsibility if his name has been put on the child’s birth certificate (applies to children born after 15 April 2002).
  • Both parents can enter a parental responsibility agreement.
  • The Court can make a Parental Responsibility Order in favour of the father.
  • Parental responsibility may also be acquired under the provisions of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008.
  • Step-parents may acquire Parental Responsibility by way of Court Order.
  • If the court makes an order for the child to reside with someone who does not already hold parental responsibility, that person will obtain parental responsibility by virtue of that order as long as the residence order remains in force.
  • Social Services acquire Parental Responsibility on the issuing of a Care Order or Interim Care Order. Where a child is made subject to a Care Order, the Local Authority/Trust is given Parental Responsibility and will share it with current Parental Responsibility holders, for example, the child’s parents.  However the Trust can exercise Parental Responsibility above that of the current Parental Responsibility holders insofar as necessary to safeguard the welfare of a child.
  • An adoptive parent when an adoption order is made.
  • An individual can acquire Parental Responsibility on the foot of an appointment as a guardian by the court in certain circumstances such as the death of a parent.
  • There are situations where a parent can lose Parental Responsibility by way of court order, for example where step-parents hold an order for Parental Responsibility for a child who is subsequently adopted.

What address should I use if I am planning to move house?

The address you use on your child’s application must be the home address at which they are currently resident.  It cannot be that of a childminder or grandparent’s home, or any other address which is not their normal residence.

If you are planning to move house before the beginning of the school year, you should indicate this on your application for each school you are applying to, giving as much information as possible about the planned date of moving and address, if known.

If you move house after the closing date, during the selection process, you can change your address and your child’s address (if appropriate) on EA Connect.  Please note it will be for the school(s) to determine the address to be used when applying the admissions criteria, if your child’s address is relevant to the criteria.  You may also be asked for documentation to verify your move.

If you have submitted a late application, you should email the relevant admissions service with your child’s details, old address and new address.

Can I apply if I am living outside/planning to move to Northern Ireland?

You can still make an application for a preschool/school place, however, priority is given to children residing in Northern Ireland at the time of their proposed admission.

If you are planning to move to Northern Ireland, when completing the application, you must use the address you are currently residing at the time of the completion of your application. Boards of Governors/Management Committees can only use a new address once your child is residing at the new address. You should notify the Education Authority and the pre-school/school in writing, preferably via email, when you have moved. You may need to provide verification of your move.

If your child’s date of birth is outside the normal age range for transfer to Primary 1 or Year 8 in Northern Ireland, you should complete an application for the appropriate year group for your child’s age.  See In-Year Transfer Between Schools for more information on applying to other year groups.

Support for Newcomer Families

A newcomer family refers to any family for whom English is not their home language and where they may require support.

Reachdeck (translation tool) is available on the EA Connect application portal and on the EA Website. 

If you require further support in making an application for a pre-school or school, please contact one of our Helpdesks below:-

Admissions Helpdesk   or   Intercultural Education Service Helpdesk

Pre-school FAQS

What is a funded Pre-School?

A funded pre-school place is provided under the Pre-School Education Programme.

  • It normally consists of five sessions per week, each lasting 2½ hours per day during the school year.
  • In nursery schools and primary schools with nursery units, attendance takes the form of full day (4½ hours per day) or part-time (2½ hours per day, either morning or afternoon sessions).
  • Nursery schools and Primary schools with nursery units can offer either full time or part time sessions which can be either morning or afternoon. 
  • A few Nursery schools and Primary schools with nursery units have both full-time and part-time sessions.
  • Voluntary/Private Playgroup providers only offer part time sessions (at least 2½ hours per day).

What curriculum is taught in pre-school?

All funded pre-school education settings must follow common pre-school curricular guidance to plan and organise the children's learning.

What is the difference between a Nursery School/Unit and a Playgroup in terms of education provision?

