Primary School Admissions Guide

Our guide will help you understand more about the process and what to expect when applying for a place in primary school for your child.

School Age

Children who are 4 years old on or before the 1st of July must begin their primary education from the beginning of the school year following their 4th birthday.

Children born between 2 July 2017 and 1 July 2018 will be due to start Primary One in September 2022 as they will be of compulsory school age and Parents/Guardians must apply for a place in a primary school. 

Key Dates

For information on the key dates of the admissions process for Primary Admissions, visit our Important Dates for your Diary page using the link below.

Applying for a Primary School Place

The Citizen Portal for online applications opens at 12.00 noon on 10 January 2022 and closes at 12.00 noon on 28 January 2022 for September 2022 admissions.

  • Places are not allocated on a first come, first served basis.
  • Before you start your application find out more information about the schools you are interested in applying to by reading the admissions criteria.
  • The Admissions Helpdesk 028 9598 5595 will be available for digital assistance.
  • If you do not apply before the closing date/time of 12.00 noon on Friday 28 January 2022, your application will be treated as a late application. 
  • If you are unable to apply online, paper applications will only be available on request from the Education Authority.

For more information see our Applying for a School Place page. You can read the full Primary Admissions Guide below.

Admissions Criteria

All schools/playgroups have admissions criteria. If they get 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 admissions criteria for each pre-school / primary school that you wish to nominate as a preference. 

You should complete your application providing all the relevant details about how your child meets the pre-schools/schools admissions criteria.

Primary School Preferences

When making an application it is recommended that you should list at least four primary schools in the order of your preference, as there is no guarantee your child will be accepted into the first preference. 

You can list up to six preferences on your online application. If you wish to list more than six preferences you should email the additional preference and reasons for preference to the Education Authority at clearly stating your child’s details.

Please note that you cannot list the same preferences more than once. The only exception to this is if you wish to apply for a school which has an Irish Medium Unit and also to the school’s English Medium stream in which case you will need to list the school twice. If you apply online then you will be alerted to do so.

Late Applications

The closing date for primary applications is 12noon on Monday 28 January 2022. An application received after 12noon on 28 January 2022 will be treated as a late application.

All late applications will be paper based.

You can submit a late application to the Education Authority at any time preferably by email or by post to Primary Admissions Office, Education Authority, 3 Charlemont Place, The Mall, Armagh BT61 9AX. 

Having a late application could reduce your child’s likelihood of gaining a place in your preferred pre-school/school i.e. should the school you are applying to receive more applications than it has places available it will firstly consider all punctual applications (including second and subsequent preference applications) before your application is considered.

Placement Notification

You can log in to the online application to view the outcome of your child’s application on Thursday 28 April 2022

If your child has not yet been placed in a school you had listed on your application the EA will advise you on the same date and you will be asked to nominate additional preferences from a list of schools which still have places remaining available.

Reception Class

A small number of primary schools provide a Reception class for children who are aged four at the date of their admission, but who are not yet of compulsory school age (i.e. children whose fourth birthday is after 1 July in a year).

Reception places will only be allocated after all children of compulsory school age have been selected for a place.

Children currently already enrolled in a Reception Class

If your child is currently enrolled in a Reception Class and you wish for them to continue their Primary 1 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 Primary 1 in a different primary school, then you must complete an application for consideration.

Full Primary Admissions Guide

Contact Primary Admissions

For further information and guidance you can contact the Primary Admissions team on;

Admissions Helpdesk 028 9598 5595

Last updated: 13/01/2022