In the menus below, you will find the information on how to find a school, admissions criteria, and how to apply for a place in a pre-school/school.
Use the 'Search Schools’ tool below to search for pre-schools/schools in your area and read or download their admissions criteria.
Other sources of information which may be useful to you include:
- Pre-school/school websites
- Pre-school/school virtual opening day/evenings
- Pre-school/school prospectus
- ETI Inspection Reports
- Annual Area Profiles
- Early Years Organisation (Pre-School)
- Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education
- Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta
- Altram (Pre-School)
- Family Support NI (Pre-School)
All pre-schools/schools have admissions criteria. If they receive more applications than they have places available, they use these criteria to decide who to offer places to.
Before starting to complete your child’s application you should read carefully the published admissions criteria for each pre-school/school that you wish to nominate as a preference.
You should complete your application providing all the relevant details/preference reasons about how your child meets the pre-schools/schools admissions criteria.
When making an application it is recommended that you should list at least four pre-schools/schools in the order of your preference, as there is no guarantee your child will be accepted into the first preference.
All schools will require a birth certificate to verify a child’s name and date of birth. Either a full (long) or short birth certificate may be used. An amended birth certificate or an adoption certificate, where appropriate, is acceptable. If a birth certificate is not available you should contact the school to determine what alternatives may be acceptable e.g. a biometric card, passport, medical card etc.
Other Supporting Documents
Check the admissions criteria for each of the pre-schools/schools you have listed to confirm the supporting documents required. Some pre-schools/schools ask for additional documentation to support or verify information on your child’s application, such as, proof of address. This documentation may be requested at the time of application, during the process or at the notification of outcome of the application.
If verifying documents are being requested at the time of application you will need to provide the information for any preference(s) listed.
If you do not supply the documents requested this could lead to the withdrawal of an offer of a place, or the inability of a pre-school/school to offer a place to your child.
If a preschool/school has asked for verifying documents which you do not have, you should email or phone the pre-school/school directly to ascertain what they will accept as an alternative.
Socially Disadvantaged Circumstances (applicable to Pre-school)
For information on what socially disadvantaged circumstances (SDC) means when applying for a funded pre-school place and how to provide proof of benefit entitlement visit Applying for a Pre-School Place.
If your child is undergoing statutory assessment you still need to apply for a pre-school/school place.
However, DO 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.
The guides below contain more specific information with regards to each of the application processes for Pre-School, Primary, Post Primary, Senior High Schools (14+) and also for Transfers between Schools.