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Bishop Vesey's Grammar School 11 plus: a parents' guide for 2022

School guides

Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School, or BVGS, was founded in 1527 by the Bishop of Exeter John Vesey, a friend of Henry VIII and tutor of his eldest daughter Queen Mary I. This top-50 state school is one of the oldest schools in Britain. It is an academy for boys aged 11-16 years with a co-educational sixth form. The school is part of the Grammar Schools of Birmingham Consortium.

In 2019, 73% of students gained grades 7, 8 or 9 (A* or A) in their GCSEs. In 2014, Ofsted rated Bishop Vesey’s as ‘outstanding’.

Summary of Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School

  • Address: Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School, Lichfield Road, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands B74 2NH

  • County: Birmingham, West Midlands

  • Admissions information: [email protected] or 0121 250 5400

  • School type: boys’ day grammar

  • Cost: free

  • Number of pupils: 1,247

  • Number of places in Year 7: 192

  • Average applicants per place: 5

  • Catchment area: there is no catchment area. Students are admitted entirely based on their 11 plus results

  • Open day dates: October

  • Exam date: September

  • Exam board type: CEM 11 plus - the Grammar Schools of Birmingham Consortium

Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School term dates

The school’s term dates for 2022/2023 are:

  • Autumn term: 5th September to 16th December

  • Half term: 20th October to 30th October

  • Spring term: 4th January to 29th March

  • Half term: 17th February to 26th February

  • Summer term: 17th April to 19th July

  • Half term: 25th May to 4th June

Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School 11 plus admissions process

Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School follows a set of admissions criteria that is based on pupils’ academic performance in the entrance exam. Only boys who attain the required standard will be considered for entry.

Students are selected for admission based on their combined age-standardised score in the 11 plus exam. To be eligible for admission, pupils need to attain the minimum standardised qualifying score in the exam. It does not, however, guarantee students a place at the school.

Before the oversubscription criteria are applied, students who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) which names the school and have passed the assessment will be admitted. As a result of this, the published admissions number will be reduced accordingly.

Where the number of applications for admission exceeds the number of places available at the school, places are offered to children as follows:

  • Looked After Children/Previously Looked After Children who achieve the qualifying score by rank order of standardised score.

  • Children attracting the Pupil Premium, who achieve the qualifying score by rank order of standardised score but limited to no more than 38 pupils in this category.

  • Those who live nearest to the school (only where test scores are equal).

Parents can also opt for their child to sit an additional entrance test with the score often used in appeal cases.

Find out more information from the admissions policy for Bishop Vesey's Grammar School.

How and when to apply for 11 plus entry to Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School

To apply for admission to BVGS in Year 7, parents need to register their child by completing the Birmingham Grammar Schools' application form. A Change of School Application Form also needs to be completed and can be obtained by contacting the school directly on 0121 250 5400 or by emailing [email protected].

Additionally, a Test Registration Form and a Local Authority Preference Form needs to be completed and returned to the school. In order to complete the full application, parents also need to provide a recent passport-size photograph (taken within the last six months) of their child, which can be emailed alongside the completed forms.

When should parents apply for admissions to Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School?

Admission packs and test registration forms are available from May. The closing date for receipt of test registration forms is at the end of June.

Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School 11 plus exam format

There are two exam papers, each of approximately 50 minutes, with additional time for instructions to be given.

Papers are divided into smaller individually timed sections which test:

Some of the questions will take a multiple choice format. A sample of questions will be included in the brochure, which will be sent on to all parents on receipt of their completed registration form.

Read our guide to the CEM 11 plus format for more information.

When is the Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School 11 plus exam taken?

The entrance exams usually take place in early September. Normally, the school sends out results to parents in October.

How to prepare for the Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School 11 plus exam

The familiarisation booklets linked below are designed to inform parents and children about Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School's 11 plus exam. These booklets will:

  • Give a feel for the appearance of the actual assessment

  • Introduce some of the symbols and phrases used in the assessment

  • Inform parents and candidates of the invigilation procedure

  • Indicate the range of disciplines that will be tested

  • Highlight the range of answer formats used in the assessment

Familiarisation guides

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