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Grammar Schools

What is a Grammar School?

Grammar schools are academically selective state-funded secondary schools. Grammar schools select their pupils into Year 7 by means of an academic examination called the 11+ or “11 plus”. A small number of grammar schools also have an intake into Year 8 or Year 9 and test pupils with an equivalent 12+ or 13+ Exam. However these are rare.Academic attainment at Grammar schools is extremely high and as a result competition for places is fierce.

There are over 3000 state-funded secondary schools in the UK, and out of these currently, 164 are state-funded grammar schools, with approximately 167,000 pupils.164 grammar schools are located in 36 English local authorities. There are a further 69 grammar schools in Northern Ireland, but none in Wales or Scotland. It is not always necessary for you to live in an area with state grammar schools for your child to gain a place at one. A few grammar schools recruit from outside their catchment, while others offer boarding facilities. Most grammar schools, however, give preference to those living within their catchment areas.

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Why is it called a Grammar School?

The earliest schools connected to monasteries were called scholae grammaticales. These schools initially were established to teach Latin grammar, the language of academia, thus the origins of the name.

What are the advantages of attending a Grammar School?

Grammar schools are some of the highest performing schools listed in national league tables. According to the Sutton Trust Report (2008), grammar school pupils make greater progress throughout Key Stage 3 and 4 and achieve better GCSEs and A levels than pupils from other school types. Children who leave Grammar schools are up to 80% more likely to attend Russell Group universities and achieve strong A Levels.

Another perceived advantage of attending a grammar school is that of social mobility. Grammar schools have a track record of producing students who have very successful careers and develop large networks of influential friends. A recent study conducted by the University of Bath, Bristol and the Institute of Education at the University of London concluded that pupils who attend a grammar school end up earning more than those who attend comprehensive schools.

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Grammar School entry timeline for entry into Grammar Schools in 2022

April 2021

Most grammar schools will open their registration in April or May and set a deadline around June or July for parents to register their child for the 11+ exam. There is some variability, so please check these dates with your individual schools. Buckinghamshire automatically enters all primary children for the 11+ exam and operates an opt-out system for parents who must actively choose to withdraw their child from the process.

September 2021

For most grammar schools, the 11+ exam will occur during the first two weeks in September 2021. There is some variability, Nosce Education will check the date with your individual schools.

October 2021

For most grammar schools, 11+ results will be posted in mid-October 2021.

March 2021

School allocations are confirmed on 01 March 2022.

September 2021

New intake begins Year 7 at each of the 164 grammar schools.