At the beginning of December 2013, the seven Gloucestershire Grammar Schools made a joint decision to start using Durham University (CEM) for the admissions test. CEM are one of the largest independent providers of educational assessment and monitoring systems in the world. They have been developing selection assessments since 1999, and provide tests for a number of grammar schools in other counties.
The schools are concerned by the amount of tutoring that currently takes place and CEM design their tests to enable all children to demonstrate their academic potential without excessive preparation. CEM do not produce commercially available practice materials and they advise that the best preparation for their tests is to read books and use mathematics on a regular basis. However, familiarisation material will be made available via the Gloucestershire Grammar Schools’ websites in January 2014 to enable parents to give guidance on the style of questions.
Please be aware that that the registration window and test date have changed:
Monday 2 June 2014
Online registration for 2015 Entry opens
Friday 4 July 2014
Registration closes at noon
Wednesday 9 July onwards
Information sent to parents regarding test day arrangements
Saturday 13 September 2014
By Monday 13 October 2014
Results sent to parents
If you wish to book your place at our Open Morning please click here.
Alternatively you can click on the image below.
In Year Admissions 7-9
Here are some links to example questions that are similar to the questions in the entrance test:
Before launching an appeal for your child to have a place at Pate's, we would urge you to consider whether you have grounds for appeal that go beyond suggesting that your child (like many others) would benefit from Pate's. Our admissions criteria and, based upon experience, the independent Admissions Appeal Panel have not given weight in their reported deliberations to factors such as the nearness to school, travel arrangements, sibling links, the fact that a child would contribute a great deal to the school (academically, musically, in sporting or other arenas), family or child upset at not getting a place, the negatives you perceive about the alternative school allocated. Over 90% of appeals have not proven to be successful in the past. In the end, however, it must be your decision.
One of the main concerns at Appeal is whether the admissions process has been conducted in a reasonable way, in line with the admissions policy or whether there has been any significant flaw in procedure that would have changed the outcome of allocation of places. They have sometimes also taken note of significant illness or other similar factor that would have caused under-performance on the day.
It is not possible to register an appeal until after 1st April 2014, following the local authority's admissions allocation. Pate’s appeal hearings will take place on 14th and 15th May at Hester's Way Resource Centre. The final date for submitting an appeal is Wednesday 23rd April 2014. Please be advised that, in order to be fair and remain impartial, we are unable to discuss details of individual cases.
General – visit our website for an on line prospectus and info about curriculum, extra
curricular provision, the priority we place on pastoral care and for our exam results.
Children currently in year 4 or 5 and looking for year 7 entry in the future
When are the Open Evenings?
The open evenings take place during September each year. These evenings are for parents and children. They involve a
presentation by students and the Head Master in the School Hall plus a tour of the school.
When are the Open Mornings?
The Open Mornings take place during the summer term each year.
There is also an opportunity for successful candidates to look around the school again in
October once the test results are known. Details will be on our
website as soon as the dates are confirmed.
When is the test?
Central Government have forced a change in date to come into line with large
cities across the country who need more time to process the results. The test date will be advertised on the Pate's website when it has been set.
Will I get more or different information after the test if I sit the Test at Pate’s rather than elsewhere?
No. If you register for Pate’s on the Registration Form then it does not matter whether you sit the test at Pate’s or elsewhere. We will still send you all of the same information after the test and before application, whether you have sat the test at Pate’s or one of the other Grammar Schools.
Do I need to register for the test?
You will need to register with a school or the LA by 12.00 noon on 28th September using the Gloucestershire Grammar Schools Central Registration
Form. Register with the school where you would like your child to sit the test.
It does not make any difference where a child sits the test – it is the same test
on the same day etc and the scores are shared. You only need to register
once and then the test results will be shared with all of the Grammar schools
that you ‘tick’ on the registration form. The Registration Form will be available
from the County website, from the school website and will be available from
the school in September – including at Open Mornings/Evenings.
What format is the test? How long? How many questions?
On the test day there will be a short practice test of about 10 minutes that is
not marked but is to get children ‘warmed up’ and ease some of the nerves.
The children will know that the first part it is a practice test. There are then
two VR (Verbal Reasoning) tests - the first has 85 questions in 45 minutes and the second has 80 questions in 50 minutes. There is a short break between the tests when children can use the toilet, have a drink etc. Detailed information will be after you register.
Does my child need ‘coaching’?
Most parents do at least some practice with their children using some of the
VR materials available from bookshops or some of the VR style questions
that you can download from our website. As with any test, it seems likely that
at least some familiarisation will help a child to do their best. We have not
conducted a survey but are aware that many children do undertake months of
prep for the test – sometimes from private tutors and some times with the
help of primary school staff.
What percentage score do you need to pass?
There isn’t a percentage. There are 180 children who will score more than
240 as a standardised score and these children will be ‘qualified’ and
considered for a place. Places are then offered in rank order based upon the
scores and there are 120 places.
Can I come on a tour of the school with my child?
Each year we have over 3000 people attend our open evenings and, unlike
private schools, we do not have a marketing team to deal with individual tours
on that scale! However, there are some open mornings (see above) when you
are very welcome to come and look round. Also, Mr Ellicott, Head Master, is
always happy to talk to or meet parents who have any specific queries or
Other Common Questions related to admission to years 7 – 11 only
Can other test data be taken into account?
No. So SATs, CATs, 11+ tests from other areas, music tests etc – I am afraid
than none of these can be considered for year 7 entry. These may be
considered alongside a test score for entry into years 8 or 9. There is not
usually any entry into years 10 or 11.
What about Siblings?
Sibling connections are not considered at all – it is purely down to the test.
Is there a catchment area?