There is no difference between a Nursery School/Unit and a Playgroup in terms of education provision. All pre-school settings deliver to the same curricular guidelines and are inspected to the same educational standards.  Pre-school settings provide important opportunities for indoor and outdoor play in a stimulating environment and also enable your child to socialise regularly with other children.  More detail on pre-school education is available on the CCEA website at CCEA - Pre-school.

Do I need to apply for a funded pre-school place?

Pre-School Education is not compulsory although good quality pre-school education has important benefits. Parents make an application for a funded place on the understanding that their child will attend 5 days per week if offered a place. This will enable their child to benefit fully from a quality pre-school experience.

Exceptions

Special Educational Needs Applications

If your child is undergoing statutory assessment you still need to apply for a Pre-school place.  However, you should not complete an application if your child has a Statement of Special Educational Needs. Your child’s placement will be arranged through the EA’s Special Educational Needs Department.

Do I need to put my name down or register with a pre-school provider?

No and even if you have given your name to a provider, you will still need to apply for admission.

Can I advise a pre-school about a morning or afternoon session if they offer both sessions?

Pre-School legislation enables parents to list full-time or part-time preferences, it does not recognise morning and afternoon sessions as preferences. The admissions criteria will inform you if a pre-school setting offers a morning and afternoon session. You can mention a morning or afternoon session under ‘Your School Choices’ text box in your application. The allocation of a morning or afternoon session is a decision taken by the respective pre-school setting and there is no guarantee that you will be offered a morning session over an afternoon or vice-versa.

Can my child attend a funded place in the morning and one in the afternoon?

No.  A child is only entitled to one funded place in a nursery school/unit or playgroup or private nursery e.g. a child may not have a funded place in a playgroup in the morning and attend a nursery school/unit in the afternoon.

What is Socially Disadvantaged Circumstances (SDC) when applying for a funded pre-school place?

Legislation requires pre-school providers to give priority to children in their final pre-school year who are from SDC. The benefits as defined by the Department of Education entitling parents to claim SDC are:

  • Income Support; or
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance; or
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance; or
  • Universal Credit.

If you have an entitlement to any of these benefits tick the box to confirm, when completing the pre-school application and you must provide verification to show an entitlement to the qualifying benefit.

Can I add new/additional information?

During the admissions procedure if your circumstances change in a way that may be important for the admissions process you should contact the Education Authority in writing or by emailing [email protected] to provide this new information. Wednesday 31 January 2024 at 4.00 pm is the final date/time by which the Education Authority will consider the information. After this date new/additional information will not be processed until after 25 April 2024.

Can I change which schools I have applied to?

Changing which pre-school settings you have applied to, or changing the order in which pre-school settings consider your application is referred to as Change of Preference. Different rules apply depending on when you decide to do this:

Before 12 noon on Friday 26 January 2024

If you wish to change your preferences before 12 noon on Friday 26 January 2024 and had applied via EA Connect you can make changes to your application by logging in to your account and clicking on the application pane and ‘View Summary’ under the menu icon. The option to edit is available under each section. You can add/delete preferences and/or change the order of preferences listed by dragging and dropping your preferences on the ‘Your School Choices’ page. Ensure that you also update your reasons for preference as appropriate. You should preview your form and satisfy yourself that all the information is correct before ensuring to submit your application by the closing date/time of 12 noon on Friday 26 January 2024.

Please note: if you have previously submitted your application and are making changes, you will receive an on-screen message that the changes have been saved, however, you will not receive an email notifying you of any changes made.

If you have applied using a paper application you will need to contact the Pre-School Admissions office in writing (preferably by email) to withdraw your form and complete and submit a new application to the Pre-School Admissions office by the closing date/time of 12 noon on Friday 26 January 2024.

Between 12 noon on Friday 26 January 2024 and 4pm on Wednesday 31 January 2024

Apart from those necessitated by exceptional circumstances, no changes of preference will be processed if received after 12 noon on Friday 26 January 2024.  If you wish to change your preference, for any reason other than in exceptional circumstances, you must withdraw your original application by emailing [email protected] and submitting a new paper application to Pre-School Admissions.

