RSD Update for P7 AQE Parents – 8th January 2021

As you know, the AQE tests scheduled for 9th, 16th and 23rd January have been cancelled and a new, single test offered by AQE for Saturday 27th February.

RSD’s Executive Committee of the Board of Governors met on Thursday 7th January to decide if RSD would use the 27th February single AQE test or RSD’s contingency admissions criteria.

The RSD Board of Governors supports the principle of academic selection but in this exceptional year, after careful consideration, Governors unanimously decided not to use the AQE single test scheduled for 27th February and, instead, to use RSD’s contingency admissions criteria for Year 8 admissions for September 2021. In so doing, our most important consideration was giving certainty to P7 pupils and families during the Covid-19 public health crisis. The AQE test will, therefore, not take place at RSD on 27th February.

The RSD contingency admissions criteria are on the RSD website and will be provided to the Education Authority for publication.

We realise that the children have worked hard in preparing for the tests and that this is not how any of us would have wanted the transfer process to have worked this year. However, in the circumstances, we have taken this decision based on what we believe to be in the best interests of the children’s immediate welfare and their longer term prospects of success at RSD.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this very challenging time and if you have any queries then do contact me via email at [email protected]



The information below is an excerpt from the full RSD Admissions Criteria document which will be uploaded to the RSD website in due course and provided to the EA for publication. Applicants should refer to the full RSD Admissions Criteria document when applying to the school.

After the allocation of up to 8 boarding places, the remaining places from the Admissions total of 100 will be allocated to pupils on the basis of the following criteria in the priority order set out below.

  1. Pupils who were registered by AQE to sit the Common Entrance Assessment in January 2021 (details to be supplied).
  2. Pupils who have a child of the family, at the time of application, currently attending or who previously attended the school (details to be supplied); or pupils who are the eldest child in the family eligible to apply for admission to Year 8.
  3. Pupils who, at the time of application, have a parent/guardian who is a member of the permanent teaching or non-teaching staff of RSD.
  4. Pupils who are entitled to Free School Meals.
  5. Pupils with a parent or guardian who is a former pupil of the Royal School Dungannon or the former Dungannon High School for Girls (name and date of attendance to be supplied).
  6. Pupils who, at the time of application, are the first boy or first girl of the family (details to be supplied).
  7. Pupils ranked by the initial letter of surname (and if necessary, subsequent letters), as entered on the birth certificate, in the order set out below:

    O B W T P Z I L N S D F Y V R C K Q H E U A X M J G

    • Children will be selected for admission on the basis of the initial letter of the surname as it appears on the birth certificate.
    • Where surnames begin with the same letter, the second and, if necessary, subsequent letters will be used to establish relative priority for admission.
    • Where children have the same surname, the initial letter of the first forename as it appears on the birth certificate will be used for admission.
    • Where the first forenames begin with the same letter, the second and, if necessary, subsequent letters will be used to establish relative priority for admission.
    • Where no priority can be established by means of this comparison the child with the shorter first forename will be prioritised for admission.
    • In the event that two or more children have identical surnames and forenames then the oldest pupil shall be admitted first (established by date of birth as entered on the birth certificate).
  8. The School wishes to continue its tradition of accepting children from a wide catchment area, irrespective of the proximity of their homes from the School. If, however, after the above criteria have been exhausted it becomes necessary to make a final selection, priority will be given to the child whose home is closer to the School. Distance will be measured in a straight line using an Ordnance Survey web distance measurement tool from the child’s home to the front entrance of the School’s main administrative building. Home will be taken to mean the child’s address appearing at the commencement of the Transfer Application Form.

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