Grammar schools and Secondary Transfer Testing - 2021 entry

5. Will my child get a grammar school place if I don’t live in Buckinghamshire?

Coronavirus and Secondary Transfer Testing (4 May)

The Buckinghamshire 2021 Secondary Selection Tests are currently scheduled to take place on Tuesday 8 September (practice test) and Thursday 10 September (selection test). At the current time schools are closed and it is not known when they will re-open.

An update will be provided closer to the time if any changes need to be made to dates or other aspects of the testing arrangements. Details of any changes will be published on The Buckinghamshire Grammar Schools’ website


Our grammar schools are very popular.  Think carefully before you apply for a place.  Children who live in the catchment area get given a place before those that live outside of it.

Children living in some areas are unlikely to be offered places. This includes most of the London boroughs, Reading, Berkshire, Surrey and Wokingham. Check your area here.

We are often also not able to offer places to all children who live even closer to Buckinghamshire.  Check here for more information.

In the Buckinghamshire Secondary Transfer Test children just need to achieve 121 to qualify. A higher score in the test will not give your child a better chance of getting a grammar school place (this is different to some other areas). 

The admission rules for each school will decide which qualified children get a place. You can find admission rules on each school’s website.

Places are usually offered to siblings of current pupils first, then to children living in catchment and then other children living near to the school.  This means children who qualify for our schools and live outside the school’s catchment area are often not offered a grammar school place. 

Most Buckinghamshire grammar schools also give some priority to children who are entitled to Free School Meals and/or Pupil Premium.

Your child may qualify for grammar school but then have their application refused because there are more qualified applicants for the school than places available.  If this happens you can appeal against the decision, but most appeals for grammar school places are not successful, even for qualified children.  This is because the schools are already full, so please think carefully before making an appeal. If you decide to appeal please consider the following:

  • It does not make any difference if a child scores higher than 121 in the Secondary Transfer Test. A higher test score does not mean a place is more likely to be offered.
  • It is very unlikely you will be successful if there is an alternative school place available for your child in your area.   
  • It is also very unlikely you will be successful if you live outside the school’s catchment area.

In 2019, only 3% of appeals were successful for Buckinghamshire grammar schools for children living outside the county.

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Last updated: 4 May 2020

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