If this occurs between 12 noon on Friday 26 January 2024 and 4pm on Wednesday 31 January 2024 your new application will be processed within the admissions procedure as a late application. Refer to the section “Can I submit a late application?” for further details.

If you wish to change your preference due to exceptional circumstances you must submit a request in writing to the Education Authority (preferably by email) to [email protected] on or before 4pm on Wednesday 31 January 2024. Verification of the exceptional circumstances must be provided. If approved, the Education Authority will send you a pro-forma to complete with your new list of preferences (in order of preference) and including your reasons for preference as they relate to the admissions criteria. If the original application was received by the closing date/time then your ‘changed’ application will be processed within the admissions procedure as a punctual application.

After 4pm on Wednesday 31 January 2024

After 4pm on 31 January 2024 if you wish to change your preference in exceptional circumstances you will need to withdraw your application and then submit a new application when Stage 2 opens on 25 April 2024

Can I submit a late application?

The application has now closed. Information on ‘How to Apply’ for a pre-school place will be available at Applying for a Pre-School Place 

Can I complete more than one application?

No. Only one application can be processed for your child. The system will highlight where 2 applications have been made and you will be contacted by EA Admissions to withdraw one of these applications.

In the case where there is disagreement between parents/guardians and two applications are lodged with different preferences and/or addresses, the Education Authority’s Admissions Service will contact both parties asking them to agree on a single application to go forward for processing.   In cases where parents cannot agree on the preferences for their child they should endeavour to do so as soon as possible.  If mutual agreement is not possible ultimately you may need to obtain a Specific Issues Order from the court.  If an agreement on a valid application form to be processed is not received separate applications will continue to be processed until an agreement is made or a court order is provided.  If you require advice you should contact the EA Admissions Helpdesk.

Can I pay for my child’s pre-school education?

If you wish, you may contact any private or voluntary provider of your choice directly with regard to a fee paying place for your child.

Can I apply for pre-school for my child who is under the age of 2?

No, if your child is under the age of 2 you can make contact with the Early Years Organisation or Family Support NI for further advice 

Early Years Organisation

Family Support NI

Is the pre-school intake data available?

The tables below provide a breakdown of the number of applications for funded Pre-School places received and considered by each pre-school during the admissions procedure and the number of children admitted, by preference.

The figures are collated 
as applicable by Constituency or Council and reflect the position at the end of Stage 2 of the timetabled admissions procedure, according to records held by the Education Authority, which administers the procedure.

Primary FAQs

Where can I find out about schools and their admissions criteria?

Use our 'Search Schools’ section to find schools in your area and read their admissions criteria.

If you wish to apply for a Primary School place in Years 2-7 please complete the AP1 form available here In-Year Transfer Between Schools.

Do I need to apply for a primary one place?

If your child was born between 2 July 2019 and 1 July 2020 they will be due to start primary one in September 2024 and as they will be of compulsory school age you must apply for a place in a primary school. 

Exceptions

  • Special Educational Needs Applications

If your child has a Statement of Special Educational Needs, placement will be arranged through the EA’s Special Educational Needs Department.

  • Children currently enrolled in a Reception Class

If your child is currently enrolled in the Reception Class of a primary school and you wish for them to continue their primary one education at the same school then a new application is not required.  However, if you wish to apply for your child to be admitted to a different primary school then you must complete an application for consideration.

  • Preparatory Departments and Independent Schools

For information on making application to the Preparatory Departments of grammar schools or to Independent Schools you should contact the schools directly. 

Can I change which schools I have applied to?

