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Grammar Schools in Essex: Complete Guide

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

About Essex Grammar Schools

Making the right choice between different grammar schools can be a tough decision for parents. Whilst all grammar schools offer great starts for children, it is often difficult to find comprehensive information concerning the different schools available and the best options for your children out there.

This guide aims to provide clear and concise information regarding the ten grammar schools in Essex. This includes general information, information concerning the tests followed by key details about each school including statistics, facilities, results, and Ofsted reviews.

In the coming sections of this article, the below listed key terms mean the following:

  • CAF: Common Application Form, the form you must submit to your local authority listing the schools of your choice in order of preference 
  • PAN: Published Admission Number, the number of places available for year 7 entry in 2024 at 11 plus (11+) level
  • EHCP: Education, Health and Care Plan, legal document that describes a person’s special educational needs
  • Pupil Premium: a grant that improves educational outcomes for disadvantaged pupils
  • PLAC: (previously) looked after children
  • SEN: statement of Special Educational Needs

Key information for 2024 entry into Essex Grammar Schools at 11 plus (11+)

The information provided below refers to the nine grammar schools in the Consortium of Selective Schools in Essex (CSSE). Chelmsford County High School for Girls, which is the only Essex grammar school not in a consortium, has its own admissions process including a separate entrance exam which will be covered later in the article.

Important dates:

  • Exam date & type: 23 September 2023, CSSE
  • Outside borough exam date: Within 1 week of exam date (approx.)
  • Results: 16 October 2023, sent by post
  • CAF deadline & local authority: 31 October 2023, through the local authority, Essex County Council
  • National school offer day: 1 March 2024
 

Admissions information:

  • Scoring: Each papers scores are standardised & weighted (50% of total marks) then age-standardised, qualifying score: 303
  • Eligibility criteria: Year 6, within the cut-off distance
  • Appeals: by an independent panel
  • Admission Contact details: 01245 348257, [email protected], www.csse.org.uk 

Schools information:

  • Consortium: The Consortium of Selective Schools in Essex
  • Included schools: King Edward VI Grammar School, Colchester County High School for Girls, Southend High School for Girls, Southend High School for Boys, Westcliff High School for Girls, Westcliff High School for Boys, St Bernard’s High School (for Girls), St Thomas More High School, Shoeburyness High School

Exam format for the Essex Grammar School 11 plus (11+) entrance exam

For Essex based grammar schools, students must take the CSSE 11 plus (11+) test; only one entrance test is required for entrance into Essex grammar schools.

This entrance test is composed of two papers each lasting approximately 2 hours (1 hour per paper, with ten minutes given to read the extract in the English paper); there is a mixture of multiple-choice and standard format questions.

These papers, which are produced by CSSE, will test the following areas:

  • English – questions are based on the KS2 curriculum, comprises two sections
    • Section 1: answering questions based off an extract of poetry or prose, could include verbal reasoning (word-based problem-solving) questions,
    • Section 2: prompt-based creative writing task assessing SPAG, vocabulary, structure, and uniqueness

 

  • Maths – questions are based on the KS2 curriculum, arithmetic & number-based problem-solving questions

King Edward VI Grammar School

King Edward VI Grammar school building
Image property of King Edward VI Grammar School, kegs.org.uk

School type: Boys’ selective grammar school with academy status

Number of pupils: 1121

Ages: 11-18

PAN: 150

The Sunday Times Parent Power National Rank: 8

Headteacher: Tom Carter

Address: Broomfield Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 3SX

Open events: see updates on the school website’s Open Day Event page.

Priority area: 12.5 miles from the school, map available via school’s website here

Priority criteria: boys who achieve the qualifying score, named the school as a preference on their CAF & with no offers from another school that marked a higher preference for on their CAF (150 places), in the case of oversubscription: (scores are then standardised & ranked) boys who live in the priority area (120 places including 8 places for Pupil Premium receiving boys or PLAC with a standardised score of minimum 340), & highest-performing boys no matter where they live (30 places including 2 places for Pupil Premium receiving boys or PLAC with a standardised score of minimum 368).

Facilities: Sports hall with 5 badminton courts, dance studio, playing fields at Bedford Fields (including 5 rugby pitches, 5 football pitches, 2 cricket squares, 2 artificial wickets, athletics track & 2 hockey pitches), 4 tennis courts

2022 Results: GCSE: 93.8% of students achieved grades 9-7, A Level: 93.3% students achieved grades A*-B

Ofsted ranking: Outstanding

School’s Contact details: 01245 35 35 10, [email protected], www.kegs.org.uk

Colchester County High School for Girls

Colchester County High 1
Image property of Colchester County High School for Girls, facebook.com/colchestergirls

School type: Girls’ selective grammar school with academy status

Number of pupils: 1129

Ages: 11-18

PAN: 192

The Sunday Times Parent Power National Rank: 19

Headteacher: Gillian Marshall

Address: Norman Way, Colchester, Essex, CO3 3US

Open events: see updates on the school website’s Year 7 Admissions page

Catchment/Priority area: There is no catchment or priority area

Priority criteria: PLAC who scored 320 or above, highest scoring Pupil Premium receiving candidates who scored 320 or above (20 places), highest scoring candidates in rank order of merit.

