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Bucks 11+ How does it work

(43 Posts)
Mummyoflittledragon Fri 13-Jul-18 14:09:37

Dh and I are considering a lot of options right now. One of them is whether to move dd into Bucks catchment. She is going into yr6 next year from a comprehensive system.

I tried calling Bucks cc but the helpline is now shut down and online info is beyond useless as I just want to know if she has missed the deadline to apply for the exam. And I would need advice on training for the exam.

Idk if we are going to do this or not. So it’s an information gathering exercise.

Can anyone please tell me how it works.


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GuestWW Fri 13-Jul-18 14:42:33

I think there is a chance she has missed the initial deadline but you may be able to apply late for the exam. Northants deadline was earlier in July.

Try this site:

This page is dedicated to Bucks 11+ and the posters are very knowledgeable.

GrammarShammer Fri 13-Jul-18 14:46:21

I think the dead line has closed but try and get through to the team via the switch board or something.

Basically you register your dc for the test, they take the test and go from there.

Its all very easy ( the process) and at the same time confusing to try and get through.
Do be careful on the 11+ forum, its not that great unfortunately, some posters are obsessed with some things, and its hard to get past that when asking questions about something else. Shame.

Mummyoflittledragon Fri 13-Jul-18 14:57:28

Great. Thanks. I will take a look.

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CaptainCaptain Fri 13-Jul-18 15:01:31

I’m moving to bucks, my child is much younger and the 11+ isn’t on my radar yet but just to let you know I’ve twice had to contact the schools team via the Bucks CC website form and both times they got back to me in about a week with very helpful replies...

GuestWW Fri 13-Jul-18 15:02:05

Sorry that you have felt like that @GrammerShammer I have just had my second one go through (not Bucks) and found the forum to be invaluable. There are definitely some pushing an agenda but I think you get that on any forum.

Mummyoflittledragon Fri 13-Jul-18 15:17:17

Great thanks.

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KittyMcKitty Fri 13-Jul-18 21:57:31

The Bucks 11+ is changing this year from CEM to GL (but not codes). Info on Bucks website and all primary schools will have had the transfer test meeting.

All children in Bucks Primary schools are automatically entered for transfer test. Info on ooc children is on Bucks website.

To qualify for a Bucks grammar you need a standardised score of 121+. Qualified students are then admitted by catchment and then distance. Each school has their individual policy on their website.

The 11+ forum is an invaluable resource however people not knowing how pupils are admitted/ 11+ tourists and people applying from ridiculous distances always causes debate because this has a detrimental effect on children in Bucks.

My 2 children are in a Bucks Grammar - they are very happy. They attended a Bucks primary school and we have lived in Bucks for 30 years.

The councils website has all the information about the Secondary Transfer Test including a timeline which should answer all your queries.

KittyMcKitty Fri 13-Jul-18 22:08:25

And I would need advice on training for the exam

The transfer test doesn’t need training for and I would suggest that any child who does need training to qualify perhaps would not be best suited to that environment. Bucks produces a familiarisation booklet and all students are invited to sit tge (unmarked) familiarisation paper 2 days before the test.

Other then that there are a million commercial organisations who will happily take your ££££’S in order to train your dc!

Btw not that tricky to find the info - took me 10 seconds on Mr Google to get this:

This shows allocations - please note distances

Obviously Bucks is 100% selective- more children will not qualify then do qualify. Bucks has some great Upper schools and some not so great! Where would your child go if they do not qualify?

I would advise anyone against moving specifically to chase a grammar school place - it’s madness!! They take the same exams in comprehensives after all!

KittyMcKitty Fri 13-Jul-18 22:13:33

Registration for ooc children closed 3pm 28 June.

Mummyoflittledragon Sat 14-Jul-18 03:26:59

Thanks for your input Kitty. I think I didn’t find the info as I was panicking yesterday and looking for 11+. Anything not saying that I discarded. Very stressful day, which resulted in looking into this as a possibility.

Dh and I will discuss the way forward this weekend. It’s very hard to know what to do. Taking dd away from her friends is a big decision.

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HPFA Sat 14-Jul-18 07:46:02


You do have the option of living somewhere like Thame in Oxfordshire where you would go to an Oxfordshire comprehensive rather than a secondary modern if your child failed. Living in Maidenhead and Windsor gives the same option.

Personally I'd like to see a rule that anyone who wants to sit the 11+ plus in Bucks has to go to a Bucks school pass or fail.(This would be illegal of course) I think if you're going to support the selective system you should do so fully - you should believe that a secondary modern is the best place for your child if they fail just as much as the grammar is the right choice if they pass.

But idealism aside, a lot of people do take advantage of the current system by living in comprehensive authorities that border selective areas.

KittyMcKitty Sat 14-Jul-18 08:44:17

Agree totally HPFA

OP you should familiarise yourself with the catchment area you’re looking to move into - all catchment maps are on Bucks CC website. SWBGS has a catchment which includes part of Maidenhead. In recent years the distances have shrunk considerably with many not offering all of catchment (SWBGS only offered to 3 miles for last 3 years!)

OP I would also add that tge Bucks Grammars are very different from each other - which have you visited? Where are you considering living?

GrammarShammer Sat 14-Jul-18 09:47:19

Op everyone does something for transfer test to suggest you shouldn't is ridiculous but I'm sure you know that.