Changing which Primary School you have applied to, or changing the order in which a Primary School considers your application is referred to as Change of Preference. Different rules apply depending on when you decide to do this:

Before 12 noon on Friday 26 January 2024

If you wish to change your preferences before 12 noon on Friday 26 January 2024 and had applied via EA Connect you can make changes to your application by logging in to your account and clicking on the application pane and ‘View Summary’ under the menu icon. The option to edit is available under each section. You can add/delete preferences and/or change the order of preferences listed by dragging and dropping your preferences on the ‘Your School Choices’ page. Ensure that you also update your reasons for preference as appropriate. You should preview your form and satisfy yourself that all the information is correct before ensuring to submit your application by the closing date/time of 12 noon on Friday 26 January 2024.

Please note: if you have previously submitted your application and are making changes, you will receive an on-screen message that the changes have been saved, however, you will not receive an email notifying you of any changes made.

If you have applied using a paper application you will need to contact the Primary Admissions office in writing (preferably by email) to withdraw your form and complete and submit a new application to the Primary Admissions office by the closing date/time of 12 noon on Friday 26 January 2024.

Between 12 noon on Friday 26 January 2024 and 4pm on Wednesday 31 January 2024

Apart from those necessitated by exceptional circumstances, no changes of preference will be processed if received after 12 noon on Friday 26 January 2024.  If you wish to change your preference, for any reason other than in exceptional circumstances, you must withdraw your original application by emailing [email protected] and submitting a new paper application to Primary Admissions.

If this occurs between 12 noon on Friday 26 January 2024 and 4pm on Wednesday 31 January 2024 your new application will be processed within the admissions procedure as a late application. Refer to the section “Can I submit a late application?” for further details.

If you wish to change your preference due to exceptional circumstances you must submit a request in writing to the Education Authority (preferably by email) to [email protected] on or before 4pm on Wednesday 31 January 2024. Verification of the exceptional circumstances must be provided. If approved, the Education Authority will send you a pro-forma to complete with your new list of preferences (in order of preference) and including your reasons for preference as they relate to the admissions criteria. If the original application was received by the closing date/time then your ‘changed’ application will be processed within the admissions procedure as a punctual application.

After 4pm on Wednesday 31 January 2024

After 4pm on 31 January 2024 if you wish to change your preference in exceptional circumstances you will need to withdraw your application and then submit a new application at the close of the open enrolment procedure on 25 April 2024.

Is Primary intake data available?

The table below provides a breakdown of the number of applications for Primary 1 and Reception places received and considered by each primary school during the admissions procedure and the number of children admitted, by preference.  The figures are collated by Constituency and reflect the position at the end of the timetabled admissions procedure i.e. 27 April 2023, according to records held by the Education Authority, which administers the procedure.

Schools, as part of their admissions criteria, also publish application and admissions information.  The figures contained in the information provided by individual schools may differ as they may be from a different point in time.

Can I submit a late application?

The EA Connect portal to submit a Primary One application is closed.

Only those applications received by 4pm on 31 January 2024 will be processed during the open enrolment procedure.

You cannot submit an application for admission to Primary One in September 2024 until 25 April 2024.  Further information on ‘How to Apply’ will be available at that time on this page.

Can I add new/additional information?

During the admissions procedure if your circumstances change in a way that may be important for the admissions process you should contact the Education Authority in writing or by emailing [email protected] to provide this new information. Wednesday 31 January 2024 at 4.00 pm is the final date/time by which the Education Authority will consider the information. After this date new/additional information will not be processed until after 25 April 2024.

Can I complete more than one application?

No, only one application can be processed for your child. The system will highlight where 2 applications have been made and you will be contacted by EA Admissions to withdraw one of these applications.

In the case where there is disagreement between parents/guardians and two applications are lodged with different preferences and/or addresses, the Education Authority’s Admissions Service will contact both parties asking them to agree on a single application to go forward for processing.  In cases where parents cannot agree on the preferences for their child they should endeavour to do so as soon as possible.  If mutual agreement is not possible ultimately you may need to obtain a Specific Issues Order from the court.  If an agreement on a valid application form to be processed is not received separate applications will continue to be processed until an agreement is made or a court order is provided.  If you require further advice you should contact the EA Admissions Helpdesk.