No. Out of county applications are considered in exactly the same way but
please be aware that the dates we quote are based upon the Gloucestershire
process and there may be other dates and process in operation elsewhere.
Transport – can my child get a school bus?
The majority of students arrive at school by either public or private bus. The
Gloucestershire website has info about the public buses that run. Please see
the Admissions section of the Pate’s website for details of buses direct to
Pate’s. The vast majority of students come from the Cheltenham area but
there are some that travel from Gloucester, Cirencester, Swindon,
Tewkesbury, Stow-on-the-Wold, etc.
What happens if my child is ill on the ‘test’ day?
Please contact our Examinations Officer, Anne Dickinson as soon as possible
to let her know. She will then arrange for a ‘late test’ about a week later.
What happens if we live overseas at the time of the test and can’t be here on
It is possible to take the test overseas. Please contact our Examinations
Officer, Anne Dickinson who will advise you.
Why do you ‘pass’ 180 children if there are only 120 places?
This is to allow for movement on the list where people decline a place or
move out of the area etc.
How far down the ‘reserve list’ (121 – 180) do you go?
This varies each year depending on how many people in the top 120 decline
With the school becoming an Academy what will change?
Nothing, the change of status is not intended to change the school day,
curriculum, working conditions or anything else apart maybe from the name.
Children currently in Year 6 looking for Year 7 entry next academic year - 2013/14
What happens now, I have my offer?
Congratulations. There will be a visit day for students in the summer term
and an evening for parents. We will liaise with and probably visit your child’s primary school to find out more about your child.
We will write to you with more information but please do look on line at our
website under the Admissions Section at the info for New Students. Please
do contact us at school if you have any queries whatsoever, even small ones!
When and where are the Appeals?
The Appeal hearings take place in May each year at the Hester’s Way Resource Centre.
The date will be confirmed on the website by April.
How do I register my appeal?
What will the appeals be like?
In front of a formal panel of independent people, you will be able to present
your case and respond to questions from the school and the panel members.
The school will present its case as to why it opposes admitting people over
the 120 limit and again take questions. Any papers will need to be prepared
and submitted in advance. Very few appeals are successful.
Will my child get in from the waiting list?
There is often movement on the waiting list until the start of April but after that
there is very little change so it becomes very unlikely after the start of April. It
would require students who have confirmed their place to withdraw and this
happens but not often.
Can my child take a re-test as (s)he under performed?
No. The Admissions Policy for all of the Gloucestershire schools allows for
only 1 sitting and no re-tests.
Children looking for entry into the 6th Form
Please contact Mrs West on 01242-538219
Children looking for entry into years other than year 7 or 12
No in year admissions take place after Christmas of Year 9 because Pate’s students
begin their GCSE studies in September of year 9. There used to be some admissions
in year 10 but this stopped as our curriculum model changed at the start of September 2010.
If a child took the test previously then and did not secure a qualifying score then
there is not usually a provision for a re-test unless there are no children on the
If a child has not taken the test before then please contact the Head Master directly
The late test is a Verbal Reasoning test but, of course, is not merely the same
one as used for year 6 students at the normal point of entry. As above, it is
recommended that parents help children become familiar with VR testing
before sitting the Late Test.
INFORMATION TO PARENTS ABOUT YEAR 7 ADMISSIONS
Details about the admissions arrangements can be obtained from the Admissions Office at Pate’s. Information regarding admissions arrangements are also provided to our main feeder primary schools for distribution to prospective parents.
Parents and children are warmly welcomed to one of our Open Evenings in September each year, where where will be the chance to meet the Head, staff and pupils.
HOW THE ADMISSION ARRANGEMENTS OPERATE
Pate’s is required to operate in line with the Local Education Authority’s co-ordinated scheme for school admissions.
Pate’s is a selective school, and has only 120 places available in Year 7. To be considered for admission into Year 7 at Pate’s pupils must achieve the qualifying score in the Admissions Test organised by the school. To sit the Test parents must register their child with Pate’s – using the online registration form. Parents must also make a separate application to the Local Education Authority, using the LEA’s normal Preference Form – failure to apply through the LEA, or failure to include Pate’s as one of the ranked choices on the LEA form, will mean that a child cannot be considered for entry to Pate’s in the normal admissions round.
QUALIFYING FOR ADMISSION TO PATE’S
Pate’s is a selective school. Admission to the school has always been by competitive test. Places have always been offered to the children achieving the highest rank order scores in the Admissions Test.
Pate’s has been a free grammar school for the children of Cheltenham and surrounding area for over 400 years. We are very proud of that record. We want to continue to offer a particular type of academic education to very able children, whatever their background or their circumstances.
Each year places have been offered to children who score the highest marks in the Admissions Test: this means children either ranked in the top 120 places, or those from the next qualifying group who have been placed on the reserve list. We believe that this is the fairest way of allocating the limited number of places at the school.
Because we believe that our Admissions Test rank order is the only fair way of allocating places at Pate’s, only the highest scoring children will be eligible to be considered for a place at Pate’s.
All school places will be offered initially by the LEA. Places at Pate’s will be offered first, at the beginning of March, to those children amongst the top qualifying group (of 120) who have put Pate’s as their first preference school on the LEA form (or to children for whom Pate’s is the highest preference school for which they qualified) .
If there are places unfilled on March 1, those unfilled places will be offered to children:
Offers to fill any unfilled places from the waiting list will be made by the school as soon as possible after April 1. Offers will be made strictly according to each child’s ranking in the Admissions Test.
THE APPEALS PROCESSES
Parents whose child has not been offered a place at Pate’s have the statutory right to use the independent appeals process – details from the Admissions Office at the school.