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. Applying for a secondary school | London Borough of Bexley 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. 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 1.92 miles as of June 2022 but it extends a little further when students on the waiting list take up vacated places (to near the 2 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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 73% of places were given on the basis of distance to the school after sibling/top 180/staff children criteria were filled.
5. If we don’t gain a place at BGS, can we join a waiting list? How does it work?
Parents who are Bexley residents and are not offered a place at their first preference school will automatically be included on the waiting list for higher preference schools than the one offered. Non-Bexley residents are advised to contact their home Local Authority to ask for their child to be placed on our waiting list.
Please note that a child's name cannot be included on our waiting list unless he or she has achieved a high enough score in the Bexley selection test to be deemed selective.
Waiting lists are kept in the same order as the school's over-subscription criteria.
If a vacancy arises before the start of the term in September 2024, Bexley Grammar School will inform the Bexley Schools Admissions Team about whom the place can be offered to and the home Local Authority will send an offer letter to the child's parent / carer. If the parent / carer does not accept the offer, it will be offered to the next child on the waiting list. This procedure will be followed until the vacancy is accepted.
Bexley Grammar School operates and maintains a waiting list until at least 31 December of each school year of admission. Each added child will require the list to be ranked again in line with the school's published over-subscription criteria.
6. If we list another school (school A) as our first choice school and we list Bexley Grammar as our second choice school, do we have the option of taking up a place at Bexley Grammar in the event of us choosing to declining our first choice school on National Offers Day? Essentially if we reject our first preference school on National Offers Day in March, will we be offered a place at our second preference school?
If a parent rejects or declines their child's first preference school on National Offers Day on 1st March, unfortunately they are not then automatically offered their second preference school. It would be possible for the parent to request for their child to be added to the second preference school's waiting list, but there would be no guarantee that their child would receive a place.
7. DO I NEED TO COMPLETE A SUPPLEMENTARY FORM?
No, this is not a requirement at Bexley Grammar School.
FAQs to the London Borough of Bexley
1. Does My child have a right to a place at one of my preferred schools?
There is no right to a place at your preferred school; if it is not possible to offer your child a place at your preferred school, your child will be allocated a place at an alternative school with a vacancy.
2. If I List Only one school will mean that you will have to offer me that school?
Listing only one school does not increase your child’s chances of being offered a place. If your child does not qualify for that school, then they will be allocated a place at the nearest school to your home with a vacancy. It is important you name your schools in order of preference and in your child’s best interest to name as many schools as possible. Only naming one school will mean your child will not get considered for any other local schools until after all other children that have named their school have been considered.
3. IF I live nearer to the school than the last child offered under the distance criterion last year. Am I therefore guaranteed a place?
Although the information listed in the link Applying for a secondary school | London Borough of Bexley under the heading Advice on the home to school distance can give you an idea of how likely it is that you will be offered a place at your preferred school, the ‘last distance’ will change every year. We cannot guarantee any child will be offered a place at any school.
4. does It matter if my application is late?
Yes. If it is late, it is very unlikely that you will be offered one of your preferred schools.
5. Can I apply for schools outside the Borough?
You can apply for both Bexley schools and out of borough schools by listing them on the Bexley Borough application form.