Find out about applying for the selective grammar schools and how to register for the selection tests.
Within North Yorkshire there are three selective grammar schools:
- Ermysted’s Grammar School
- Ripon Grammar School
- Skipton Girl’s High School
These schools admit children based on their performance in tests which are designed to identify academic potential. The selection tests take place in September the year before children are due to transfer from primary to secondary school.
The selection test is different for each of the three schools and more information can be found below.
Registering for and sitting the entrance test is not an application for a place at the school. Parent/carer must also name the school on the Common Application Form and submit this to their home Local Authority by the closing date for applying for a secondary school place 31 October. This applies to year 7 entry in September only.
In Year Selection Testing
Please complete the selection test request application form here. For further information about in year selection testing, please see ‘Ripon Grammar School – Frequently Asked Questions’.
In area pupils who attend an in area primary school
Pupils who live in the Ripon catchment area and go to a primary school in the catchment area will receive a registration letter early in the summer term 2023. The letter and reply form asks you to confirm whether or not you wish your child to sit the test, or whether you wish to withdraw your child from the selection test. If you do not reply by the deadline 30th June 2023, we will assume you do not wish your child to be tested and we will withdraw them.
If your child attends a primary school in the Ripon catchment area this does not mean that your child is 'in area'. The determining factor is your child’s principal place of residence.
Pupils who live in the catchment area for Ripon Grammar School and attend a primary school outside of the Ripon catchment area - you need to make an application to sit the selection test by 30 June 2023.
Pupils who live outside the catchment area for Ripon Grammar School who attend a primary school outside of the Ripon catchment area and any pupil attending an independent school - you will need to make an application to sit the selection test by 30 June 2023.
If you move into the Ripon area at any point in the summer term onwards, it is your responsibility to inform us that you wish your child to be included in the selection test and to notify us if any special arrangements are required under the Equality Act 2010.
Skipton and Ripon are the two selective areas in North Yorkshire at secondary school level. When you are filling in your secondary schools application form, you will need to give several preferences. You can find advice about preferencing here. The following are all the maintained secondary schools located in these areas (not including independent schools.)
|School||Information about applying|
|Ermysted's Grammar School||A voluntary-aided selective school for boys. Apply online here for a place and run their own selection tests. Please see the bottom of this web page for further information.|
|Skipton Girls' High School||A selective academy for girls. Apply online here for a place and also contact the school to fill in their own admissions form, and to find out about their own selection tests which the school administers independently.|
|Skipton Academy||A non-selective school for boys and girls in a selective area. Apply online here for a place. This school does not require selection tests, but if you are preferencing a selective school among your choices, your child will need to sit the test.|
|Upper Wharfedale school||A non-selective school for boys and girls in a selective area. Apply online here for a place. This school does not require selection tests, but if you are preferencing a selective school among your choices, your child will need to sit the test.|
|School||Information about applying|
|Ripon Grammar School||A selective school for boys and girls (which includes up to 14 boarding places in year 7 each year). Apply online here for a place and read the information on this page about the selective admissions tests.|
|Outwood Academy||A non-selective academy for boys and girls in a selective area. Apply online here for a place. This school does not require selection tests, but if you are preferencing a selective school among your choices, your child will need to sit the test.|
About the selection test
The selection test for pupils transferring from primary to secondary school in September 2024 will be held on Saturday 9 September 2023 at Ripon Grammar School, you can find this year's dates here.
Each child will sit one set of tests. On the test day each child will take two papers, one Verbal Reasoning (VR) lasting 50 minutes and one Non-Verbal Reasoning (NVR) test that consists of four sections lasting ten minutes each. These are produced for North Yorkshire Local Authority by GL Assessment.
Details such as when to arrive and what to bring with you will be included in an information letter that will be posted to you the last week of August.
Preparing for the test: sample questions
GL Assessment have produced familiarisation booklets which include examples to indicate the range of skills required to complete the assessment and the manner in which questions are answered. The booklets are not definitive and the inclusion of any question types does not guarantee that they will be found in the actual test that will be taken. GL Assessment have also made available via their own website free familiarisation material. You can access the 11+ Familiarisation Materials here.
- Non-verbal reasoning (NVR) familiarisation booklet (pdf / 4 MB)
- Verbal reasoning (VR) familiarisation booklet (pdf / 1 MB)
These booklets are subject to copyright and must not be reproduced, photocopied, sold or distributed in any form or by any means.
These documents are intended as download only and are not in an accessible format. Accessible versions for those who need them can be requested from GL Assessment.
Ripon Grammar School - frequently asked questions
Your child can only take the test once and the test is taken in the academic year in which a child reaches 11 years of age. Exceptionally, younger children may be entered for the tests; however they cannot be retaken if the cut off mark is not reached.
Pupils who do not reach the necessary cut-off mark for entry into year 7 may start their secondary education elsewhere, then if wished, apply to transfer into a selective grammar school for entry into year 8 or later. Please see the information below about changing schools into a selective grammar school.