Facilities: Sports hall, science laboratories, lecture theatre, IT suite

2022 Results: GCSE: 94% of students achieved grades 9-7, A Level: 86.8% students achieved grades A*-B

Ofsted ranking: Outstanding

School’s Contact details: 01206 576973, [email protected], www.cchsg.com 

Southend High School for Girls

Southend High School for Girls school building
Image property of Southend High School for Girls, shsg.org

School type: Girls’ selective grammar school with academy status

Number of pupils: 1152

Ages: 11-18

PAN: 180

The Sunday Times Parent Power National Rank: 74

Headteacher: Jason Carey

Address: Southchurch Boulevard, Southend-on-Sea, SS2 4UZ

Open event: see updates on the school website. 

Priority area: SS0-9 postcodes

Priority criteria: All of the following must have achieved the pass mark or higher: PLAC, children living in the priority area, children who live outside the priority area & are eligible for special consideration, children who live outside the priority area.

Facilities: sports hall, playing fields, athletics track, design/technology & art studios 

2022 Results: GCSE: 75.3% of students achieved grades 9-7, A Level: 79.6% students achieved grades A*-B

Ofsted ranking: Outstanding

School’s Contact details: 01702 588852, [email protected], www.shsg.org

Southend High School for Boys

Southend High School for Boys school building
Image property of Ricci Fothergill, essexlive.news

School type: Boys’ selective grammar school

Number of pupils: 1317

Ages: 11-18

PAN: 180

The Sunday Times Parent Power National Rank: 60

Headteacher: Robin Bevan

Address: Prittlewell Chase, Southend-on-Sea, SS0 0RG

Open event: see updates on the school website.

Priority area: SS0-9 postcodes

Priority criteria: 150 places for children who pass the exam & live in the priority area, 10% places (15 within priority area, 3 outside priority area) for PLAC/Pupil Premium students who exceed the qualifying score.

Facilities: sports hall, language labs, playing fields

2022 Results: GCSE: 77% of students achieved grades 9-7, A Level: 84% students achieved grades A*-B

Ofsted ranking: Outstanding

School’s Contact details: 01702 606200, [email protected], www.shsb.org.uk

Westcliff High School for Girls

Westcliff High School for Girls
Image property of Westcliff High School for Girls, facebook/WHSG1920

School type: Girls’ selective grammar school with academy status

Number of pupils: 1,269

Ages: 11-18

PAN: 184

The Sunday Times Parent Power National Rank: 62

Headteacher: Emma Matthews

Address: Kenilworth Gardens, Westcliff-On-Sea, 220 0BS

Open event: see updates on the school website.

Priority area: SS0-9 postcodes

Priority criteria: All of the following must have passed the exam: PLAC, 147 places for children living within the school’s priority area with preferential consideration (15 places max.) & children living within the school’s priority area, children living outside the school’s priority area with preferential consideration (4 places max.), children living outside the school’s priority area.

Facilities: sports hall, field

2022 Results: GCSE: 81.9% of students achieved grades 9-7, A Level: 81.1% students achieved grades A*-B

Ofsted ranking: Outstanding

School’s Contact details: 01702 476 026, [email protected], www.whsg.info

Westcliff High School for Boys

Westcliff High School for Boys
Image property of Westcliff High School for Boys, whsb.essex.sch.uk

School type: Boys’ selective grammar school with academy status

Number of pupils: 1,300

Ages: 11-18

PAN: 185

The Sunday Times Parent Power National Rank: 53

Headteacher: Michael Skelly

Address: Kenilworth Gardens, Westcliff-on-Sea, SS0 0BP

Open event: see updates on the school website’s Year 7 Entrants page, there is also a virtual tour.

Priority area: SS0-9 postcodes

Priority criteria: All of the following must have passed the exam: PLAC, children living within the school’s priority area (80% of places) with preferential consideration (15 places max.), children living outside the school’s priority area (4 places max. for children entitled to preferential consideration) and who have exceeded the pass mark (in rank order).

Facilities: fitness suite, athletics area, full-court multi-purpose sports hall, rugby/football pitches, cricket squares 

2022 Results: GCSE: 82.2% of students achieved grades 9-7, A Level: 83.1% students achieved grades A*-B

Ofsted ranking: Outstanding

School’s Contact details: 01702 475443, [email protected], www.whsb.essex.sch.uk

St Bernard’s High School (for Girls)

St Bernards High
Image property of Linta Mohan, google.com

School type: Girls’ selective grammar school

Number of pupils: 970

Ages: 11-18

PAN: 175 (63 selective)

Headteacher: Allison Moise-Dixon

Address: Milton Road, Westcliff-on-Sea, SS0 7JS

Open event: see updates on their school website.