I am planning to move house, what address should I use?

The address you use on your child’s application must be the home address at which they are currently resident. It cannot be that of a childminder or grandparent’s home or any other address which is not their normal residence.

If you are planning to move house before the beginning of the school year you should indicate this on your application form under ‘Preference Reasons’ giving as much information as possible about the planned date of moving and address, if known.

If you move house during the admissions process you must inform the Education Authority in writing preferably by email to [email protected] providing your child’s name and date of birth and indicating the new address and when your child’s address changed. The Education Authority will ensure the school(s) to which you have applied is notified. You may be asked for documentation to verify your move. Please note that where a school uses distance from school within its admissions criteria this will apply to the child’s current home address at the time of application.

I am currently living outside Northern Ireland, can I apply for a P1 place?

You can still make an application for a primary place. However, priority is given to children residing in Northern Ireland at the time of their proposed admission.  If you are moving to Northern Ireland, when completing the application, you must use the address you are residing at the time of the completion of your application.  Boards of Governors can only use a new address once your child is residing at the new address. You should notify the Education Authority in writing when you have moved and you will need to provide verification of your move.

Post Primary FAQs

What are Special Circumstances and Special Provisions?

Special Circumstances and Special Provisions are relevant only to those schools which use SEAG Entrance Assessment results in their selection process.  Brief generic descriptions are accessible on the Post Primary Year 8 Applications section of the EA website (see Transfer Tests).  For more detailed information read carefully the admissions criteria of your preferred schools to determine if you need to make a claim for your child on their application.  The particular definition of these terms may differ from school to school.  If you are unsure of the meaning of something you have read in a school’s admissions criteria, you should contact the Post Primary school directly for clarification. 

If you list any school that considers claims for Special Circumstances and/or Special Provisions within the admissions criteria, you will be presented with a ‘Yes/No’ question on your child’s application.  If you consider that Special Circumstances or Special Provision may apply to your child then you need to indicate this on your application and you must upload all relevant documentation to support your claim, as required by the individual school’s admissions criteria.

Ensure you provide all relevant evidence as schools will only consider the information that you supply at the time of application.

Can I add new/additional information?

During the admissions procedure if your circumstances change in a way that may be important for the admissions process you should contact the Education Authority in writing or by emailing [email protected] to provide this new information. Monday 4 March at 4pm is the final date/time by which the Education Authority will consider the information. After this date new/additional information will not be processed until after 18 May 2024.

Can I change which schools I have applied to?

Changing which schools you have applied to, or changing the order in which schools consider your application is referred to as Change of Preference. Different rules apply depending on when you decide to do this:

Before 12 noon on Thursday 22 February 2024

If you wish to change your preferences before 12 noon on Thursday 22 February 2024 and had applied via EA Connect you can make changes to your application by logging in to your account and clicking on the grey box under your child’s details and ‘View Summary’ or ‘Edit Application’ under the menu icon. You will be brought to the Application Summary screen. The option to edit is available under each section. You can add/delete preferences and/or change the order of preferences listed by dragging and dropping your preferences on the ‘Your School Choices’ page. Ensure that you also update your reasons for preference as appropriate. You should preview your form and satisfy yourself that all the information is correct before ensuring to submit your application by the closing date/time of 12 noon on Thursday 22 February 2024.

Please note: if you have previously submitted your application and are making changes, you will receive an on-screen message that the changes have been saved, however, you will not receive an email notifying you of any changes made.

If you have applied using a paper application you will need to contact the Post Primary Admissions office in writing to [email protected] to withdraw your form and complete and submit a new application by the closing date/time of 12 noon on Thursday 22 February 2024.

Between 12 noon on Thursday 22 February 2024 and 4pm on Monday 4 March 2024

Apart from those necessitated by exceptional circumstances, no changes of preference will be processed if received after 12 noon on Thursday 22 February 2024.  If you wish to change your preference, for any reason other than in exceptional circumstances, you must withdraw your original application by emailing [email protected] and submitting a new paper application.

