Northern Ireland

Primary seven: Rise in NI pupils seeking post-primary places

Pupil in class

There has been an increase of about 1,250 pupils seeking places in post-primary schools in Northern Ireland this September.

Primary seven pupils find out by letter on Saturday to which school they will transfer.

According to the Education Authority (EA), 226 pupils have yet to be placed.

However, 99% of the 23,949 pupils transferring in 2019 have had their place in a post-primary school confirmed.

Not all have received a place in their first choice school.

The EA said that 20,776 pupils had been placed in the post primary they had listed as their first choice, with just under 3,000 pupils placed in a school that was not their first preference.

There are 1,267 more pupils moving from primary to post-primary school this year compared to 2018.

In all, 2,219 more pupils are transferring than two years ago.

The rise in pupil numbers led the Department of Education (DE) to provide extra places in some schools earlier this year.

'Helpline'

The department can also provide a "temporary variation" in numbers for schools in which additional places are still required.

In 2018, for instance, 40 extra places were provided at Bangor Academy which had been heavily oversubscribed.

Parents of children who have not yet been placed will be provided with a list of schools which still have places.

The EA is operating a helpline for parents who do not receive a letter on Saturday, or whose child has no school place.

The number is 028 9598 5595 and it will operate from 1200 to 1700 BST on Saturday, and again from 0900 on Monday.

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