Priority area: Priority area map here

Priority criteria: 63 places for candidates who passed the exam and live within the school’s priority area, priority is given to Catholic children with a supporting Certificate of Catholic Practise from their Parish Priest, who are in in public care, with a sibling at SBHS or St Thomas More High School, who live closest to the school by straight-line distance from their home to the school.

2022 Results: GCSE: 59.75% of students achieved grade 8 or above, A Level: 51% students achieved grades A*-B

Ofsted ranking: Good

School’s Contact details: 01702 344933, [email protected] , www.stbernardswestcliff.org.uk

St Thomas More High School

St Thomas More High
Image property of Google Maps, google.com/maps

School type: Boys’ selective grammar school with a co-ed Sixth Form & academy status

Number of pupils: 550

Ages: 11-18

PAN: 180 (30 selective)

Headteacher: Gemma Ackred

Address: Kenilworth Gardens, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, SS0 0BW

Open event: see updates on the school website.  

Catchment area: SS0-9 postcodes

Priority criteria: 30 places for candidates who passed the exam and live within the school’s priority area, oversubscription priority criteria: PLAC from Catholic families, baptised & practising Catholic boys living in the parishes of Our Lady of Lourdes, Leigh on Sea, St. Helen’s, Westcliff on Sea, Sacred Heart, Southend on Sea, St. Georges, Shoebury, St. Peter’s, Eastwood, St. John Fisher, Prittlewell, St. Teresa’s, Rochford, Holy Family, South Benfleet, Our Lady of Ransom, Rayleigh and Our Lady of Canvey, & Canvey Island, other baptised & practising Catholic boys, baptised Catholic boys, Other PLAC, practising Christian boys attending Catholic primary schools (priority is given to candidates with applications supported by their Minister), practising Catholic boys (priority is given to candidates with applications supported by their Minister), families who desire a Catholic education for their son.

Ofsted ranking: Good

School’s Contact details: 01702 344933, [email protected], www.st-thomasmore.southend.sch.uk

Shoeburyness High School

Shoeburyness High school building
Image property of Rose Childs, google.com

School type: Selective grammar school with academy status

Number of pupils: 1,770

Ages: 11-18

PAN: 310 (31 selective places)

Headteacher: Teri-Leigh Jones

Address: Caulfield Road, Shoeburyness, SS3 9LL

Open event: September 2023

Priority area: Shoeburyness and the surrounding area, map via school website

Priority criteria: Candidates with a SEN or EHCP, oversubscription criteria: PLAC, candidates who pass the exam & live within the priority area (31 places max.), candidates who achieved a borderline mark (scores of 295-303) & live within the priority area, candidates who live within the priority area & have a sibling at the school, candidates currently attending one of the following feeder schools: Bournes Green Junior, Friars Primary, Hinguar Primary, Richmond Avenue Primary, St George’s Catholic Primary & Thorpedene Primary, candidates living outside the priority area.

Facilities: Grass pitches for softball, rounders, football, cricket, & rugby, sports hall 

2022 Results: GCSE: 33% of students achieved grades 9-5

Ofsted ranking: Good

School’s Contact details: 01702 292286, [email protected], www.shoeburyness.secat.co.uk

Chelmsford County High School for Girls

Chelmsford County High
Image property of Mike Downes, google.com

Registration deadline & portal: 23 June 2023 (4pm), register for a passcode to kickstart this process here

Exam date & type: FSCE (Future Stories Community Enterprise)

Scoring: age-standardised, no set pass mark, eligible score set after exams are completed

School type: Girls’ selective grammar school

Number of pupils: 1115

Ages: 11-18

PAN: 180

The Sunday Times Parent Power National Rank: 17

Headteacher: Stephen Lawlor

Address: Broomfield Road, Chelmsford, CM1 1RW

Open event: virtual open evening

Priority/Catchment area: 12.5 miles from the school in a straight-line distance from the school to the candidate’s home address

Priority criteria: Candidates who meet eligible score, oversubscription priority criteria: PLAC, candidates with EHCP, Pupil Premium receiving students who live within the priority area (30 places max.), candidates who live within the priority area (114 places max.), candidates in rank order of score (36 places max.).

Facilities: gymnasium, main hall, dining hall, swimming pool 

2022 Results: GCSE: 95.45% of students achieved grades 9-7, A Level: 86.35% students achieved grades A*-B

Ofsted ranking: Outstanding

School’s Contact details: 01245 352592, [email protected], www.cchs.co.uk

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