STRABANE Academy is one of just five secondary schools across Northern Ireland to admit pupils on both academic and non-academic criteria.
Education Minister John O’Dowd revealed that 50 per cent of its pupils are admitted using academic criteria and 50 per cent using non-academic criteria.
It is the only post-primary schools in Northern Ireland using a bi-lateral selection system that does so on a fifty-fifty basis.
Mr O’Dowd explained: “There are five post-primary schools that operate a bi-lateral selection process for entry to Year 8 - that is they use a mixture of academic and non-academic criteria to select pupils for admission.”
The other schools are Lagan College, Slemish Integrated College, Coleraine High School and Coleraine Academical Institution.
The Minister stated: “The admissions criteria used by any school are a matter for the Board of Governors: there are currently no Regulations that either prescribe or prohibit criteria, or set down the order in which criteria should be applied.
“However, all post-primary schools are obliged by law to have regard to the guidance published by the Department which recommends a number of criteria that schools should use, and also recommends that schools should not use criteria referenced to academic ability