Consultation on Admissions Policies for entry in September 2023

 In line with the national School Admissions Code, the Halifax Grammar Schools consulted on changes to their admissions policies starting on the 15th December 2021 and ending on 26th January 2022.

The Halifax Grammar Schools considered the responses received from stakeholders and the following admissions policies have been determined by the admissions authorities for both schools.

Link to CHS Policy

Link to NHGS Policy

Students wishing to join the school in Year 7 are required to sit the joint NHGS/CHS admissions tests in September during Year 6 at primary school.  The tests comprise four elements across two tests:

  • English and Verbal Reasoning
  • Maths and Non Verbal Reasoning

The tests will be answered on optical mark reader sheets.

Updated familiarisation resources are available from G L Assessment (see link) who are the providers of the tests.

The test length on the familiarisation materials is not indicative of the length of the actual tests. They are intended for familiarisation only.

We would love to give a place to everyone who wants to come to The Crossley Heath School but sadly that isn’t possible. We admit 180 pupils per year into Year 7, and these places are awarded strictly in line with the terms of our admissions policy which you can download from this page.

Entry to the school will be determined by academic ability and attainment as identified by admissions exam which will be a test of ability – irrespective of sex, race or disability.

Admissions Test

Parents need to register their child to sit the admissions test (please note, an application to sit the test is not an application to attend the school – refer to your local authority’s website for information on applying to secondary schools) . We operate a joint registration and admissions process with North Halifax Grammar School, and registration forms for the test can be accessed from both schools and their websites.

Timetable for Admissions in September 2023

Friday 1st April Parents can register their child for the admissions test by completing the Online Registration Form on either of the school websites or by requesting a hard copy of the form and sending it back to the school.

Online applications will be acknowledged.

Postal applications will require a stamped addressed envelope for acknowledgement.
Tuesday 21 June The Crossley Heath School Open Evening
Thursday 23 June North Halifax Grammar School Open Evening
Friday 1 July

Registration deadline for the admissions tests.

Monday 12 SeptemberParents will have received information about the venue and timetable for the admissions tests.
Saturday 24 SeptemberAdmissions tests at North Halifax Grammar Schools and The Crossley Heath School.
Saturday 22 OctoberParents will have received the results of the admissions tests (including the overall score and position in the order of merit) but this will not constitute an offer of a place.
Monday 31 OctoberDeadline for the submission of the The Online Common Application Form (CAF) to Calderdale Local Authority and neighbouring Local Authorities. Either or both of the grammar schools must be included as one of the five preferences to be considered for a place at the grammar school(s).
Wednesday 1 MarchOffer of a place at a secondary school distributed to parents by the home Local Authority.
Wednesday 15 MarchDeadline for lodging an appeal against the non-offer of a place at a school which was included as a preference on the CAF and requests for re-allocation.

Casual Vacancies Yrs 7 – 11

The Governors are pleased to accept applications on behalf of young people for places in the first five years of the school (Years 7-11 of the National Curriculum). Vacancies do become available from time to time for a variety of reasons. However, there is rarely an immediate vacancy and therefore the names of applicants are placed on a waiting list.

When a vacancy occurs, applicants are contacted and invited to attend a test. The vacant place will be offered to the candidate who demonstrates the ability and aptitude to allow them to be a success at the school.

Parents of pupils who are unsuccessful may ask for their son/daughter to remain on the list to be considered for entry in the following academic year should a vacancy arise. Students will not automatically be left on the list and will be removed at the end of the academic year, unless a request is made to remain on the list. Students will be allowed only one attempt at the test in any given academic year to a maximum of two attempts in total.

Please note that it is the parents’ responsibility to ensure all information is up to date including change of address and any changes should be communicated to Sarah Elder, Administrative Assistant,

The school currently operates an option system at the end of year 8 and any decision to accept a student will be dependent on whether or not their curriculum needs can be appropriately met by the school. Teacher assessment levels in Maths, English and Science will also be taken into account.

