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Entrance criteria and school links

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Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School and the 11plus in Lancashire

Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School

BRGS is a designated grammar school primarily for children who attend primary schools in Bacup, Rawtenstall and the surrounding areas.


As a grammar school, the entire intake is selected on the basis of high academic ability.

We admit up to 180 students each year, based on their performance in our entrance examination, which is held each September. We hold an open evening each June to give parents and potential students the chance to look around the school before applying to sit our entrance examination. 

Children must pass the entrance exam in order to be considered for a place. However, passing the examination is not a guarantee of a place due to our over-subscription criterion.


Last reviewed: November 2020, for admission to school in September 2022.

As an academy, the Academy Trust of Bacup & Rawtenstall Grammar School (BRGS) is the Admissions Authority. This admissions policy adheres to the requirements and guidelines of the Schools Admissions Code (2014).

Our published admission number (PAN) is 180. As a designated Grammar School we are able to select our entire intake on the basis of high academic ability. As such, we do not have to fill all of our places if applicants have not reached the required standard within our selection procedure.

The selection procedure is the entrance examination, held on site at the school. Passing the entrance examination is not a guarantee of a place due to the application of our over subscription criteria. Any pupil in his or her last year of primary school and who will have reached the age of 11 years (but not 12 years) by the 31st of August in the year of entry, is eligible to sit.


Where a child does not meet these age criteria but there is a request for admission out of the normal age group parents should contact school directly to discuss the particular circumstances (School Admissions Code 2014, section 2.17).

The structure of the entrance examination will be published in our entrance examination guide to parents (“The Blue Book”) by the beginning of the summer term each year.

The admissions authority determines that Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School is established primarily for the education of children attending Rossendale schools.


Our admissions policy prioritises children from Rossendale primary schools (Area 1 and 2 schools below).

List of Schools in Area 1

Balladen Primary, Rawtenstall
Britannia Community Primary, Bacup
Constable Lee St. Paul’s CE Primary, Rawtenstall
Crawshawbooth Primary, Crawshawbooth
Holy Trinity CE Primary, Stacksteads
Newchurch CE Primary, Newchurch
Northern Primary, Bacup
Sharneyford Primary, Bacup
St. Anne’s Edgeside CE, Waterfoot
St. James the Less RC Primary, Rawtenstall
St. Joseph’s RC Primary, Stacksteads
St. Mary’s CE Primary, Rawtenstall
St. Mary’s RC Primary, Bacup
St. Peter’s RC Primary, Newchurch
St. Saviour’s Community Primary, Bacup
Thorn Primary, Bacup
Water Primary, Water
Waterfoot Primary, Waterfoot

List of Schools in Area 2

Broadway Primary, Haslingden
Edenfield CE, Edenfield
Haslingden Primary, Haslingden
Helmshore Primary, Helmshore
Our Lady & St Anselm’s RC Primary, Whitworth
St. Batholomew’s CE Primary, Whitworth
St. James CE Primary, Haslingden
St. John’s Stonefold CE Primary, Accrington
St. John with St. Michael CE Primary, Shawforth
St. Mary’s RC Primary, Haslingden
St. Veronica’s RC Primary, Helmshore
Stubbins Primary, Stubbins
Tonacliffe Primary, Whitworth


We will allocate a place to any child with an Education, Health and Care Plan that names this school, provided the child has reached the required standard within our selection procedure.

We will then allocate places to children who have met the required standard in the following way, applying our oversubscription criteria where necessary.

In line with the DFE School Admission Code of Practice, priority in allocation of places will be given to looked after children and previously looked after children, and then to:


  1.    pupils attending Area 1 primary schools (ranked in order of overall entrance examination mark)

  2.    pupils attending Area 2 primary schools (ranked in order of overall entrance examination mark)

  3.    pupils not attending Area 1 or 2 primary schools (ranked in order of overall entrance examination mark).


For the purposes of this policy, attendance at an Area 1 or 2 primary school is defined as being for the duration of year 6, as a minimum. Attention is drawn to sections 2.12 and 2.13 of the School Admissions Code (2014) relating to the withdrawal of places following fraudulent or misleading applications.

Where two (or more) pupils have the same ranking, and there are not enough places remaining for them all, then the proximity of their home address to the school is considered, those living nearest to school being given priority. This distance is measured using the postal address of the school, in a direct line to the actual address for the child’s home. The child’s address must be the current one at the time of application – this will normally be the one where the child wakes up for the majority of Monday to Friday mornings.


Should this measure not differentiate sufficiently then the proximity of the children’s primary schools will be measured in a similar fashion. The child attending the nearest primary school will be given priority.

When the published admission number is reached, pupils will be placed on a waiting list; this is maintained until the end of December of the admission year. This waiting list will be ranked in the manner indicated above for the allocation of places.


The rejection of a place following LA offers (March onwards) means the applicant no longer wishes to maintain their application to BRGS in the current round. Any places that subsequently become available due to the rejection of initial offers from the LA will be allocated to the highest ranked pupils on our waiting list.


BRGS operates its admission appeals under the guidance contained in the DFE’s Code of Practice for School Admission appeals. This Code of Practice is based on legislation in the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 and is about ensuring that the appeal system is as open, fair and effective as possible. As an academy, the Academy Trust of BRGS is the admissions authority for the school and tells the LA which candidates it is prepared to offer a place to.

All applicants have a right to appeal. Appeals may be made following the allocation of places by the LA in March. We are unable to enter into any discussion relating to appeals until this point. All communications relating to appeals must be in writing.

The Appeals Panel which will hear any appeals is independent of the admissions authority and its
decision is binding. Formal appeals documentation will be sent to parents whose children are not
offered places at BRGS, upon a request, in writing. 


An in-year admission describes the transfer of a pupil into BRGS from another secondary school. This is normally into years  8 – 10, or for year 7 from January onwards (we are required to maintain our year 7 waiting list up until the end of December, at the very least). BRGS will only consider applications to the age-appropriate year group for the student.

Parents who wish to transfer their child from another school into BRGS should complete our online, in-year application form, found on our web-site. Upon receipt of an application form your child will be placed on our in-year applications list until a place in the relevant year group becomes available. Until a place is available, the school will be unable to progress the matter any further.

Parents have the right to appeal against this decision. All appeals must be made in writing.

Where a place is available, an age-appropriate entrance examination will be prepared and pupils on the in-year applications list will be invited to sit it.

Parents who have already made an application for admission into year 7 (at the start of the academic year) may not make a second application within the next twelve months. The children of parents who have made an in-year application may sit more than one in-year entrance examination within one year, subject to places being available.

Pupils have to reach the appropriate standard in order to be considered for a place.


Where more pupils pass the examination than there are places the allocation will be prioritised as follows:

  1.  children who are looked after or who have been previously looked after

  2.  children who have a Statement of Special Educational Needs/Education Health and CarePlan

  3.  the candidate(s) with the highest mark, when placed in rank order

The successful candidate(s) will normally be expected to take up the place within the following twoweeks. If they are unable to do so, the place(s) will be offered to the next candidate(s) on the list who has reached the required standard.

All applicants have a right to appeal this process. Formal appeals documentation will be sent to
parents, upon request. All communications relating to appeals should be in writing. 

Read detailed admissions criteria here.

School website

Further Information​ - Your child’s Head Teacher will be able to answer most questions.


** This information is provided for guidance only and while the content is, to the best of our knowledge, accurate we cannot be held in any way responsible for any errors or omissions that it may contain. Please contact your LA or chosen grammar school for all admission and elevenplus exam queries.**

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