Choosing the right school for your child can be a challenging process and it can sometimes seem that the information you need is not readily available. The London Borough of Bexley Admissions booklet will answer the majority of your questions but here are the answers to a few of the questions we are most frequently asked each year.
1. The pass mark for the 11+ was 214. My daughter scored 213. Should I appeal?
The process for appeals starts after offers of places are sent out (March 2022). Primary Headteachers can recommend a student score is reconsidered at a Heads’ Appeal meeting later in the Autumn/Spring term before offers are made.
Parents should be aware that, although 213 is close, there may be 80 or more students who also scored at 213. (Appeal statistics are mentioned in Q.5 below.)
2. What is the maximum distance within which you are able to offer places?
This varies each year. Distance is measured as a straight line from home to BGS. Last year it was 2.53 miles as of June 2020 but it extends a little further when students on the waiting list take up vacated places (to near the 3 mile mark).
Every year, parents are worried about how to prioritise their choices. The key message is simple - there is no game-playing or trickery - simply put the schools in order of your preferred choice. The system does the rest, allocating the school that is highest on your list for which you meet the admission requirement. So if BGS is your first choice, put it first on the form.
3. We live 5 miles away. I’m worried if I put BGS first choice I might lose out on a place at "Xxxxxx Grammar School" where I am comfortably within its usual catchment. What do you advise?
Your likely offer of a place at "Xxxxxx Grammar School" is unaffected by the position you place it on the application form. The system sorts out which of your choices you qualify for and then awards you a place at the one which is highest on your list. Put the schools in order of your preferred choice.
4. My son hasn’t passed the test. Can I still place BGS on the application form?
Yes. In order to appeal you have to apply and be rejected. The advice is the same as Q3 with the added point that you must name at least one non-selective school or else you run the risk of having no place in September.
5. What are the chances of a successful appeal to BGS if my daughter missed the pass mark by one mark or less or because we live just beyond the distance criteria?
We have an average of 22 appeals each year over the past 3 year (total of 67 appeals) and there has been only one successful appeal in those 3 years. (See Q.1)
6. My son’s score was not in the top 180 and he doesn’t have a brother or sister currently at the school. I’m relying on the distance. How many places are awarded through distance?
This varies slightly from year to year. Last year 78% of places were given on the basis of distance to the school after sibling/top 180/staff children criteria were filled.
7. If we don’t gain a place at BGS, can we join a waiting list? How does it work?
The waiting list is only for selective children. Any parent can request that their child be put on the waiting list which is maintained initially by Bexley borough admissions. A student's position on the waiting list is determined by our oversubscription criteria (essentially that’s distance from the school) NOT by when a student joins the list. If a parent declines their child's place the school fills the place from the student at the top of the waiting list. There is no deadline as to when a child can be placed on the waiting list.
8. DO I NEED TO COMPLETE A SUPPLEMENTARY FORM?
No, this is not an admissions requirement at Bexley Grammar School.