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Trying for grammars from London

(11 Posts)
siz99 Wed 20-May-20 21:02:09

I have a daughter in Year 5. Currently in an independent school in London but we're hoping to leave the city for the start of Year 7.

I am looking mostly at Home Counties to the west/south/north. We think she might be competitive for grammar schools but I'm confused how to apply when you're outside the catchment (or county entirely).

I'd be so grateful for tips as we aren't Brits ourselves and haven't been through this process before. Do I need to read the application criteria for each individual grammar school, county by county?! I was surprised that some require residence in the catchments by April of Year 5 for Year 7 entry. Are they all this strict? Surely, many people make a jump to the country after year 6 so how do new arrivals fit into the grammar process?

OP’s posts: |
Singingrain1223 Wed 20-May-20 21:11:55

OP, you need to visit the elevenplusexams.co.uk website and choose a region of the UK you are interested in and read up. Yes for many grammar schools you need to be in residence already. There are many parts of the UK with no grammar schools, ie East Anglia apart from Essex so there is no need to consider new arrivals in the application process for grammar school education.

Oliversmumsarmy Wed 20-May-20 21:40:55

Please be aware that not all schools that are called Grammar schools are still grammar schools that you need to pass an exam to get in.

For the most part it is about actually living in the catchment area

I think only Kent and Essex are counties that still have the traditional grammar schools although other counties might have partially selective schools.

LIZS Wed 20-May-20 21:53:47

Bucks also has grammar schools as does South London/Surrey border. There are some which have a quota allocated purely on attainment in 11+ exams (Nonsuch is one) but majority of places are score/distance based. You need to check for each one, even within the same LA.

fatoprofugus Wed 20-May-20 23:03:37

One thing you need to check is the difference between sitting the exam, and actually applying for schools. So, you may find that it's no problem to register for and sit the test as an out of county (OOC) applicant, but you may need to be resident already by a certain date to have a chance of getting into a local grammar school. For this, you probably will need to look individually at each school's admissions criteria. Some may allocate places purely by score, others purely by distance if you've got a pass, others will have a combination of a few places ranked by score for the highest scorers, then the rest ranked on distance with a simple pass or a qualifying score. In some places, the LA might set a date by which you need to have moved into your local address to use it on your secondary application, in other places individual schools might set a cut off date. So I'm afraid you do need to do your homework. And you might want to start thinking sharpish about trying to get your daughter into a local primary - as you rightly say, there are loads of families who try to move out of London in year 5/6 for grammar places, so pressure on places in good primary schools in these year groups can be huge.

fatoprofugus Wed 20-May-20 23:09:44

And sorry, to reiterate in a slightly more succinct way - generally new arrivals can't 'fit into the process' if they leave it until the end of Year 6 to move. Only a very few very high scorers will be able to secure OOC places at home counties grammars while living in London. If you want a decent chance of a grammar place, I would say you need to be moving now.

PerspicaciaTick Wed 20-May-20 23:12:11

You need to get a wiggle on. Your DD would be due to sit 11+ exams next term and some of the cut off dates for registering are in the next few weeks.

crusheddaffodils Sat 23-May-20 15:22:43

I'm in Sutton (London Borough in Surrey). There are two high-performing girls' grammar schools here. You register to take the test in the summer between Year 5 and Year 6, so yes you use your address at that point. However, you can move later and change the address. These two schools have a certain number of places based on score only and then the rest must be in catchment.
But yes, each school will have different admissions criteria.

PettsWoodParadise Sat 23-May-20 20:15:09

DD’s excellent grammar in SE London application date has passed, it was 22nd May to register for the test for September so you may find you have missed other application deadlines. As others have said visit elevenplusexams and find out more there. Each school and region is different. For example DD’s grammar you need to be in the 9 mile catchment to get a place but can sit the rest outside of catchment and move closer later. Kent has some schools that give a few places irrespective of location but score required for these places is far higher than in-catchment places.

TheYellowOfTheEgg Sun 24-May-20 13:01:25

You really need to read the admissions criteria for each individual school. They are not the same.

MarchingFrogs Mon 25-May-20 08:28:01

You really need to read the admissions criteria for each individual school. They are not the same.

Excellent advicesmile (although you'd be surprised - or possibly not - at how many people fail to follow it and then claim that the reason that they failed to secure at any of their preferred schools is anything other than their own fault). It applies to all state school applications, not just grammar schools, of course.

@siz99, the 7 Gloucestershire grammar schools still allocate places mainly on score, with no preference by place of residence, I believe. Stroud Higb School is the nearest to London of the grammar schools admitting girls.

Colchester County High School also has no catchment area. Registration is via the Consortium of Selective Schools in Essex (CSSE) and closed on July 1st. Colchester is north of London, if also quite a way to the east.

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