If a new application is received between 12 noon on Thursday 22 February and 4pm on Monday 4 March 2024 your new application will be processed within the admissions procedure as a late application. Refer to the section “Late applications” for further details.

If you wish to change your preference due to exceptional circumstances you must submit a request in writing to the Education Authority (preferably by email) to [email protected] on or before 4.00 pm on Monday 4 March 2024. Verification of the exceptional circumstances must be provided. If approved, the Education Authority will send you a pro-forma to complete with your new list of preferences (in order of preference) and including your reasons for preference as they relate to the admissions criteria. If the original application was received by the closing date/time then your ‘changed’ application will be processed within the admissions procedure as a punctual application.

After 4pm on Monday 4 March 2024

No changes can be made to your list of preferences at this stage. You will have an opportunity to submit a late application for schools with places available from Saturday 18 May 2024. Please note most schools will have already filled their places and there may be a limited number of school places available in your area.

Can I submit a late application?

The closing date for punctual Post Primary applications is 12noon on Thursday 22 February 2024. An application received after 12 noon on 22 February and by 4pm on 4 March 2024 will be treated as a late application.

Contact Post Primary Admissions on 028 9598 5595 or [email protected] to request a late application form.

Having a late application could reduce your child’s likelihood of gaining a place in your preferred school. Please check each individual School’s Admissions Criteria to determine how they will treat late applications if they receive more applications than they have places available as most will firstly consider all punctual applications (including second and subsequent preference applications) before any late application is considered.

Applications received after 4pm on 4 March 2024 will not processed until after the end of procedure on Saturday 18 May 2024, at which point most schools will have filled all available places.

Is Post Primary intake data available?

The tables below provide a breakdown of the number of applications for Year 8 places received and considered by each post primary school during the admissions procedure and the number of children admitted, by preference.  The figures are collated by Constituency and reflect the position at the end of the timetabled admissions procedure in each of the last three years, according to records held by the Education Authority, which administers the procedure.

Schools, as part of their admissions criteria, also publish application and admissions information.  The figures contained in the information provided by individual schools may differ as they may be from a different point in time.

Can I indicate that my child is registered as entitled to free school meals?

Children entitled to free school meals (FSME) may be prioritised for admission to some Post-Primary schools. You should tick the box on the application if your child is currently registered with the EA as being entitled to free school meals. 

*The above does not apply to Pre-School, Primary 1 or Reception Applications.

EA Connect - Digital Support

How do I apply on EA Connect for a place for my child?

  • Click on ‘Apply Now’ on the Applying for a School Place page during the application window to access EA Connect. See Admissions Key Dates for each education sector;
  • Click ‘Register’ and follow the on-screen instructions to create an account*;
  • You will receive an email to verify your account. Click the link in the email;
  • Log in and click on ‘Admissions’;
  • Add your child’s details by clicking ‘Add Child’;
  • Click ‘Apply Now’ and answer each question as you click through the screens on the application;
  • Your application is automatically saved as you go along. This means that if you leave your application at any stage the information you have input will be saved, up to the point at which you had last clicked ‘save or ‘continue’;
  • List the pre-schools/schools you wish to apply to in order of preference. Provide details on how your child meets the admissions criteria for each individual pre-school/school. You should list at least four pre-school/school choices as there is no guarantee your child will be accepted into the first preference pre-school/school. You can list up to twelve preferences on the online application;
  • If you have listed particular types of schools you may be asked for ‘Additional Information’ e.g., community background for Integrated schools;
  • Upload any documents as set out in the admissions criteria of any pre-school/school you list as well as your child’s birth certificate;
  • Review the details on the ‘Application Summary’ page. When you are satisfied all relevant information is included you can submit your application; and
  • You will receive a confirmation message on-screen as well as an email when you have submitted the application.

