Guide to grammar schools and the Secondary Transfer Test

Last updated: 4 May 2023

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

Buckinghamshire grammar schools are very popular.

In the Buckinghamshire Secondary Transfer Test, children need to achieve a score of 121 to qualify for a place. A score higher than 121 does not give a child a better chance of getting a grammar school place (this is different to some other areas).

If there are more qualified applications than places, then the admission rules for each school will decide which qualified children get a place. You can find admission rules on each school’s website.

In general, 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 a grammar school and live outside the school’s catchment area are often not offered a 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 a 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 think carefully before making an appeal. If you decide to appeal, consider the following:

  • It does not make any difference if a child scores higher than 121 in the Buckinghamshire 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.

What if I move to Buckinghamshire after 31 October, and my child is qualified, am I guaranteed a grammar school place?

No, even when your moving in evidence has been confirmed your child is not guaranteed a Buckinghamshire grammar school place.

In 2022, only 10% of appeals were successful for Buckinghamshire grammar schools for children living outside the county.

View information about how grammar school places have been allocated in the past.