Veterans of mn will remember the days when a few narled bitter teachers clearly at the end of their tether would sit on education threads and drive normal posters away. They seem to have thankfully piped down in the recent times.

Sadly the 11+ forum has this sort of thing going on across some forums. Posters with an agenda and too much time on their hands. 🙄.

You would be massively putting your dc at a disadvantage if you don't help them in some way!! Exam technique, nvr etc. Again utter nonsense to suggest any dc who needs some help against a cohort that will have all sorts of levels of tutoring.. Won't survive in a grammar!

RedSkyLastNight Sat 14-Jul-18 11:16:15

Many DC will be have been tutored since at least the start of Year 5. This will undoubtedly give them an edge over a similar ability child who's not done anything (or just a quick familiarisation)

KittyMcKitty Sat 14-Jul-18 11:54:14

GrammarShammer are you in Bucks? I am with 2 children in a Bucks Grammar and disagree strongly with you. TBH you sound like you have the problem rather then anyone on the 11+ forum!

There is a world of difference between a bit of familiarisation and training (which is what the OP was suggesting). My experience is that very many of the children trained struggle once in the Grammars and need tutoring (sometimes in multiple subjects) to keep up. IMVHO that is a terrible situation to put a child through.

The vast majority of Bucks children are not trained. The vast majority of ooc children are - make of this what you will.

MN has this obsession with children being tutored for years and years for Bucks Grammars which is nonsense.

Tge 11+ forum does not have an agenda but many posters who have given much help to many people over the years object to the 11+ tourists, people who know nothing about the test and the people who up and move because their dc simply must go to grammar (OP I’m not suggesting you are one of them).

Bucks is a great place to live but OP move here because you like the Upper Schools rather then the Grammars smile

Mummyoflittledragon Sat 14-Jul-18 12:59:38

Thanks for your posts. This is for a very specific situation for a
Specific house in bucks so moving to the thame/stone etc would not be what I’m looking for. Dh and I have to decide this weekend.

It’s ok thanks I do know about training for the exams. Dd would need to anyway as her education has been comprehensive in a completely different location. The issue is dd would not be going to the catchment school if she failed. Not even a consideration. She is in catchment for excellent schools here. That’s part of the gamble. Much to Think on. smile.

OP’s posts: |
Furrycushion Sat 14-Jul-18 13:10:26

The state schools in Bucks do not do any training for the 11 plus either, they are not allowed to, so your DD would be in the same position. Most people seem to do some training for it, but probably not as much as for super-selective areas.

Mummyoflittledragon Sat 14-Jul-18 13:34:06

Oh ok I thought it had changed these days.

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user1497299487 Sat 14-Jul-18 14:09:45

Even if you can get DD entered for the exam and she qualifies then you need to live close enough to get into a grammar school. The 11+ results are out in mid October, the deadline for proving where you live is the end of October. Unless you are renting now and are willing to rent in Bucks or close to Bucks then I can't see how this will work.

Your comment 'The issue is dd would not be going to the catchment school if she failed. Not even a consideration. She is in catchment for excellent schools here' seems to imply that you only want to move if DD qualifies. That is rather tricky to do but not impossible. I'd suggest you try and resolve the issues where you live if there are excellent schools.
Good luck.

HPFA Sat 14-Jul-18 14:17:07

Agree totally HPFA

Well, I always like to hear that!!

Seriously, it really annoys me as an Oxfordshire citizen when I hear Bucks County Councillors boasting (as they often do) about how their schools get better results than here in Oxfordshire and how that shows that their system is better. Well, since the grammars attract a pretty large number of high-achieving children from neighbouring authorities into Bucks and a number of the lower achieving children head in the opposite direction out of Bucks it shouldn't really surprise anyone that GCSE results will benefit five years down the line.

I wouldn't support a return to selection in Oxfordshire but I admit that one small benefit would be that it would seriously p*ss off the smug County Councillors of Buckinghamshire.

KittyMcKitty Sat 14-Jul-18 14:18:57

OP you will be a late registration so according to info on Bucks website will not be included in 1st round of allocations. Should your dc qualify you need to consider whether they would have much chance of an offer in subsequent rounds.

There are rules about disposal of current properties you should be aware of and dates for residency. Which school is it?

Where would your dc go to primary school? What would you do if they don’t qualify? Do you have other dc? Where would they go to school and again what would you do if they don’t qualify?

The primary curriculum is the same irrespective of whether you live in a grammar county. Bucks primary schools are not allowed to tutor.

My honest advice is to stay where you are smile To uproot a 10 year old for the sake of a school when you say your current schools are excellent is surely madness.

Furrycushion Sat 14-Jul-18 15:10:25

I think the majority of schools were full after the first round of allocations this year. Of course some places will come up & some get them through appeals but it's a risky strategy.

Mummyoflittledragon Sat 14-Jul-18 15:17:59

It’s not one of the highly sought after ones that’s for sure. What do you mean she wouldn’t be in the first round of allocations? And disposal of current property? I own a property in both bucks (inherited) and my current location. I can’t just magically sell my current home and it’s far too far away to contemplate a school commute.

It’s for the property. Not the school. No problem with being in the area by the deadline.

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Mummyoflittledragon Sat 14-Jul-18 15:18:57

Cross post Furry. Ah ok. Shit.

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