Nursery Admissions Criteria 2022/23

Respective Functions of the Board of Governors and the Principal in relation to admissions.

The Admissions Criteria will be applied by a Selection Committee consisting of the Principal and three Governors, subject to the final approval of the Board of Governors.

Children who are not normally resident in Northern Ireland will not be considered for places until all children who live in Northern Ireland have been considered.

The Board of Governors have determined that, in the event of there being more applicants than places available the following criteria will be applied, in the order set down, to select children for the available places.

Preference will be given to those applications that place Hollybush Nursery Unit as their 1st choice of pre-school provision.

Admissions Criteria

A timetable of pre-school admissions procedures setting out the dates by which an application is to be submitted is available at under ‘Pre-School Admissions’. During the admissions procedure when applying the criteria punctual applications will be considered before late applications are considered.

The application procedure opens on 10 January 2022 at 12noon (GMT) and an application submitted by the closing date of 28 January 2022 at 12noon (GMT) will be treated as a punctual application. An application received after 12noon (GMT) on 28 January 2022 will be treated as a late application.

As the pre-school admissions procedure is in two stages the timetable also specifies the relevant dates at Stage 2 which will determine if an application is to be considered as punctual or late.

Statutory Criteria

  1. Children from socially disadvantaged circumstances born between 2 July 2018 and 1 July 2019 who normally reside in the Parish of Culmore.
  2. Children from socially disadvantaged circumstances born between 2 July 2018 and 1 July 2019.

Note: Children from ‘socially disadvantaged circumstances’ means a child whose parent is in receipt of (i) Income Support, or (ii) Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or (iii) an award of Income Support which has been converted into an Employment and Support Allowance and the level of benefit remains the same, or (iv) Universal Credit. When parents apply for places for their child on this basis they must provide Benefit Verification to confirm that they are in receipt of a qualifying payment. This should be provided to the Pre-School of first preference and the application procedure for Pre-School will outline how this can be submitted.

  1. Children born between 2 July 2018 and 1 July 2019.


In the event of over subscription in any of the above Statutory Criteria the following sub-criteria will be used in the order set down below:

    1. Children who normally reside in the Parish of Culmore
    2. Children who have a child of the family already attending or who has attended Hollybush Primary School. *(Please state names.)
    3. Children who are the eldest/only child in the family.
    4. Children who reside in other areas.

NB Child of the family includes brother/sister, half-brother/half-sister, adopted or foster brother/sister living at the same address.

Non-Statutory Criteria

4 Children born between 2 July 2019 and 1 July 2020 will be admitted in order of chronological age in descending order. (In the event of two or more identical dates of birth, selection will be made using the random alphabetical tie-breaker as listed below.)

In the event of over-subscription in the last sub-criterion which can be applied then selection for all places remaining in this category will be on the basis of the initial letter of the surname as per the birth certificate in the order set out below:


The order was determined by a randomised selection of letters of the alphabet. In the event of surnames beginning with the same letter the subsequent letters of the surnames will be used in alphabetical order. In the event of two identical surnames the alphabetical order of the initials of the forenames as per the birth certificate will be used.

It is important that parent(s)/guardian(s) when submitting the application form, give all the relevant supporting information and written evidence that may be needed, including the child’s birth certificate. If a place is offered on the basis of incorrect or misleading information then the Board of Governors may withdraw the offer. All criteria will apply as at the closing date on the application form.

If parent(s)/guardian(s) have any difficulty in completing the form they should consult the Principal.

Duty to Verify

The Board of Governors reserves the right to require such supplementary evidence as it may determine to support or verify information on any applicant’s Application Form.

If the requested evidence is not provided to the Board of Governors by the deadline given, this will result in the withdrawal of an offer of a place. Similarly, if information is supplied which appears to be false or misleading in any material way, the offer of a place will be withdrawn.

Waiting List Policy

The school will operate a waiting list. This will be compiled from applicants who have not been selected in the initial stages of the selection process. Should places become available the admissions criteria as set out above will be re-applied to all applicants on the waiting list.

Applications after 1 September 2022

The same criteria will be used for applications after 1 September 2022 for admission into the current Pre-School year.

Parent(s)/Guardian(s) should note that if their child is seeking nursery provision for the 2nd year they MUST reapply.

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