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This is an exciting but also daunting time for you and your child. There are lots of options out there. This information is intended as a guide and is by no means exhaustive. It signposts lots of further websites and additional reading to inform your decision. It does not endorse the choice of any one school, that is for you to make with your child.
General order of admission criteria for state secondary schools :

  • Special Educational Need

  • Looked after Children- Those who are adopted, fostered or under a care order

  • Aptitude in Sport or Arts-often 10% of places

  • Denomination qualification - at Denominational schools

  • 11+ Score- for Grammar Schools

  • Pupil Premium- Based upon household income

  • Ability testing for banding to allow for an even ability spread at the school

  • Siblings- if they will still be at the school when the next child starts

  • Distance- from a set or satellite point

Local County Councils (click for more information)



  • Local State Senior School- Distance from a set point or multiple satellite points, some offer aptitude testing for sport and the arts, some have ability testing that puts the child in a band, allowing for a fair spread of ability.

  • State denominational school - Denomination and Distance .

  • Grammar School - 11+ score criteria.

  • Special educational need schools - SEN statement dependent.

  • State boarding school - Criteria dependent.

  • Private senior school - these have waiting lists- often with a registration fee, entrance exams, Bursaries and are fee paying schools.

Available Schools:
List of all State Schools can be found in the Education directory for each County Council.  This is available from local libraries or on the Council website. This gives details about schools available and their criteria and admission status over the past 3-5 years.
Private schools are listed in the Independent school’s directory.
Schools have open days in the Summer term and Autumn term. These dates can be found on the school website, by phoning the school and are sometimes published in the City Council Education directory for Senior Schools.
How to apply
All State Schools, including the Grammar Schools, should be applied for through your local council website application link regardless of which County the school is in. The application is usually due by the end of October in Year 6. Check local council website for exact date.
You can list 6 schools of your choice, in preference order. It is vital that you are realistic in your application based on 11+ score, SEN, siblings, distance and denominational criteria. If you aren’t offered any of your schools, you need to have a strong case for appeal to one of your chosen schools.
There is a separate website for the King Edward VI Grammar Schools foundation, and other Grammar Schools available in Sutton, Wolverhampton and Solihull, listing the schools, qualifying scores and previous 11+ score cut off.


If you want to enter your child in for the Grammar Schools, you will need to apply in the Summer term of year 5 for your child to sit the Grammar school 11+ test. Check the closing date for this on the website. Different Councils have different 11+ exams and these will need to be sat separately. The tests are sat in September of Year 6 and the results published 2-4 weeks later. They generally consist of two 45 minute papers, testing Verbal Reasoning, Comprehension, Maths and Non-Verbal Reasoning. You will have you child's results before you apply for your choice of schools. A percentage of places is available for Pupil Premium pupils with a lower score.

The Grammar School foundation does not endorse intensive tutoring for its exam, and beside excellent teaching, Chad Vale does not prepare your child for the 11+ exam. How you choose to prepare your child for the 11+ is again up to you. What is key is that you child is familiar with the paper, can work at speed and has a grasp of exam technique. This can be achieved at home using many of the papers on the market or through a Tutoring route of your choice, which could be an online facility, group or one-to-one tuition.


Click here to visit the Grammar Schools in Birmingham website.
Denominational Schools will require you to fill in an additional form certified by your religious leader. Check early on the criteria you will need to fullfill for complete these forms ie: baptism status, parents religion and baptism status, attendance at church in the last year.

Private Schools will require a separate application directly to the school. These schools are not included as a preference in your council application.


  • Visit the schools a few times- open evenings and during the school day. If possible try to visit on a day when the school is running 'as normal' so that you get a real feel for the school

  • Attend a talk by the Head Teacher.

  • Talk to pupils

  • Read the Schools’ websites

  • Read the Ofsted reports

  • Look at the Value score

  • Check criteria for 11+, aptitude testing and Denominational applications

  • Think about travel routes and distance from home, balanced with clubs and homework

  • Look at the different opportunities schools offer: which sports, drama, music, free music lessons, dance club, theatre groups, facilities, computing, maths speciality, pastoral care, year 7 base, dining facilities, break time arrangements, 6th Form provision, Travel provision, SEND provision

  • Imagine your child at the school, every child is different, even from the same family

  • This a joint decision with your child but think about the whole picture and long term outcome, your child may need guiding with a decision as they like schools for very different reasons than their parents!

Where Chad Vale children tend to go:

  • King Edwards VI Handsworth for Girls

  • King Edwards VI Camp Hill For Girls

  • King Edwards VI Camp Hill for Boys

  • King Edwards VI Aston for Boys

  • King Edwards VI Fiveways mixed

  • Queen Mary's Grammar (Walsall)

  • King Edwards VI Boys - Private

  • King Edwards VI Girls - Private

  • The Priory

  • Queensbridge School

  • Lordswood Boys

  • Lordswood Girls

  • Edgbaston High School for Girls

  • University of Birmingham School

  • Harborne Academy

  • Four Dwellings

  • Hillcrest

  • Perryfields

  • Perry Beeches (now Jewellery Quarter Academy)

  • Bartley Green School

  • Nishkam High

  • George Dixon

  • Q3

  • Shirelands Collegiate Academy

  • Shenley Academy

Secondary Transfer Information
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