Admissions Criteria for Primary Schools will be published on Tuesday 12 December 2023.
Primary 1 Applications for school year beginning September 2024 will open on Tuesday 9 January 2024 at 12 noon.
Special Educational Needs
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.
Children born on or between 1 April 2019 and 1 July 2019 (inclusive) and children born before 1 April 2019 but with a due date on or after 1 April 2019 whose parents deferred their admission to primary school in September 2023
These children are required to apply for starting Year 1 in September 2024. Schools will treat these applicants in the same manner as all other Year 1 applicants.
Children born on or between 2 July 2019 and 31 March 2020 (inclusive and whose due date was not after 1 April 2020)
These children must apply for Year 1 admission in September 2024.
Children born on or between 1 April 2020 and 1 July 2020 (inclusive), and children born before 1 April 2020 but whose due date was on or after this date.
Parents of these children can apply for Year 1 or they may decide to defer and apply for pre-school. They are not permitted to apply for both a pre-school and Year 1 place. See information on Deferral of School Starting Age.
Online applications will open at 12 noon on Tuesday 9 January 2024 and will close at 12 noon on Friday 26 January 2024.
Before starting your child’s application you should:
- Read carefully the admissions criteria for each Primary school that you wish to nominate as a preference.
- All 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 you do not have a copy of your child’s birth certificate, please contact the schools you wish to nominate to see what other documents they may accept.
- You should refer to the admissions criteria to find out if other supporting documents are required by each of the schools you have chosen e.g. proof of address.
- You can scan or take a photo of the documents you require for each school and save them on the device you will be using to make your Primary Application. Make sure the photos or scans are clear and legible.
- For GDPR purposes you should remove personal/sensitive/private information from your documents before uploading e.g. financial details in bank statements.
- You will require an email address to be able to register on EA Connect to submit an application.
Tuesday 12 December 2023
Admissions criteria for Primary schools published on the EA website.
Tuesday 9 January 2024 - at 12 noon
EA Connect opens for online applications for Primary 1.
Friday 26 January 2024 - at 12 noon
EA Connect closes for online applications for Primary 1.
Wednesday 31 January 2024 – by 4pm
Deadline for submitting verification/supporting documents via EA Connect. Final date for late applications.
Thursday 25 April 2024
Parents/carers will receive application outcomes via email (where one is held) or by letter.
Use the ‘Search Schools’ tool below to search for Primary schools in your area and read or download their admissions criteria.
When you find a primary school under ‘Search Schools’ write down the name of the primary school and location as some primary schools have similar names e.g. St Mary’s PS, Omagh, St Mary’s PS, Banbridge
Where a school is listed as Irish Medium or has an Irish Medium Unit all subjects are taught in the Irish language.
Other sources of information which may be useful to you include:
- Primary school websites
- Primary virtual opening day/evenings
- Primary prospectus
- ETI Inspection Reports
- Annual Area Profiles
- Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education
- Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta
All schools have published admissions criteria. If they receive more applications than they have places available, the school will use their published 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 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 schools’ admissions criteria.
When making an application it is recommended that you list at least four 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 12 schools on the online application. Please note that you cannot list the same preference more than once. The only exception where you can list a school twice in your order of preference is if you wish to apply for a school which offers both English and Irish Medium education. Where there is an option of applying separately to an Irish Medium Unit, EA Connect will indicate this in the school’s name.
If your child’s application is not selected by your first preference school it will then be considered by your second preference school. The process will be repeated until a place has been allocated or all preferences you have listed have considered your application. Places will be allocated to those who best meet the admissions criteria for each school.
Any queries on the content of a primary school’s published admissions criteria should be directed to the primary school.
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.
Check the admissions criteria for each of the schools you have listed, as some schools ask for additional documentation such as proof of address and/or proof of eldest child. This documentation may be requested at the time of application, during the process or at the notification of placement. If verifying documents are being requested at the time of application you will need to upload the information on EA Connect for all school choices.
If you do not supply the documents requested this could lead to the inability of a school to offer a place to your child or the withdrawal of an offer of a place.
If a school has asked for documents which you do not have, or if it is unclear what type of documents are needed, you should email or phone the school directly to find out what they will accept as it can vary from school to school.
Parents have the right to express preferences for the schools they would like their child to attend, but no child can be guaranteed a place in any school.
Please note you cannot list the same preference more than once. The only exception where you can list a school twice in your order of preference is if you wish to apply for a school which offers both English and Irish Medium education. Where there is an option of applying separately to an Irish Medium Unit, EA Connect will indicate this in the school’s name.
The first school you list will consider your application. If they are unable to offer a place the application will then go to your second preference school and so on until a school is able to offer a place or the list is exhausted.
Some schools give priority to applicants who have listed their school as first preference, therefore, applicants who list the school at a lower preference may have less chance of obtaining a place at the school.
It is extremely important that you provide all relevant details on your application as this information will be used by individual primary schools to determine which children will be selected for admission.
Thursday 25 April 2024
If you submitted a punctual application on EA Connect you will receive an email notification to the address you registered with. The email will provide you with basic details on the outcome of your child’s application. For more detailed information you can log in to EA Connect on the same date.
Applicants who submitted a paper application will either be advised of the outcome by email (if supplied on form) or by letter.
The closing date for punctual Primary 1 applications is 12 noon on Friday 26 January 2024. An application received after 12 noon on 26 January 2024 and by 4pm on 31 January 2024 will be treated as a late application.
Having a late application could reduce your child’s likelihood of gaining a place in your preferred 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.