Applications where parents
- fail to register for the Entrance Test by the deadline, or
- fail to complete the Entrance Test Registration Form properly, or
- fail to report an absence due to illness or provide medical notes by the deadlines, or
- wish to request special arrangements but fail to complete the relevant section of the Entrance Test Registration Form and/or submit the necessary supporting evidence by the deadline.
will not be included for testing before the allocation of school places. Any testing necessary will take place in April the summer term before September admission.
The exception to this is where a late application is made and the family have moved into the catchment area for Ripon Grammar School or because of a serious illness that can be supported by medical evidence.
The selection test is designed to identify whether your child can think a problem through, and to assess their academic potential. The test paper is marked and standardised by GL Assessment. The test is not related to the national curriculum or key stage standard tests (SATs), which assess your child's current level of achievement in national curriculum work and take place much later in the academic year.
Appropriately recruited and trained invigilators supervise and administer the test.
Parents may request special arrangements for their child to complete the selection test, who have a disability or who require special resources, such as those that are put in place by the primary school. This can be done by completing the relevant section of the selection test application form or the reply form for in area pupils. Parents will be asked to outline their child’s disability and/or describe the special resources needed to enable them to sit the test. You should discuss the need for any possible special arrangements with your child’s head teacher. This is because when you let us know that special arrangements may be required, a report is requested from the primary school head teacher. Parents will be required to supply detailed medical evidence to support their request, which, together with the head teacher’s report, will allow the Access Arrangements Panel to consider the matter in full. All requests for special arrangements must be received before the closing date for applying for testing. Failure to notify us and provide the required evidence by midnight on that date will result in the test taking place in April the following year.
Where all the required evidence is received and the Panel are able to make a decision you will be informed in writing by the end of July whether the request has been agreed. Depending on the agreed access arrangements, testing may not take place on the main test day in September.
If no special arrangements are agreed your child will be invited to sit the test on the main test day in September.
Our test procedures are compliant with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.
Parents need to bring:
- the invitation letter
- authorisation from another parent if you are collecting other children; and
- a mobile phone or other number we can contact you on in case your child is unwell or upset.
Children need to bring with them:
- the coloured card with their candidate number, name and room number (this is sent with the invitation letter at the end of August);
- two HB pencils;
- an eraser; and
- a drink and a snack.
Mascots are not allowed in the examination room.
If your child is ill before the test day or you feel it would be inappropriate for them to sit on the arranged day due to a serious issue such as family bereavement, you must contact the admissions team and confirm in writing the reason why your child will not be attending.
If, on the day of the test, you feel it would be inappropriate for your child to take the test due to illness, family bereavement or other serious issue which may affect your child's performance in the selection tests, you must contact the emergency number provided on your letter immediately. You will also be required to confirm the reason for their absence in writing by 5pm on the Monday after the test day.
Following receipt of written confirmation, we will then arrange an alternative test day. This may delay your child's results being provided to you.
If your child is absent on the day of the test without notifying the admissions team or calling the emergency number, they will be withdrawn from testing and alternative arrangements will not be made.
By bringing your child to the test, you are confirming that they are fit and well and there are no serious issues which could prevent them achieving their full potential. If you are unsure whether your individual circumstances fall into this category, please seek advice from the admissions team.
After the marks have been standardised to take into account your child's age, your child's verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning scores are added together to give a total score which is used to determine whether they have reached the cut-off mark.
The results of the Ripon Grammar School selection test is used to find the highest scoring 28 per cent (or as close as possible) of the year 6 cohort who live in the Ripon area. The number of children this percentage figure identifies sets the cut-off mark and the standard which children must reach to be considered as suitable for entry into Ripon Grammar School.
In the last three years the cut-off marks for Ripon Grammar School have been:
Year of entry
No. Even if your child's results meet the standard required, it does not guarantee they will be allocated a place at Ripon Grammar School if the school is oversubscribed.
The usual oversubscription criteria relating to catchment area and other factors will still apply in the case where more children apply for a place than there are places available. Ripon Grammar School, being a community school, adheres to the local authority policies on oversubscription, which you can access here.
Ermysted's Grammar School and Skipton Girls’ High School admissions are decided by the school governors. You can find out about their admissions policies on the school's websites.
If your child does not get a place at their preferred school you have the statutory right to appeal.
We believe that children should be allowed to take the tests under conditions which are as normal as possible, and not face the pressure of extra coaching, but we cannot, of course, prevent it. Some schools do carry out a range of tests for assessment purposes whilst others do not. We do not expect any of our schools to carry out more than one VR or NVR test for each child each year.
The standardised marks for 'off the shelf' tests available in some shops are not comparable with the marks achieved in the tests designed for North Yorkshire.
No. All applications for places at a community school are dealt with in exactly the same way according to the criteria set out here. There is no guarantee that your child will be offered a place at the community school you have named as your highest preference.
You may want your child to transfer to a selective grammar school at a time other than the normal transfer time (the end of year 6), for example if you move into the area when your child is already in secondary education.
If you are applying for an in year school transfer to a selective Grammar School you can find out more about changing schools, and apply online here. In the case of Ripon Grammar School, you should also contact the admissions team to enquire about in year selection testing. For Ermysted’s Grammar School or Skipton Girls' High School, please enquire with the school.
