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Get a Place at Grammar School

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 2 Jan 2024 | comments*Discuss
Grammar School Catchment Area Admission

The Grammar School has been with us since believe it or not, Medieval times. But, more over, grammar schools have existed in a form similar to that known to us today since the 1870's when -just like today - an entrance test was applicable to distinguish a candidate's suitability. It was with this in mind that in 1944, when the schools system was revised in accordance with the Butler Act that made it possible for all to have a full time education, that Grammar schools became something more than an ad hoc proposition in certain regions.

Grammar schools were abolished in 1974 in favour of Comprehensive - or Secondary schools - but there were members of the community who saw it as reasonable to be expected to pay for their child's education.

That said we still have a grammar school system, which is operated in a selective entry basis with the top 10% in a particular catchment area being offered places. Indeed, whereas initially the 11-plus entrance test was applicable across the United Kingdom and provided grammar schools with an entrant's scoring system, there are now only a handful of counties left in the UK still using this system.

Northern Ireland, Kent, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Trafford, Wiltshire, Skipton, and North Yorkshire are among those still carrying out 11-plus entrance tests for admission to grammar schools. Other areas such as The Wirral, Lincolnshire, and several London boroughs including Bromley and Redbridge have tried and have been unsuccessful in abolishing the 11-plus system of entrance to grammar schools.

At the time of writing there are currently 164 state run grammar schools still in existence throughout the United Kingdom.

Gaining a Place at a Grammar School

Most grammar schools have an allotted number of places for the coming school year and as such it is important to begin the process of trying to gain admittance for your child early. Generally admission is gained through an application to your Local Authority on a Common Application Form and is subject to evidence of ability being provided.

Depending on the grammar school chosen it may be necessary to complete and return a supplementary application form, which is then returned directly to the school itself.In some cases - but not all - ability and therefore suitability is tested through a series of tests which are normally held either during school breaks or perhaps on a Saturday morning.

If you wish your child to attend a grammar school outside your catchment area, it is permitted in your own locale providing that the board of governors are satisfied that rigorous testing conditions have been used.

Open days are also available, and it is advised if you can attend on these days that you do so, and take your child along with you so that they may get a feel for the place themselves. Alternatively if you cannot attend on these designated days all schools welcome parents on an appointment basis throughout the school term.

It is also worth consulting with the headteacher at your child's current school as during the course of the school year they will be asked to meet with senior staff from grammar schools to discuss admissions. It is worth while making it known to your child's current headteacher that you are interested in their attending a grammar school before they finish primary education.

The tests that are, more often than not required to be taken, are verbal reasoning and an English and Mathematics test; it is upon these results that places are allocated depending on the results of these tests. Ask your child's teacher for additional homework or exercises that may go some way to ensuring they are well prepared for these entrance tests.

Of course it is fair to say that this is no guarantee of admission as for the most part, results are standardised to take into account the age difference of applying students.

Again it all comes down to the number of places that the grammar school of your choice has available. Applying early does no harm at all, but again it does come down to the number of places available and the results of any tests that may be required.

Local Authorities make their decisions known in the February prior to the beginning of the new September term and this does give you time to appeal a decision, should you feel that it is an unjust one.

For the most part though the system works well and is fair and Local Authorities do try and give a balanced view and allow all the same opportunities to gain admission to their chosen grammar school. It is worth noting however that just because your child fairs well in the admission tests that does not guarantee them a place, especially if you live outside the catchment area.

