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Location of grammar schools with no catchment areas

(112 Posts)
CrazyMaizie Tue 24-Nov-15 16:53:16


We are reviewing our options for returning to the UK in a few years. We are not tied to any place and so technically could move anywhere. I would like to ensure good schooling. Is there a list anywhere of grammar schools that do not have catchment areas? I would like to be able to apply from overseas then, if a place is offered, move to that area. Is that even possible? We've been looking at private schools but realise in England a grammar school might fit the bill instead!

GeorgeHerbert Tue 24-Nov-15 18:36:59

All grammar schools will have some catchment area (although there may be a few exceptions). Normally children will be tested in the preceding September, applications and made to the local authority by 31 October/ Some grammar areas have a pass/fail cut off, others are 'super-selective' where on;y the top 180 scores are allocated places.

I think it's unlikely you would be able to apply from overseas, most authorities will require residency in a particular catchment on the 31 October of the year preceding secondary admission.
You could try the 11+ forum for more specific advice about particular areas.

PettsWoodParadise Tue 24-Nov-15 18:37:38

This has been done tons of times on the elevenplusforum so take a look there too.

Depends on whether you want a boys school, girls or co-ed. lots of grammars are single-sex at least until sixth form. The one I know people fly in for is the St Olaves test in Orpington, south east London, but they recently changed that to a two stage exam so flying in twice is a bit more of a challenge. The equivalent girl's school in the area has a 9 mile radius. Bexley borough have a system whereby the top 180 scorers don't need to then qualify on distance (it not being a superselective, only selective, area) but I can't remember the admissions procedure and if you need to have a U.K. address or not.

The independent schools will often be more flexible and allow tests in your home country if an authorised invigilator can be arranged.

TheWanderingUterus Tue 24-Nov-15 18:41:17

You can try looking on the forum. I have seen posts on there by people moving from overseas post 11+.

I know that six of the Essex grammars have no catchments and the other five have priority and non priority areas. You can still apply from a non priority area but you need a higher score.

PettsWoodParadise Tue 24-Nov-15 18:41:52

Another thought - you have to be in at one English local authority area to apply for a school by 31st Oct. You don't apply direct to the grammar school. I don't know how those who fly in for St Olaves manage that conundrum but know some who do!

Washediris Tue 24-Nov-15 18:41:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BackforGood Tue 24-Nov-15 18:44:13

George - no they don't. Our local ones don't have any catchment areas - the pupils with the highest 150 scores get in. End of.

GeorgeHerbert Tue 24-Nov-15 18:52:42

Interesting that some have no catchment area, not heard this before, as in my area they all do. But surely you must have a UK address at 31 October?

CrazyMaizie Tue 24-Nov-15 18:54:34

Thanks everyone for your quick responses! For people who think ill be able to do this - can you tell me which area you are in? I forgot to mention that, although we could move anywhere, I'd rather avoid the London area - Yorkshire form example really appeals! Girls or co-ed (no DS!).

SavoyCabbage Tue 24-Nov-15 18:59:43

You have to be living at an address to apply for pretty much any school. We were told that they will ask for your council tax bill if there are more applications than there are places.

I've heard that some schools will accept your application from overseas but will apply the same criteria to you as they do every applicant. So the distance would be measured to where you actually are rather than where you intend to be in the future. That system is not the norm though. It is ,ore likely that you have to be in a house before you apply.

BackforGood Tue 24-Nov-15 19:04:10

King Edward schools in Birmingham. Two are fee paying and the other 5 are not.

Information on the other 3 Grammars in B'ham - which is not what is generally considered to be 'a grammar school area'

I've no idea about entrance from overseas, but there are the links for you to make enquiries if you want to. smile

meditrina Tue 24-Nov-15 19:25:51

It is unlikely you will be able to apply from overseas (unless you are returning forces or other government service posted abroad, for whom there are special arrangements).

You have to apply for state schools via the local council (even for schools in other council areas) and they will not accept applications from people who are not resident (though some might, if there is proof of impending move into their area such as house purchase or signed rental contract).

butmumineedit Tue 24-Nov-15 19:30:53

Try Lincolnshire in particular Sleaford, Grantham, Bourne all have excellent grammar schools and take from a wide area

eddiemairswife Tue 24-Nov-15 19:31:56

Wolverhampton Girls' High School has no catchment; just the top scores. Test sat in July of Y5. Info will be on school's website.

Aftershock15 Tue 24-Nov-15 19:34:54

You could try for a state boarding school? I believe they are well thought of even if not totally selective. Then you can certainly apply from overseas and would be able to move back after the start of year 7 if you wanted too.

thanksamillion Tue 24-Nov-15 19:45:54

Gloucestershire has no catchment Grammars. I have heard that there is a late test at some point in the summer term that can be sat by those moving back but no idea how this works re applications through the LA. I would guess that you get the ok from the grammar and then do the LA application as soon as you are back/have an address.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Tue 24-Nov-15 19:59:15

Can confirm re. Gloucestershire; two girls' and two mixed-sex. Don't know anything about the rules of applying from overseas, but a call to the LEA is probably the quickest way to find out.

TheMightyMing Tue 24-Nov-15 20:01:50

Trafford have some variations on catchment /score but obviously only any good if you plan to come up North! We are at a Trafford Grammar out of authority , based on score.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Tue 24-Nov-15 20:02:36

on taking the test in Glos; it's Pate's School's site, but the same applies throughout the county.

Finallyonboard Tue 24-Nov-15 20:03:36


CrazyMaizie Tue 24-Nov-15 20:08:25

Better get the map out! Thanks everyone, you've given me somewhere to start on this journey!

Blu Tue 24-Nov-15 20:10:36

The selective schools with no catchment are known as super selectives and are incredibly competitive. It isn't a question of passing the 11+ but of being in the top scorers amongst thousands of applicants.

You therefore need to find an area that had other good schools so that if you don't get a super selective place you have a good back up, because you have to apply for your secondary place on one common firm at the same time.Many many good schools are comps anyway.

Blu Tue 24-Nov-15 20:12:08

You also need a range of good schools; what if one day can get a supersective place but not the other?

senua Tue 24-Nov-15 21:02:39

The selective schools with no catchment are known as super selectives and are incredibly competitive. It isn't a question of passing the 11+ but of being in the top scorers amongst thousands of applicants.

In Birmingham they have about 10 applicants for every place. Bearing in mind that probably 75% of families realise that there is no point even applying, you are talking about the top 2.5%.
A State Boarding School would get round the catchment problem but don't think that you can get a boarding place then swap to a day place once you get here - that won't wash.

Suffolkgirl1 Tue 24-Nov-15 21:16:26

There are 8 grammar schools in Essex, 4 boys, 4 girls (and some semiselectives). 6 now have a catchment area reserving a small number of places for out of catchment children, only the 2 in Colchester have no catchment at all. However the scores required for the out of catchment places or the colchester schools are much higher than in catchment for the southend schools. Your chances of getting a place in a grammar school will be much better if you pick an area with several schools and move in time to be counted as an incatchment applicant.

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