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Introduction to Grammar Schools in London

Grammar schools are the only type of secondary state school that selects its students based on their academic ability. All other state schools in London and the UK are comprehensive, meaning they take pupils solely based on their age, and nothing else.

Grammar schools have an entrance exam, called the 11-plus, that students take at the end of primary school and need to pass in order to enroll.

Passing the exam does not guarantee a place – the exam is competitive, meaning places are offered to the children who have faired best compared to the others.

Grammar schools are free, which is why they are so appealing to families in London.

Parents often prepare their children for the 11 plus exam for 2 or 3 years, with private tutoring. Competition is fierce, and once enrolled, children rarely leave a grammar schools. This also means that very few places become available after Year 7, which is the year that the 11 plus exam prepares for.