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My sons are in year 9 and year 6 and planning to move in june to UK from Spain. In Spain they are in British school. Do they get admissions in grammar school? If yes what is the procedure? Can you please me?
RUPA - 2-Jan-24 @ 3:12 PM
Hi I have a Daughter in year 4 & a Daughter in year 1 and we live in (LeytonE10),my request to you is that are we in the catchment area,if so are my daughter's too young to take the test.? As parents we just want the best for our children and we just want them to strive and motivate them in the best way possible,("but this is all to get them into Harvard") we can all Dream right?. Please do get back to me & Thank you
Radiah - 20-Feb-23 @ 10:19 AM
Hi My son is in year 5 , he is very good at maths and science, how do i get him in grammar school? We are based in London Nw6. Thank you
Jamal - 6-Jun-22 @ 10:31 AM
We came at the end of year5 in london and didn't get enough time to prepare for the test. Can he get admission in grammar school if he didn't get required score based on exceptional case.
Dharr - 3-Oct-20 @ 7:27 PM
My son in year five and we live in Salford which grammar school will be in catchment and when to apply
Hawabub - 6-Sep-20 @ 5:10 PM
We have recently moved to Southampton and have a 14 years old daughter and 10 years old son.Which grammar school will be in tha catchment and how & when can we apply for that.
Hardil - 2-Jul-20 @ 5:22 PM
Hi. My daughter will complete 10yrs in October 2020. She is currently in Year 5 in a private British School in Spain. We plan to move to the UK and get her into a Grammar School without her loosing out on a year. She is excellent in English and Maths. How do I proceed and will she be eligible? Is there an age criteria?
Kavita - 1-Jun-20 @ 1:34 PM
My daughter will complete 10yrs in October 2020 and she is currently in year5 in a British School in Spain. We plan to move to the UK and would like her to get into a grammar school without loosing out on an academic year. She has excellent Math and English skills. What are our chances and how should I proceed? Thanks!
Kavita - 1-Jun-20 @ 1:30 PM
My twin are. 16 in March and we need to relocate to UK in August. Will it be possible for them to do there GCSE in 20/21 year
Turbo - 4-Mar-20 @ 11:59 AM
My son is 14 year old studying recently moved to Nottingham. Is it possible to get the admission in Grammar School.
Gopa - 18-Dec-19 @ 9:03 AM
Hi. My daughter in year 6 right now. She is very good at maths, English.... We live in Bedford is any grammar school in Bedford?and whene she can take test? Thanks
Benly rima - 15-Dec-19 @ 11:34 AM
Hey, Im 13yrs old and i want to get in a gramma school. I want to know if its still possible at my age to take the test. Thank you
Chara - 12-Nov-19 @ 7:50 AM
Hello. My son is 9 years old. He's in year 5 at the moment. He's a brilliant boy and would like him to go to grammar school.We live in Deptford,South East London. Pls advise me on how to go about it.I haven't got a clue Thanks
Abby - 16-Oct-19 @ 6:33 AM
Hi my twins are 10 years old and they really good with their studies. Please guide me how get admission for grammar school and how to apply for it. Thank you.
Maftoon - 17-Jun-19 @ 3:36 PM
Hi, my son is in year4 and 9years old .He is really good specially in maths ,science and English. I don't know much about grammer school admission (when to apply, where?)I have heard there is a test to be done but where and when etc.please help me .
Swita - 29-Apr-19 @ 10:10 PM
Iwould like to know the passing mark in the 11 plus. Because ma daughters y5teacher said it 120 but the teacher assistant said it is 132.
n/a - 11-Apr-19 @ 8:54 PM
Hi my daughter just got her score coming for wolverhampton grammar school but she just get 296 score and the criteria need to 314 will can apply grammar school buat if premium kids get benefit it get 300 score can apply get in grammar school , can grammar school over 1 more time test for my daughter i know she can do it , may be first time she getnervous please can anybody give opinion I really wish my daughter can get in grammar school
Linda - 26-Oct-18 @ 6:59 PM
Jaypay - Your Question:
Hi my daughter is 9 year old & in year 4 now & she is really good in her study I want her to get admission in grammar school please guide me about the best grammar school & how to get admission in for my daughter.thanks

Our Response:
Your daughter's form teacher or head teacher will be able to give you this advice.
GetTheRightSchool - 7-Sep-18 @ 2:36 PM
Hi my daughter is 9 year old & in year 4 now & she is really good in her study I want her to get admission in grammar school please guide me about the best grammar school & how to get admission in for my daughter ......thanks
Jaypay - 5-Sep-18 @ 10:39 PM
How to apply Grammer schoolmy daughter she is grade4 and what they need to except She is so good for her study Thank s
Cnm - 4-Aug-18 @ 11:06 PM
my son is 14 years old and recently moved to London. we need to how at this age my son can enter into a government grammar school. my son likes to enter into cambridge university. he is excellent in studies.
gaya - 24-Jun-18 @ 7:14 AM
Hi I have 2 years old son. I want him to study grammar school. Which primary's school are best in London to make my son ready to grammar school? And which grammar school is best in London? Thanks
Matta - 12-May-18 @ 2:25 PM
My elder daughter is in grade V & I want her to get admission in Grammer school,,please guide about the best Grammer school in my catchment area,,we are in Uxbridge & moreso how to begin preparation of admission test
Lali - 5-May-18 @ 11:47 PM
Hi, Plz suggest me girls grammar school for grade 8. My daughter is 13years. Thanks
Shona - 7-Mar-18 @ 8:28 PM
I m moving to Epsom and I m looking grammar school for my daughter which one is the best grammar school in kt19 area and what is the criteria of getting into it?
aleena - 8-Nov-17 @ 11:35 AM
Hello, I work for a travel agent in Italy and many parents ask how to have their children finishing the school in London (year 4 and or year 5). They have 16 or 17 years old, barely speaking English and studying our 'superior' school, almost like the grammar school in UK on the year (our is usually of 5 years from 14 to 18-19 years old). The children will not have any resident status in UK since we might only place them in a hostfamily and since their parents continue to live in Italy. How can this work, if it works at all? Thanks for your advise. Silvia
silvyse - 20-Oct-17 @ 4:20 PM
Could anyone please tell me which is the best King Edward grammar school in Birmingham? My daughter got offered places at King Edward Five ways, King Edward Handsworth and Camp Hill. Also, not sure if co-ed is better for girls than girls only. Any advise much appreciated.
Linds - 16-Oct-17 @ 10:03 AM
Ajay - Your Question:
Our Daughter got the admission in grammar school at Hertfordshire. after a year we moved to the US for professional reasons. now my daughter is 13, how can I get the admission for her? We are returning by next session.

Our Response:
You would have to contact the school directly. If your daughter did not take up her place, then you will need to re-apply/re-sit the test in order to be considered. Much will also depend upon whether the school is over-subscribed or not.
GetTheRightSchool - 4-Jan-17 @ 2:50 PM
Our Daughter got the admission in grammar school at Hertfordshire. after a year we moved to the US for professional reasons. now my daughter is 13, how can I get the admission for her? We are returning by next session.
Ajay - 3-Jan-17 @ 10:06 PM
Hi, I want to know if I can turn down my place in comprehensive school (my first choice) and wait to hear from grammar schools. What order shud I put schools down?
Omika Tinani - 16-Sep-16 @ 4:51 PM
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