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After all your child’s hard work preparing for their 11 plus, making sure you register on time for the exam is crucial! This guide will walk you through the registration process. Here are the step-by-step basics when applying for Grammar and Comprehensive schools:
You can obtain prospectuses from schools at any time in the year so it is best to start planning well ahead. It is crucial to ensure your child is involved in this process as this will encourage them in their preparation for 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. It is important that they 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 (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. 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, i.e. 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 achieving.
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 July – October. For more information on 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).
Check to see whether there are any additional forms for you to fill in along with your application. Contact the school for details. Faith schools can require a SIF to prove your commitment to that faith (for example some Catholic schools require a written declaration from a priest that the child has been confirmed and/or attends church regularly with the parents).
The Local Authority Preference form can alter across various counties. This form asks you to list your preferred schools for attendance in September; however, the number of schools you can list varies dependent on your location. The form can be completed from the start of Year 6 and the deadline is usually around October. Please note, some schools schedule the 11 plus exam before the LA Preference form needs to be completed (Check schools in Kent, Medway, Lincolnshire and some London schools).
Make sure your child is fully prepared and confident for their exam day; with regards to the format of their exam, topics covered, duration, location etc. We strongly believe in helping children prepare for the exam conditions which they can expect in their real entrance exam, as we feel it helps to alleviate any nerves and fears and allows children to gain familiarity of what to expect. Because of this, we run a number of 11 plus mock exams throughout the year to help children prepare for their big day. For more information on mock exam dates, please visit our 11 plus mock exam page.
All Local Authorities/Schools across the country will send out their decisions on this day (or the closest day to 1st March if it falls on a weekend), informing all parents of which school their child has been allocated for September.
If your child has not gained a place at your preferred school, you have the right to appeal. Please contact your Local Authority for further details. Every year, thousands of parents attempt to appeal so this can be quite a long process. You are also more likely to be successful if you have very clear and strong evidence to support your claims.
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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