11 plus results - what do they mean?

11 plus

By now, parents of Year 6 children who took the 11 plus should have received their results. The results vary in the date that you will have received them, in the format and in the level of detail, but legally they have to give some information about how your child has performed in the test. This is because of a parliamentary ruling which stated that parents should be informed of the results of entry tests before they selected their school preferences on or before October 31st. This ruling came into effect in 2011 and resulted in the Torbay 11 plus being moved from November to September in 2011. Eleven plus dates in all other areas of the country were moved to ensure that children took the 11 plus before the October in which they were in Year 6. Some schools moved their 11 plus dates to the July of Year 5, but have since moved them to September.

There seem to be almost as many ways of presenting the 11 plus results as there are Local Authorities in England where the 11 plus is used. Here in Torbay, parents are sent a letter by the school at which they took the 11 plus telling them that they either would or wouldn't be "likely" to gain a place at each of three schools: Torquay Boys' Grammar School / Torquay Girls' Grammar School (depending on the gender of the child), Churston Ferrers Grammar and Spires Academy (a comprehensive school which has a grammar stream within it and is considered by most parents not to be a true grammar school option). In my experience, if children get a "yes" for all three school they will be successful in gaining a place at their first choice school, while if they get a "yes" for only two of the schools (usually Churston Ferrers Grammar and Spires Academy) then they have a good chance of getting into Churston but their parents will be biting their nails for nearly 5 months because a number of children in this category will not gain a place. There also seem to be freak results where children sometimes gain a place at a grammar school for which they didn't have a "yes."

In may other areas of the country, for example Kent, Medway, Buckinghamshire and Warwickshire, parents are given a score and they may also be given their position on the list so that if they are 101st in their area and their preferred school has 120 places then they will definitely get a place at this school if they put it first on their list of preferences. However, this place will not be confirmed until National Allocation Day on 1st March (or the first weekday in March each year).

In is very important to note that your child will NOT get a place at grammar school if you do not put the name of that school first on your local authority secondary school application form (either paper-based or electronic). By now you should have had a letter from the Local Authority via your child's primary school telling you how to complete your child's application. You return the form to the local authority where your child currently goes to school so if you live in Devon, but wish to apply for a place in a Torbay grammar school you should apply to Devon County Council rather than Torbay Council. All local authorities have a designated school admissions officer; their title may vary around the country ("choice advisor" is one name by which they may be called). You can easily contact them by telephoning your local authority or looking them up on the Local Authority's website (however, some local authority websites are very cumbersome to use).

As always you can gain plenty of information on our website in the Blog, 11+ Info and 11+ in Your Area Sections, this latter section contains up to date contact details for all 163 grammar schools in England as well as for the local authorities in which they are situated. We are always happy to hear from parents who have queries about the 11 plus or grammar school application process and you can contact us via our contact page, by phone, email or on social media.