Applicants who sat the 11+ entrance exam and were successful, but were not allocated a place due to over subscription are placed on a waiting list and priority is given to these candidates in the event of a vacancy in the first term. After this time those who wish to still be considered must complete an application form and return to school.

Please complete the Application for Casual Vacancies Yrs 7 – 11 form and return if you wish to proceed with an application.

Entrance Exam Frequently Asked Questions for entry September 2022

How do I apply to sit the entrance exam?
All applications must be made online through CHS or NHGS websites before the advertised deadline.

When do I need to apply for the entrance exam?
The registration process is open and the closing date is Friday 1 July 2022. All applications must be made online using the online application procedure on the Halifax Grammar Schools’ websites. If you do not have access to the website contact the school office.

Is there a fee?
No. There is no charge for the exam and neither school operates a fee paying system upon entry.

When is the entrance exam date?
This year the entrance exam will take place on Saturday 24 September 2022. All applicants will be sent a letter confirming the specific timings for the day.

Is there a pre-test my child can sit?
The schools do not organise a pre-test. You will be notified of your child’s result by Saturday 22 October 2022. Your result will give you an indication of whether or not to place the Halifax Grammar Schools as a choice on the Local Authority’s common preference form (CAF) which has to be completed by Monday 31 October 2022.

What does the entrance exam consist of?
For 2022 there are four parts to the entrance exam: English, Mathematics, Non Verbal Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning.

Does it matter where I live, whether I have siblings in school or whether I am in receipt of pupil premium?
Location is not considered as we have no catchment area and take applications from all over the country. All places are offered strictly according to the order of merit your child achieves and in accordance with the admission’s policy for allocation and over-subscription.

Please refer to the individual grammar schools’ admission policies with regard to siblings. Parents of children in receipt of free school meals/pupil premium should ensure they identify this on the online application form and provide evidence to the Halifax Grammar Schools before the test date. The evidence should be in the form of a letter from the Local Authority confirming that your child is in receipt of FSM/PP entitlement.

When will I hear that I have been entered for the exam?
All applications received will be sent a confirmation email registering their intent to sit the exam.  By Monday 12 September 2022 you will have been sent a letter containing full details of the test day and confirming where your child will be sitting the exam.

If my child requires Access Arrangements how do I request this?

You will need to indicate the access arrangement request on the application form and the SENCO from the grammar school. where your child will be sitting the test, will contact you before the end of the summer term to confirm any agreed arrangements.

Why is my child sitting the test at North Halifax Grammar School when my first choice is Crossley Heath School?
It makes no difference where your child sits the entrance exam. We house the children according to postcodes where we can. Due to the large number of applications we have to balance the numbers to ensure supervision requirements are met.

How many children sit the exam each year?
On average approximately 1200 children sit the exam each year.

What if my child is ill on the day of the exam?
If you think your child is feeling unwell leading up to the exam day, and subsequently is too ill to perform their best on the day, it is your responsibility, as parent/carer, to make the decision as to whether or not to allow them to sit the exam. If you allow your child to sit the exam and they are unable to perform to their best ability, you do so at your own risk as there is no opportunity for a re-test. Should your child suffer an injury prior to the test date that may affect their performance please contact the school to discuss suitable arrangements.

If my child misses the exam through illness what do I need to do?
If your child misses the exam through illness, it is the parent’s/carer’s responsibility to provide a doctor’s letter/certificate confirming the illness to the school where the child was due to sit the exam. This document must arrive within 7 days of the exam date. On receipt of this letter your child may be entered for a supplementary exam which usually takes place a couple of weeks later.

Will my child be disadvantaged by sitting the supplementary exam?
No. All children who sit the supplementary exam receive the same consideration. The order of merit for all candidates is determined after the supplementary test. It is worth noting that, should there be any subsequent supplementary test once the results have been issued after 22 October 2022, the order of merit may be affected.

