Guide to grammar schools and the Secondary Transfer Test

Last updated: 4 May 2023

Adjustments to the testing

If your child has special educational needs or a disability, you may want to think about whether a grammar school would be best for them. It might help if you also talk to your child's primary school about this.

If your child's special educational needs or disability has ‘a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities', you should talk to their primary school headteacher. If your child's situation might make access to the test difficult, discuss if special testing arrangements should be made. The same applies to everyday access to the curriculum. Also make sure your child’s school knows about their needs so that, if necessary, they can put reasonable adjustments in place.

If it is felt that adjustments should be made for your child to take the test, then your child's headteacher should contact us. Where it is not possible for the headteacher to contact us, fill out our contact us form. Make sure you tell us about this before your child sits the test.

View further information about requesting adjustments to the secondary transfer test [PDF, 206 KB].

When considering a request for adjustments, we look for evidence from your child's current school to show how they change the delivery of the normal day-to-day curriculum to meet your child’s particular needs. We also look for other professional evidence to support your request. For this reason, we will contact your child's headteacher for further information.

We cannot offer extra marks to compensate for any special needs your child may have. This is because each child's case is different. It is impossible to say exactly how many marks would be appropriate. If we decide that your child:

  • is disabled within the terms of the Equality Act (2010), or
  • has a disability that will have a clear impact in relation to the format of the test,

We offer appropriate and reasonable special arrangements to make the test as accessible as possible.

In many cases, if adjustments are agreed, this may mean that you child may need to sit the test alone or be tested on a different day so bear this mind when considering whether to apply for adjustments.

If your child does not qualify and you still think a grammar school would be suitable, you can ask the Selection Review Panel and/or the Independent Appeal Panel to consider their case.

We give the information we have about your child's needs to the Selection Review Panel and/or the Independent Appeal Panel.