Grammar School Entrance Examination (11+)

Wirral has a range of selective and non-selective secondary schools. The selective schools administer entrance examinations. Four of the grammar schools use Wirral's co-ordinated entrance examination (11+) as their admissions examination.  The examinations are developed with Durham University and CEM assessment.  The exam is designed to reflect children's school based learning and be tutor resistant.  The examination consists of:

  • non verbal reasoning,
  • verbal reasoning, vocabulary and spelling,
  • mathematics
  • reading and comprehension.  

These were introduced for September 2016.  Prior to that Wirral used GL Verbal Reasoning.

Those schools are:

Calday Grammar School for Boys

West Kirby Grammar School for Girls

Wirral Grammar School for Boys

Wirral Grammar School for Girls

The timetable for parents considering applying for their children to undertake the grammar school entrance examination is:


31st MAY  Deadline for 11+ assessment requests

SEPTEMBER   On-line secondary school application system goes live

Preference forms and booklets available

10th SEPTEMBER 2018  Upton Hall Test (check school website for further information)

17th SEPTEMBER  2018 11+ assessments (check calendar for each year's tests)

21st SEPTEMBER  2018 St Anselms Test (check school website for further information)

OCTOBER  Independent Assessment Board

21 OCTOBER  Results to parents by this date

31 OCTOBER  Deadline for secondary preference forms

24th NOVEMBER Birkenhead High School Academy Test



The 11+ assessment request forms are made available each year from the beginning of May for children in Year 5 who will be applying for secondary school places.  The form will be available from the Wirral Council's admissions portal from May onwards.  Assessment request forms are for parents who want their child to take the 11+ assessment in September. Forms need to be returned to Wirral Local Authority by 31st May.

There are other selective schools in Wirral that administer their own admission examinations and processes.  They are:

Upton Hall Grammar School for girls

St Anselm's Grammar School for boys

Birkenhead High School Academy for girls

Examination dates for these schools are:

Upton Hall - Early September 

St Anselms - Mid September

Birkenhead High School Academy is usually in November.

We support children and families with the admission process for grammar schools.  We do this through:

  • Parents information meeting in May.
  • Providing children with free Year 5 booster sessions in the Summer Term of Year 5.
  • Being a test centre (although this will change in 2019)

The attached power point provides some more information and guidance for families.

There are changes planned for 2019 tests.  Attached letter from heads at Wirral Grammar Schools explains this change. St George's Primary School and other Wallasey Primary Schools did not vote to support this change.  We hope to have clarity on how these changes affect families by May 2019.

We have also attached:

  • An example paper from another borough. Remember that the format will change very year.
  • Letter from CEM regarding tests.
  • Wirral Council's Familiarisation booklet (we will work through this at school).

Files to Download

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