When will I hear if my child has got a place?
All children who sit the exam will be sent a letter approximately two weeks after the exam date which will confirm their position in the order of merit. Please refer to our timeline on our website. The order of merit is not a confirmation of a place due to the fact that the supplementary exam has to take place which could result in changes to your child’s position.

What is the pass mark?
There is no pass mark for the entrance exam. Places are allocated to the two schools according to the order of merit and in accordance with the admission policy for allocation and over-subscription.

What do I do once I have received my child’s result?
When you receive your letter stating the order of merit, if your child has an order of merit within     1-500 they are suitable for a place at either of the Halifax Grammar Schools. You must then complete your Local Authority’s online Common Application Form (CAF), by their closing date of Monday 31 October 2022, in order to be considered further. If you wish to be considered for both of the Halifax Grammar Schools you must place both on the CAF. You must place your preferred grammar school as your first preference.  If the CAF is incorrectly preferenced you may risk losing a place offered at the Halifax Grammar Schools regardless of the order of merit achieved.

What happens to those children whose order of merit is between 360 – 500?
There are 180 places available in Year 7 in each of the Halifax Grammar Schools, totalling 360 across the two schools. Children within the order of merit 361-500 would be suitable for a place if one became available. Places allocated beyond 360 are dependent upon the preferences made on the CAF by parents/carers of those children who are between 1 – 360 in the order of merit. This could be due to a child declining a place offered, or due to an incorrectly completed CAF.

When should I expect to receive final confirmation of the place offered?
All places are offered out on Wednesday 1 March 2023 by the Local Authority according to the preferences made on the CAF. Places are offered at both Halifax Grammar Schools strictly on order of merit and in accordance with the allocation and over-subscription criteria in the Admission Policy.

What if my child is not offered a place at the Halifax Grammar Schools on 1st March?
When you receive your letter from your Local Authority confirming the school your child has been offered, if it is not what you expected, and you came within 1-500, then you are able to apply for reallocation. Reallocation is a system run by the Local Authority which enables them to keep you on their waiting list to be considered should a place become available at either of the Halifax Grammar Schools. Please contact your Local Authority should you need any further information about the reallocation process.

What happens if my highest preference on my CAF was Crossley Heath and I was allocated my second preference of North Halifax Grammar? Could my child still be considered for Crossley Heath?
If you are not allocated your first preference on 1 March 2023 there is a possibility of being offered your first preference, however your child will still have to be within the 1-500 order of merit. You would need to apply to your Local Authority through their route of reallocation. If you were offered your second preference and went through reallocation to be considered for your first preference, then you would not have to decline the place offered because it is a lower preference. If at the end of the reallocation process a place did not become available, you would revert to the original second preferenced place offered.

If my child is not offered a place at one of the Halifax Grammar Schools then will my other lower preferenced school place be compromised?
Local Authorities allocate places according to order of preference. If your child did not achieve the required standard for the Halifax Grammar Schools and they were your first and second preferences, the Local Authority would then allocate your child the lower preferenced school, if you matched their admission criteria. Your lower preferenced school then becomes your highest preference. You would need to apply to your Local Authority through their route of reallocation to be considered for one or more of your higher preferences should a place become available. You would not need to decline your lower preference.

It is worth noting, if you placed an alternative choice of school on your CAF as your first preference, and the Halifax Grammar Schools as your lower preferences and you matched that first preferenced school’s admission criteria, the Local Authority would allocate your first preference to your child as it is your highest preference on the CAF. This is regardless of whether you qualified for a place at either of the Halifax Grammar Schools because you had listed the grammar schools as lower preferences on your CAF.

Can I appeal if my child is not offered a place?
All parents have the right to an appeal. You are unable to appeal solely on the grounds of not being offered a place simply because we only have 360 places available across the two schools. If you feel that you have grounds for an appeal the details of the process are provided in your confirmation letter which you receive in March from your Local Authority.

Consultation FAQ’s
Please refer to the Consultation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document below for responses to questions raised by stakeholders in response to the consultation.
Link to Consultation Frequently Asked Questions