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After all your child’s hard work preparing for their 11 plus entrance exam, making sure you register on time for the exam is crucial!
This guide will walk you through the 11+ registration process and provide step-by-step basics when applying for Grammar and Comprehensive schools:
If you are unsure of where to apply for the 11+ entrance exam, ask your Local Education Authority, check the individual school website or consult the Consortium of Grammar Schools.
The deadline for registration varies greatly, depending on where you are in the country. As a rough guide, registration can open as early as May but open days can be as late as October. Registration periods are normally open for a couple of months from the start date – so deadlines can be from June – October. For more information about the registration process for your prospective school, contact the school directly to avoid any misunderstanding. If you are applying for more than one grammar school, then you normally have to register separately for every exam your child will be taking unless a set of schools are part of a joint consortium (e.g Birmingham).
Failure to respond by the date specified on your local authority form may result in your child not being offered a school place.
If you reside in Buckinghamshire however, the consortium operates an “opt out” system for the 11+ and therefore in this case, your child will be automatically entered unless you withdraw them from the process.
Looking ahead, now is the time to start considering which schools you would like your child to attend.
You can obtain prospectuses from schools at any time in the year so it is best to start planning well ahead. When considering the most appropriate school, ensure your child is involved in this process as this will encourage them in their preparation for the 11 plus and give them a better understanding of what they are working towards. It is also essential to always talk positively about your local catchment area school, should your child not gain a place at a Grammar/Independent school. Your child should feel positive about where they will be spending their future years (refer to our ‘Choosing a Secondary School’ guide for more advice).
Many grammar schools do not have catchment areas but several do, so it is worth checking whether this is applicable to the grammar school you are applying for (details on catchment areas can usually be found on the school’s website). Some schools may also have a preferred catchment area but will accept students from outside the area.
As you may be aware, the King Edwards IV Grammar Schools have announced their new admissions criteria for entry from September 2020. Amongst other significant changes, the new KE criteria includes priority catchment areas for each of their six selective schools. If you are considering a KE IV Grammar School for your child, please do check which catchment you’re in. Please note that if you are considering a KE school which you are not in catchment for, the most important thing to remember is that this is still an option. However, it is important that your child scores as high as possible on the 11+ entrance exam.
Once spaces are allocated to those within catchment, who achieved the new qualifying score of 220, spaces will then be offered to applicants outside of catchment with the highest scores. If you are registering with a school outside your local area, contact the school as soon as possible to discuss any alterations to the application process, for example, some schools will test on a different day for out of area students.
This is the best way to find out all the information about the registration process for the particular school you would like your child to attend. This is also a great chance to see past the prospectus’ pages and get a real feel for the school. Not all open days are for children, so if this is the case, check to see whether your child can attend, or contact the school directly to organise a private appointment to look around. It is really important that your child attends the open day with you as this will allow them to see first hand the goal which they are working towards.
We hope you have found the information in this guide useful. If, however, there is anything which you are unsure of, please do not hesitate to call us on 0121 733 6558, where one of our experienced members of staff will be able to assist you with any queries which you may have.
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