*If you already have an EA Connect account you do not need to register again. Simply log in and click on ‘Admissions’ to add your child details and begin an application.

My child has a formal statement of special educational needs (SEN), how do I apply for a place for my child?

If your child has a statement of Special Educational Needs, you should not apply through Admissions on EA Connect. Your child will have a separate admissions procedure, you can find out what this entails by visiting SEND School Placements. You can contact the Statutory Assessment and Review Service for updates on your child’s placement or other general advice. You may be asked to register on EA Connect as part of your child’s Annual Review.

What should I do if I have registered on EA Connect but have not received a verification email?

Check for an email from the Education Authority, which is sent automatically when you register, usually within a few minutes.  However, it may take longer in peak periods. Please check in your ‘spam’ or ‘junk’ folders. If you are unable to find it, please contact the Admissions Helpdesk email on [email protected]  

What should I do if the link in my verification email does not work? 

Try copying and pasting the link directly into your internet browser. If you continue to experience difficulties contact the Admissions Helpdesk email on [email protected] 

When searching for my address during registration, I cannot find it on the drop-down menu, what should I do?

If your address does not appear, click ‘Enter address manually’, fill out the appropriate fields and click ‘Save Address’. A prompt will be displayed to remind you to update your child’s address in ‘Edit Child’. Please ensure to do this, if appropriate.  Click ‘Save’, you will then receive an on-screen message telling you that your details have been updated. 

I have forgotten my password, what can I do?

You can request to reset your password on the login screen by clicking “Forgot Password?” and entering the email address you used to register the account. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process. You will need to click on the link within two hours. Please note, an automated email will only be generated if the email address is registered on EA Connect. 

How do I change my email address/personal details/contact details?

If you change your email address, you will need to complete the verification process before you can use your account. Please note you will have to use your old email address to log in to EA Connect. When you log in click on ‘My Information’ to view your registered details. Under ‘New Email’ enter the email address you wish to change to. You will receive a verification email with a link to verify your account.  Once you have verified your account, you can log in to EA Connect. 

To change your personal details e.g. home address or contact details, log in to EA Connect, click on ‘My Information’, change your details and click ‘Update’.

What do I do if I am unable to list my preferences?

Check that you have not navigated back to the EA website.

Within EA Connect if you cannot find a pre-school/school on the list please ensure you have spelled the name correctly or check if it is a private playgroup, an independent school or a special school.

Carefully select those pre-schools/schools that you wish to nominate as some pre-schools/schools have similar names e.g. St Mary’s High School, Downpatrick, St Mary’s High School, Newry etc

Abbreviations used in pre-school setting names are as follows:

FT: Full-time places

PT: Part-time places

PG: Playgroup

PS NU: Nursery Unit in a primary school

You can add and change the order of your preferences by dragging and dropping from the three lines or preference number to the left-hand side of the pre-school setting or school name. 

You cannot list the same pre-school/school twice, except where different types of provision are being offered by the same pre-school/school, in which case you can apply for either or both i.e., full-time and part-time pre-school provision, English and Irish Medium Units in primary and post primary schools, boarding option in post primary schools.

What do I do if I have submitted my application but have not received an email confirmation?

Once you have submitted your application you will receive an email confirmation from the Education Authority.  If you do not receive the email, please check your Junk or Spam accounts.  Also check to make sure you have clicked the ‘Submit’ button on your application.  

What assistance will there be for parents who may need additional support?

Online Resources – quick reference guides and video tutorials

Our online resources and information can be translated by ReachDeck Accessibility Tool in a range of languages.

Parents can access transcripts to videos and sign interpretations which guide through the application process on EA Connect.

Further Assistance

Parents can contact the Admissions Helpdesk Monday to Friday 9am-5pm by

Telephone: 028 9598 5595

or email: [email protected]

For email addresses for each sector please visit Admissions Helpdesk.

I am having problems uploading my supporting documents, what should I do?

