Poole Grammar School, Gravel Hill, Poole, Dorset, BH17 9JU | Tel: 01202 692132 | Email: pgsoffice@poolegrammar.com
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FAQ Sheet – Admissions

How is my son assessed?


Three Granada Learning / GL Assessment / tests (Maths, English and Verbal Reasoning) will be sat. Each component has an equal weighting and is out of 141 marks. The marks are age weighted using GL Assessment tables to ensure that there is no bias towards late births within the year. The aggregate of the marks for the three papers is taken and this is the score that is used to assess your son.

Does it matter whether my son is an early or late birthday when he takes the tests, i.e. are older pupils advantaged?

No. The tests used are National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) tests which are tried and tested over time. The results are age weighted, hence it doesn’t matter if a pupil is a September or an August birth as the results are standardised to take this into account by NFER.

What is the standard of entry?

Approximately the top 16% of the school population.

What if my son has a statement or has special needs?

Please refer to the guidance on ‘Access arrangements for entrance test applicants who have special educational needs, disabilities or temporary conditions’ and complete an ‘Application for Access Arrangements’ form if you think your son is likely to qualify for adjustments. Please contact the school SENCo if you would like to discuss SEN issues relating to the Entrance Exam or accommodation of special needs in school. Applications for adjustments are assessed by the four schools collectively to ensure consistency within the Consortium.

What if my son’s first language is not English?

The tests are set in English and as such cannot be translated as part of the test is cognitive understanding of English it would not be possible to mark the tests to the same set of criteria.

How do I apply for testing?

Apply for testing using the common Poole/Bournemouth Grammar form available on the school website.
Apply to the Borough of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) (or your Local Authority if not resident in Poole) on the official form, or use the on-line facilities through Poole and Parent Support by 31st October 2022. After that date the application becomes a late entrant and will only be considered after the main application round has been completed. Non-BCP residents need to apply to their Local Authority also by the deadline of 31st October 2022.

When is my son tested?

Saturday 24th September 2022

When is the deadline for test applications?

12.00 noon on Friday 9th September 2022

When are results of tests sent out?

Friday 14th October 2022

What if my son is ill on the test day?

Please ring and we will arrange for him to be tested on an alternative date. We may need formal evidence (e.g. Doctor’s note) to allow late testing. If there are other longer term illnesses then we would need to discuss.

Can I take the test twice in one year?


Can I take the test at both Poole and Bournemouth Grammar?

No. Both schools are using the same tests and test date and an applicant’s score can be used to apply for either school. The choice of test venue does not affect your chance of a successful application to either school. Both schools adopt identical processes for administering the tests.

Can I have copies of his exam papers?

No.  As part of our agreement with GL Assessment, all papers are returned to GL Assessment for pulping.

On what grounds may I appeal if a place is not offered?

Any grounds you feel which illustrate a case that the process or the outcomes of the tests unfairly treats/reflects your son. You may also argue that the school is particularly suited to your son’s needs. Details of the appeals process are sent with all letters in which a place has not been offered.

Will the system be the same in subsequent years?

Possibly, possibly not, as the DfE reviews admissions periodically this may lead to the rewriting of our admission policy to comply with any new guidance.

When will I know if my son has been successful?

Approximately 3rd March 2023 as letters are sent from BCP Council on 1st March 2023.

Where can I get practice papers?


Poole Grammar School, Amazon, and other leading bookstores.


How many places are available?


180 is the Pupil Admissions Number determined by the School.

How are the places determined?

As per the over-subscription criteria.

    1. Eligible (1) boys who are classed as ”Looked After” or have previously been ‘Looked After’(2)
    2. Eligible boys who appear to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted (3).
    3. Eligible boys who live within the historic Borough of Poole or Poole postcodes BH12, BH13, BH14, BH15, BH16, BH17, BH18 and BH21 3– and who currently (31st October 2022) receive Pupil Premium (4)
    4. Eligible boys who currently (31st October 2022) live within the historic Borough of Poole  or Poole postcodes BH12, BH13, BH14, BH15, BH16, BH17, BH18, and BH21 3– and who do not receive Pupil Premium
    5. Eligible boys who are the sons of current members of staff where the member of staff has been employed at the school for two or more years at the time when the application for admission to the school is made
    6. Eligible boys who live outside the historic Borough of Poole or Poole postcodes BH12, BH13, BH14, BH15, BH16, BH17, BH18 and BH21 3–, who currently (31st October 2022) receive Pupil Premium in rank order of the entrance test scores
    7. Eligible boys who live outside the historic Borough of Poole or Poole postcodes BH12, BH13, BH14, BH15, BH16, BH17, BH18 and BH21 3–  who do not receive Pupil Premium, in rank order of the entrance test scores

In the event of a tie for the last place, priority will be given to the boy whose domicile is nearest to PGS as determined by the Poole LEA GIS system.

How many places are available to pupils who don’t live in Poole?

I cannot answer this as I do not know how many pupils will sit the entrance exam from Poole, nor do I know how many will pass the test and be of the required standard and hence be eligible and then go on to apply for a place.

When does the waiting list end?

The waiting list for students due to join Year 7 in September 2023 will remain open until 31 August 2024