Frequently Asked Questions for entry September 2021

The following information is designed to help addressing common questions that are often raised at an open evening regarding the entrance exam.

How do I apply to sit the entrance exam?
All applications must be made online through CHS or NHGS websites before the advertised deadline.

When do I need to apply for the entrance exam?
The registration process is open and the closing date is July 2nd. All applications must be made online using the online application procedure on the Halifax Grammar Schools’ websites. If you do not have access to the website contact the school office.

Is there a fee?
No. There is no charge for the exam and neither school operates a fee paying system upon entry.

When is the entrance exam date?
This year the entrance exam will take place on Saturday 25th September 2021. All applicants will be sent a letter confirming the specific timings for the day.

Is there a pre-test my child can sit?
The schools do not organise a pre-test. You will be notified of your child’s result by 21st October 2021. Your result will give you an indication of whether or not to place the Halifax Grammar Schools as a choice on the Local Authority’s common preference form (CAF) which has to be completed by 31st October 2021.

What does the entrance exam consist of?
There are three parts to the entrance exam: English, Mathematics and Verbal Reasoning.

Does it matter where I live, whether I have siblings in school or whether I am in receipt of pupil premium?
Location is not considered as we have no catchment area and take applications from all over the country. All places are offered strictly according to the order of merit your child achieves and in accordance with the admission’s policy for allocation and over-subscription.

Please refer to the individual grammar schools’ admission policies with regard to siblings. Parents of children in receipt of free school meals should ensure they identify this on the online application form and provide evidence to the Halifax Grammar Schools. Children attracting Pupil Premium are those who have been registered for free school meals (FSM) at any point in the 6 years prior to the closing date for registering for the test.

The evidence should be in the form of a letter from the Local Authority confirming that your child is in receipt of FSM entitlement.

When will I hear that I have been entered for the exam?
All applications received will be sent a confirmation email registering their intent to sit the exam.  By Monday 13th September 2021 you will have been sent a letter containing full details of the test day and confirming where your child will be sitting the exam.

Why is my child sitting the test at North Halifax Grammar School when my first choice is Crossley Heath School?
It makes no difference where your child sits the entrance exam. We house the children according to postcodes where we can. Due to the large number of applications we have to balance the numbers to ensure supervision requirements are met.

How many children sit the exam each year?
On average approximately 1000 children sit the exam each year.

What if my child is ill on the day of the exam?
If you think your child is feeling unwell leading up to the exam day, and subsequently is too ill to perform their best on the day, it is your responsibility, as parent/carer, to make the decision as to whether or not to allow them to sit the exam. If you allow your child to sit the exam and they are unable to perform to their best ability, you do so at your own risk as there is no opportunity for a re-test.

If my child misses the exam through illness what do I need to do?
If your child misses the exam through illness, it is the parent’s/carer’s responsibility to provide a doctor’s letter/certificate confirming the illness to the admission secretary at the school where the child was due to sit the exam. This must arrive within 7 days of the exam date. On receipt of this letter your child will be entered for a supplementary exam which usually takes place a couple of weeks later.

Will my child be disadvantaged by sitting the supplementary exam?
No. All children who sit the supplementary exam receive the same consideration.

When will I hear if my child has got a place?
All children who sit the exam will be sent a letter approximately two weeks after the exam date which will confirm their position in the order of merit. Please refer to our timeline on our website. The order of merit is not a confirmation of a place due to the fact that the supplementary exam has to take place which could result in changes to your child’s position.

What is the pass mark?
There is no pass mark for the entrance exam. Places are allocated to the two schools according to the order of merit and in accordance with the admission policy for allocation and over-subscription.

What do I do once I have received my child’s result?
When you receive your letter stating the order of merit, if your child has a ranking within 1-500 they have been deemed suitable for a place at either of the Halifax Grammar Schools. You must then complete your Local Authority’s online Common Application Form (CAF), by their closing date of (date to come) in order to be considered further. If you wish to be considered for both of the Halifax Grammar Schools you must place both on the CAF. You must place your preferred grammar school as your first preference.  If the CAF is incorrectly preferenced you may risk losing a place offered at the Halifax Grammar Schools regardless of the order of merit achieved.

What happens to those children whose order of merit is between 360 – 500?
There are 180 places available in Year 7 in each of the Halifax Grammar Schools, totalling 360 across the two schools. Children within the order of merit 361-500 have been deemed suitable for a place if one became available. Places allocated beyond 360 are dependent upon the preferences made on the CAF by parents/carers of those children who were ranked between 1 – 360 in the order of merit. This could be due to a child declining a place offered, or due to an incorrectly completed CAF.

When should I expect to receive final confirmation of the place offered?
All places are offered out on 1st  March 2022 by the Local Authority according to the preferences made on the CAF. Places are offered at both Halifax Grammar Schools strictly on order of merit and in accordance with the allocation and over-subscription criteria in the Admission Policy.

What if my child is not offered a place at the Halifax Grammar Schools on 1st March?
When you receive your letter from your Local Authority confirming the school your child has been offered, if it is not what you expected and you came within the order of merit deemed suitable (ie 1-500) then you are able to apply for reallocation. Reallocation is a system run by the Local Authority which enables them to keep you on their waiting list to be considered should a place become available at either of the Halifax Grammar Schools. The reallocation process is explained further in the letter you will receive in March from your Local Authority.

What happens if my highest preference on my CAF was Crossley Heath and I was allocated my second preference of North Halifax Grammar? Could my child still be considered for Crossley Heath?
If you are not allocated your first preference on 1st March, depending on your child’s order of merit, there is a possibility of being offered your first preference. This would only happen if you opted to go through the route of reallocation which is a procedure offered by the Local Authority. If you were offered your second, lower preference and went through reallocation to be considered for your first preference, then you would not have to decline the place offered because it is a lower preference. If at the end of the reallocation process a place did not become available you would revert to the original lower preferenced place offered.

If my child is not offered a place at one of the Halifax Grammar Schools then will my other lower preferenced school place be compromised?
Local Authorities allocate places according to order of preference. If your child did not achieve the required standard for the Halifax Grammar Schools and they were your first and second preferences, the Local Authority would then allocate your child the lower preferenced school, if you matched their admission criteria. Your lower preferenced school then becomes your highest preference.

It is worth noting, if you placed an alternative choice of school on your CAF as your first preference, and the Halifax Grammar Schools as your lower preferences and you matched that school’s admission criteria, the Local Authority would allocate your first preference to your child. This is regardless of whether you qualified for a place at either of the Halifax Grammar Schools because you had listed them as lower preferences on your CAF.

Can I appeal if my child is not offered a place?
All parents have the right to an appeal. You are unable to appeal solely on the grounds of not being offered a place simply because we only have 360 places available across the two schools. If you feel that you have grounds for an appeal the details of the process are provided in your confirmation letter which you receive in March from your Local Authority.