I cannot access the files or photos on my device – Check the permissions setting on the browser you are using. This varies on different devices. On an Android device go to your device Settings > Apps > click on the internet browser app you are using (Chrome or Microsoft Edge) > Permissions > Camera (and Files and Media) > Allow only while using the app. You can go back through this sequence to turn off permissions when you have submitted the required documents.  

Unable to select a saved document – Check that the document is saved on your device correctly. Check that the document has a suitable extension (Supported file types are pdf, jpeg, img, doc, docx, png, txt, rtf, odt, ppt, pptx, odp, xls, xlsx, ods, heic). If the problem persists, contact [email protected] 

Document fails to upload – Check that the document has the correct extension and try saving as a document with the appropriate extension. If using a device with the ability to take a photo, try taking a photo of the paper document and submitting this. If the problem persists, contact the Admissions Helpdesk. Telephone 028 9598 5595 or email [email protected] 

What should I do if I have uploaded an incorrect document?

If you are at the Documents Upload section of the application, click the down arrow to the right of the document you wish to delete and click ‘Delete’ Click ‘Yes’ to confirm deletion. You may then click on ‘Add Document’ to upload an alternative document, if required.  

If you are at the ‘Application Summary’, scroll to the ‘Supporting Documents’ section and click ‘Edit’ to open the ‘Documents Upload’ section of the application. Once in the ‘Documents Upload’ section, click the down arrow to the right of the document you wish to delete and click ‘Delete’, click ‘Yes’ to confirm deletion. You may then click on ‘Add Document’ to upload an alternative document, if required.  

If you have already completed and submitted your application and have logged out of the system, then you will need to log in again. Once in the ‘My Applications’ screen click on ‘Edit Application’, which will take you to the ‘Application Summary’ screen. Scroll down to the Supporting Documents section and click on ‘Edit’ to open the Documents Upload section of the application. Click the down arrow to the right of the document you wish to delete and click ‘Delete’, click ‘Yes’ confirm deletion. You may then click on ‘Add Document’ to upload an alternative document, if required.  

What if i need to make changes after submitting my application?

Users can edit their application from the ‘My Applications’ page on EA Connect before the closing date. Please refer to Admissions Key Dates for each sector’s closing date.

Changes before the closing date

  • Before Application is submitted:

Click on the three dots on the grey card under your child’s details and select ‘Edit Application’. You will be brought back to the section where you left off. Continue to answer questions until you get to the Application Summary screen. At this point you can go back and edit any of the details you have previously entered.

Please Note: the application is not valid until you go to the end and ‘submit’ the application.

  • After Application is submitted:

Click on the three dots on the grey card under your child’s details and select ‘View Summary’. This will enable you to view a summary of your application (if the application has been submitted) and edit any changes required.

Please note: where an application has previously been submitted, you will receive an on-screen message to confirm changes have been saved, however, you will not receive an email to confirm the changes. You can log in at any time to view your application summary.

After the closing date but before final date for changes in exceptional circumstances

Please refer to Admissions Key Dates for each sector’s final date for late applications. This is also the deadline for any changes to be made including adding supporting documents.

  • Supporting Documents:

You can still log in to EA Connect to upload supporting documents but will be unable to edit the information on the application.

  • Change of Preference or other information:

Email the appropriate Admissions Helpdesk with your request for change detailing accurately the changes to be made and the reasons for the change. You should also include your child’s name, date of birth and home address on all communications.

After final date for changes in exceptional circumstances

No further changes can be made to applications after this date. Pre-schools/Schools can only consider information provided on the application form up until the final deadline. If your circumstances have changed, such as moved area, you will have an opportunity after the Notification of Outcome date to apply to pre-school/schools who have not yet filled their places.  EA Admissions will not process any changes or late applications that may have been received after the deadline, until after the notification of application outcome date.

Admissions Videos and Guidance

Additional support videos and guidance relating to the admissions process and document upload.

Last updated: 21/03/2024