When your child successfully passes the 11 Plus exam, they become eligible to apply for admission to a grammar school. However, it’s important to note that an 11 Plus pass does not guarantee admission, as the schools often face high demand. Here is a guide, including Grammar School entry advice, to help you understand everything if you’re considering admission to these schools.
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How Are Grammar School Places Allocated to Students?
Grammar School entrance follows the guidelines set by the School Admissions Code, establishing criteria for every local authority to adhere to. However, individual schools have the autonomy to establish their own admissions policies to meet their specific requirements. Priority placement is given to children in care or with special needs.
Admissions policies of grammar schools may be based on various criteria explained below.
When places at Grammar Schools are in high demand, some schools employ catchment areas as an admission criterion. These designated “priority areas” grant students residing within specific postcodes priority placement over those outside the catchment area.
This approach ensures that students living close to the school are given preference for admission when oversubscribed. So, as a Grammar School entry advice, you must find out whether the school you’re considering has a catchment area.
Distance from School
One prevalent criterion for admissions to Grammar Schools is the proximity of students’ residences to the school. Priority is typically given to those who live closer to the school premises. To ensure fairness, precise distances are measured using Ordnance Survey maps, providing an objective proximity assessment for admission considerations.
Some Grammar Schools prioritise admission for students who already have a sibling enrolled in the school. However, the implementation of this policy can vary among schools. For instance, certain schools may require that the sibling be in a specific year group at the time of the younger sibling’s application. When considering applications, it’s important to familiarise yourself with each school’s specific sibling admission criteria.
Close Relationship Priority
In certain instances, Grammar School may allocate places to students whose parents or close relatives work as teachers at the school. So, this practice recognises the connection between the school community and its staff, offering an opportunity for children of educators to attend the same institution.
Scores in the 11 Plus Exam
In cases where demand exceeds available spaces, certain schools, referred to as “super-selective” grammars, prioritise admission based on 11 Plus test scores. Students with the highest scores are granted admission first until all available places are filled.
This approach ensures that those who demonstrate exceptional academic performance have the opportunity to secure a place in the school.
In some instances, Grammar Schools grant priority admission to pupils from partnered feeder schools. This criterion aims to discourage parents from relocating solely to reside within a specific catchment area. Grammar Schools aim to maintain a fair and equitable admissions process by giving preference to students from these feeder schools.
Faith schools can prioritise admission for pupils based on their religious affiliation and level of involvement in a particular faith. In some cases, application forms followed by interviews may be used to assess a family’s commitment to the faith. This approach allows faith schools to maintain a cohesive religious community and provide an education aligning with their religious values and teachings.
Take this Grammar School entry advice and research it before deciding on your child’s admission.
Aptitude of Students
Partially selective schools allocate places to pupils based on their talents or aptitudes. For instance, a child may be admitted to a Grammar School if they demonstrate exceptional sports, art, or language abilities. Moreover, it allows schools to nurture the specific talents of their students, creating a diverse and enriched learning environment.
Schools use banding criteria to admit students of different abilities through common or school-specific tests. The School Admissions Code regulates this process, ensuring fairness and avoiding disadvantages to high-achieving students. So, this approach promotes diversity and inclusivity within the school community.
The lottery system is a fair and unbiased method of pupil selection, where a computerised programme randomly chooses students who meet the allocation criteria. As a result, this process ensures equal opportunities for all eligible pupils and eliminates potential bias in the selection process.
When students face potential exclusion from the allocation based on medical, educational, or social reasons, schools may apply exceptional circumstance criteria. So, it allows for consideration of individual cases supported by professional evidence, ensuring that students with unique challenges are given fair opportunities.
A Blend of Criteria
In some cases, schools use a combination of criteria from the above for selection, which can be confusing for parents who want to fully understand the Grammar School admissions process.
Grammar School Entry Advice by 11 Plus Tutoring
Here are some tips to help you prepare your child for grammar school entry:
- Set realistic expectations with your child regarding the possibility of not being allocated a place at their first-choice school. Therefore, it’s important to prepare them for this potential outcome.
- If the school conducts interviews, help your child prepare by discussing current news topics that showcase their awareness of the world. So, good communication and social interaction skills, along with an understanding of current affairs, can leave a positive impression during interviews.
- Ensure your child revises all relevant subjects for the 11 Plus exam, including English, Maths, Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning, and Spatial Awareness. Allocate study time based on their strengths and weaknesses in each subject.
- Practice with 11 Plus mock exam papers to familiarise your child with the exam format and allocate appropriate time for each section. Ultimately, it will help them become comfortable with the time constraints and types of questions asked.
Get in touch with experienced staff at 11 Plus Tutoring if you have any query related to Grammar School admission. We’ll be more than happy to guide you.