11 Plus: Completing the Secondary School Preference Form

What do you need to do now you’ve received your child’s 11 plus exam results?

By now you should have received your child’s 11 plus exam results. Firstly, even a good score might not always guarantee access to certain grammar schools due to the competitive nature of the top schools. The next stage to picking your child’s secondary school is to complete the secondary school preference form with your local authority. Being realistic and informed about your choices before you put pen to paper is the best way to be assured of your child’s education. We’ve put together a guide to help you in taking these steps.

Solihull local authority preference form

Birmingham local authority preference form

Filling out a form

Order of preference

The key to the form is to fill it out in the order of preference. The local authority will work down the form. Your child will be allocated the first school where they tick all the boxes. However, if the offer is not the first preference, they will still be placed on a waiting list for the schools above. Also, you get no advantage from only listing one school and this could mean your child is allocated a school that isn’t closest.

Comprehensive education

Make sure that when you fill out the form, you put at least one local comprehensive on the list for which your child meets the criteria. If your child doesn’t get a place at a grammar school, they will be offered a place at the next school on the list and this could be a comprehensive school. If you do not list a comprehensive school and your child doesn’t meet the criteria for any grammar schools, there is a risk that they will be allocated a place at any school with places left. This school might not be the closest.

Open days

Go along to some open days of the schools you’re thinking of listing on your form. Make sure your child feels comfortable with the schools they might be attending. Make sure that you are able to discuss whether any areas they aren’t as keen on can be overcome. Ensure that you emphasise the extra-curricular activities if you really think the school would suit them.

You can see the list of open days here. 


Your secondary school preference form into your local authority by 31st October 2018, which is the national deadline.