Testing arrangements for pupils in the current year 7 and above are arranged by staff in each of the selective schools. The tests for Ripon Grammar School are curriculum-based tests in English, maths and science. Information regarding these tests, are available from the school.
Your child can be tested only once for a particular year of entry and normally this will be within their chronological age group. We do not recommend that a pupil transfers schools beyond year 10 due to potential differences in the exam boards and the curriculum
Boarding provision at Ripon Grammar School
Ripon Grammar School is a selective school with a boarding facility for up to 100 students. Boarding is either weekly or termly and a boarding fee is required. Any student wishing to board must pass the selection test. A suitability for boarding form will also need completing which is available from the school. There are two separate boarding houses: School House for boys and Johnson House for girls. It is the only state boarding school in Yorkshire and also admits students to the Sixth Form who wish to board.
Each year, there are up to 14 boarding places available in year 7 at Ripon Grammar School. Those applying for boarding places will sit the selection tests in Ripon. Allocation of boarding places is dependent on your child being deemed suitable for a grammar school education via the selection test, and being deemed suitable for boarding using the information on the 'suitability for boarding' form. Boarding and day places will be allocated on national offer day.
It is possible to list both a day and a boarding place, however, each one is considered as a separate preference. If you want your child to be considered for a boarding place, you must stipulate the type of place you want to apply for (that is, weekly, termly, or both) on the common application form.
Residents who do not live in North Yorkshire will need to email in separately stating if a preference is for a boarding place and what type of place.
Day places are offered in accordance with our admissions criteria. The offer of a boarding place cannot be converted into a day place, or the other way round.
The 'suitability for boarding' form is available on the Ripon Grammar School website and will need to be completed prior to an offer of a boarding place being confirmed.
The suitability for boarding form is used to make sure that the school can meet a student's needs in boarding but does not secure the offer of a place (this is done through the selection test and admissions process). You are advised to look around the boarding facility at the school with your child, before applying.
If there are more applications than boarding places available, priority is given as follows:
- looked after children, previously looked after children and children who appear to have been in state care outside of England
- children of members of the UK Armed Forces who qualify for Ministry of Defence financial assistance with the cost of boarding school fees
- children with a 'boarding need'. Children with a boarding need include:
- children at risk or with an unstable home environment and children of service personnel who have died while serving or who have been discharged as a result of attributable injury;
- children of key workers and Crown Servants working abroad, e.g. the children of charity workers, people working for voluntary service organisations, the diplomatic service or the European Union, teachers, law enforcement officers and medical staff working abroad whose work dictates that they spend much of the year overseas.
- applications for termly boarding
- applications for weekly boarding
If there are not enough places for all the children in one of these priority groups, we will give priority first to those with a sibling at the school in the September of year of entry, who live the furthest from the school.
In all cases sibling refers to brother or sister and includes children who lives as brother or sister in the same house including adopted brother or sister, where the child for whom the school place is sought is living in the same family unit at the same address as that sibling then to those living furthest from the school.
You have to pay fees for boarding places which are paid weekly or termly. You can see the current fees here.
Fees are all inclusive except for charges relating to trips and activities.
The fees are subject to change each year, as deemed by the governors.
You are advised that, should you decide to withdraw your child from Ripon Grammar School prior to the completion of their secondary education, you are required to give the authority and the school one term's written notice of that decision. You should also be aware that all boarders will be required to pay a bond, equivalent to 50 per cent of the first term's boarding fee when returning the signed formal acceptance. This bond is returned to you when your child leaves boarding, assuming all due fees have been paid to the school.
It is not possible for a boarding place to be converted to a day place.
We hold separate waiting lists for boarding and day places. If children are refused a day place on National Offer Day they will be placed in the appropriate position on the day place waiting list. If a day place becomes available it is offered to the child at the top of the day place waiting list.
If we receive more than 14 applications for boarding places, children are placed in criteria order on the boarding waiting lists, for either a termly or weekly place, or both. If a boarding place becomes available priority will be given to those children on the termly waiting list.
However, if, on National Offer Day, we have allocated less than 14 boarding places, the remaining places are converted to day places and allocated according to the admissions criteria. Any late boarding applications received after National Offer Day, will take priority over day places when offering from the waiting lists.
If you are considering a boarding place for your child and need more information about boarding at Ripon Grammar School, please contact the Head of Boarding at the school who will organise a visit to view the boarding facilities and to meet boarding staff prior to applying.
Ripon Grammar School
Ermysted's Grammar School and Skipton Girls’ High School
Ermysteds Grammar School arrange and run their own selection tests. Their application process, timescales and deadlines differ to those of Ripon Grammar School. More information and how to apply can be found on the Ermysted's Grammar School website.
You will still need to apply to the authority where you live, for a secondary school place to start in Year 7 by the deadline of 31 October.
Skipton Girls High School is an academy, the school arrange and run their own selection tests. The application process, timescales and deadlines differ to those of Ripon Grammar School. More information and how to apply can be found here Skipton Girls' High School North Yorkshire
You will still need to apply to the authority where you live, for a secondary school place to start in Year 7 by the deadline of 31 October.