Trafford Grammar Schools entrance exams, catchment areas and properties for sale

Parents from across the region set their sights on a Trafford grammar school place for their daughter or son due to the schools' outstanding performances at GCSE and A Level. Although scoring above 334 in many of the exams is a pre requisite for a place, more children score 334 or higher than there are places, so being within catchment for these schools is a high priority for parents. We look at what the exam season entails and feature homes for sale within catchment.

Thousands of ten and 11 year-olds in Trafford and beyond are currently attending summer schools, private tutors or being tutored at home ahead of the CEM and GL Assessment 11+ entrance exams that take place across Trafford in September.

Trafford grammar schools entrance exams consist of two different exams. The CEM entrance exam is taken for Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, Sale Grammar School, Stretford Grammar School and Urmston Grammar School and takes place on Monday 16th September 2019.

Those wishing to sit the exam for Altrincham Grammar School for Boys take an additional GL entrance exam on Saturday 14th September 2019, with another GL exam on Saturday 21st September 2019 for those sitting for Loreto Grammar School and St Ambose College.

Above: Harrington Road, Altrincham is an elegant six bedroom detached period residence of superb proportions set in beautiful grounds extending to 1 acre or thereabouts, less than a third of a mile to Loreto Grammar School, half a mile from Altrincham Grammar School for Girls and just under a mile from Altrincham Grammar School for Boys. Guide price £4,000,000.


Trafford grammar school places
Around 3,000 pupils opted to sit the CEM entrance exam in recent years (2017 figures) with more sitting the GL entrance exam, making the competition for places fierce. A total of around 1,095 places (changes slightly year on year) are up for grabs each year across the schools. 

Number of children sitting exams

Readily available data from Sale Grammar School from 2016 noted that 2,310 pupils sat the exam with 747 reaching the 334 pass mark. With 180 places up for grabs you can see that not all who pass are offered a place.

This is where a school's admissions policy comes into play. For Sale Grammar School, as for most schools, 'looked after' children are a top priority closely followed by children who scored 334 or more and live in a defined set of postcodes close to the school.

Postcode priorities

Those within the M33, WA14, WA15, plus Trafford Authority residents within the M23 postcode are given priority. If you child is successful in the entrance exam, but lives outside of these postcodes, their chances of securing a place are lower.

Schools carry out stringent checks on residency as it is not unknown for parents to give false information or to rent a property close to a school for the purposes of having the desired postcode!

Above: York Drive, Bowdon is an exemplary six bedroom property, finished to a high standard, on a desirable no-through Bowdon road. Less than a mile from the boys and girls grammar schools and a mile and a half from St Ambrose College. Guide price £2,300,000.

What to do if your child is not offered a place
All is not lost if your child scored the required mark but is not offered a place at their preferred school. Each school has an appeals process, where you are - sometimes - able to attend the school or offer written support about why your child should be offered a place. This is often accompanied by written supporting evidence from their primary school.

Above: Chapel Lane in Hale Barns is a well proportioned six bedroom modern detached house that has in recent years been extensively refurbished to form a fabulous family home. St Ambrose College is the closest school, but this property is well within catchment for all of the other Altrincham grammar schools. Guide price £1,250,000.

All schools also operate a waiting list based on the criteria set out in their admissions policies and you can request that you child be placed on the waiting list. For those who did not meet the qualifying score, most Trafford grammar schools request that period of 12 months passes before your child can sit another entrance exam to try for a place.

Above: Arthog Road, Hale is an attractive seven bedroom period house boasting substantial family accommodation a short walk from Hale village. Equidistant from St Ambrose College and Altrincham Grammar School for Boys, it's right at the centre of the catchment area for all of Altrincham's grammar schools. Guide price £2,250,000.

Trafford's amazing schools
Not all parents want their children to sit the Trafford grammar schools entrance exams and it must be noted that Trafford is served by some outstanding non selective secondary schools.    

To view any of our properties in catchment please do contact our Hale branch on 0161 928 8881 or email