Senior Schools Admissions

Entry into our Senior Schools is highly competitive, with around half of our pupils coming from BGS Junior Schools at 11+ and around half from other schools.

This makes for the perfect mix of pupils from different backgrounds, all of whom have one very important thing in common: a thirst for learning. We understand that pupils joining us from other schools will have had different learning experiences as juniors and we are looking for potential as well as the ability to thrive within the fast-paced learning environment of our Senior Grammar Schools.

Pupils who join BGS Juniors at or before the beginning of Year 5 are not required to sit the 11+ entrance examination since we are confident that the quality of education offered in our Junior Schools means they will be well prepared for the pace and standard of learning expected in our high-performing Senior Schools.

We warmly welcome all families to BGS who are considering applying for their child to join us, and the Heads will always be keen to meet with prospective parents and pupils to discuss your future aspirations. This is the beginning of the vital home-school partnership which is at the heart of our ethos.

Please note: The Entrance Exam date for 2020 Senior School entries is Thursday 23 January 2020.

 Entry at 11+

Please find some Frequently Asked Questions, along with some answers, below; we hope you will find these helpful.

Q - What form does the entrance exam take?

A - There are three papers: English paper, Maths paper and Verbal Reasoning paper.

Q - How should pupils prepare?

A - By doing their best at school and doing some of the practice papers we provide. No tuition is needed.

Q - What is the school looking for?

A - Ability and potential.

Q - Is the school oversubscribed?

A - Very much so – there is great competition for places and numbers sitting the entrance exam have risen significantly in recent years. Unfortunately we only have 30-40 places for external applicants and have to turn pupils away every year.

Q - Is the entrance exam the only part of the process?

A - No, this is extremely important, but so is the interview. We only wish to admit pupils and families whom we feel understand and fully support the BGS ethos and will enter into a positive partnership with the school. We will not admit pupils whom we believe will not benefit from the education we offer.

Q - What are scholarships?

A - Scholarships may be awarded for: Maths, English, Music, Sport, Science, Art, or in other subjects in which pupils show genuine ability, potential and interest. There are two scholarships available in each discipline: one for an externally admitted pupil and one for a BGS Junior.

Scholarships are a prestigious recognition of potential and carry a small monetary award. If a parent feels their child may be deserving of a scholarship, they should signal this during the admissions process.

Please click here for more information about scholarships.

 What are bursaries?

These are means tested awards for extremely bright pupils whose families may be unable to pay the school fees. Parents who wish to know more should see the Bursar’s team or click here for more information.

The School has always regarded it as important to maintain as broad a social mix as possible by means of Governors’ Awards. These are funded from the School’s own Bursary Fund and the number who can be assisted each year depends upon the level of assistance required.

Pupils in need of financial assistance are offered an Award in strict order of academic merit in the Entrance Examination, the award varying on a sliding scale according to individual financial circumstances.

Q - Do we contact your child's current school?

A - Yes, a reference is requested from the child’s current Headteacher.

It is the School’s policy that any pupil meeting the necessary standard of entry as defined in terms of academic achievement in the Entrance Examination and performance at interview should be offered a place, regardless of ethnic background, religion or financial circumstances.

Q - Is BGS a member of the Manchester Consortium?

A - Yes, we are a member of the Manchester Consortium and along with all other member schools will issue offers of places on the same day. All decisions whether or not to award a place are final; individual marks and places in the Entrance Examination are not released.

 Entry into Years 8 and 9

We are happy to accept applications from pupils for places mid schooling and would encourage you to contact our Admissions Team if you are considering this. There is a waiting list in each year group.

Applicants are normally tested in Mathematics, English, Science and a Modern Language, but discussion with the Headteacher/Head of Admissions will clarify this.

No bursaries are available for intermediate entry.

To apply for a place, download and complete the application form below and return it via email to or by post to: Admissions Office, Bury Grammar Schools, Bridge Road, Bury, Lancashire, BL9 0HH.

Application Form

We will then contact you to arrange an assessment for your child.

Alternatively, register your interest by filling out the Enquiry Form on this page.