Late Entry

Bishop Wordsworth’s School is a selective boys' grammar school, with responsibility for setting its own testing and admission requirements.

Late Entry Exam will be Friday September 4th
Deadline for applications is August 28 17.00hrs.


Are there any places available?

2020 - 2021 Admission Number Actual Number Places available
Year 7 from Sept 2020 160 160 0
Year 8 from Sept 2020 157 160 3
Year 9 from Sept 2020 160 160 0
Year 10 from Sept 2020 158 160 2

(Last updated 21st July 2021)

What is the Late Entry test?

The Late Admission selection procedure is designed to determine whether or not children who are already of secondary school age are suitable for admission to a grammar school. Parents should note that meeting the academic requirements for entry to the School is not, in itself, a guarantee of an offer of a place.

The procedure may also be used to re-assess pupils who, under a previous selection procedure, have been found not to be of grammar school ability. An interval of at least one calendar year must follow the previous testing before re-assessment can be initiated.

BWS runs a rolling admissions procedure. This means that if a place is available in years 7-11 and there is a boy who is of grammar school standard and has the highest priority for a place under the oversubscription criteria, he will be offered a place. He will start at the School at the earliest possible opportunity but no later than the start of the next term after the date the offer was made.


Parents of all boys wanting to apply for a place at BWS, irrespective of where the boy is resident, should obtain the WC Secondary Application Form (SAF) from County Hall at Trowbridge, or apply online at

The LA allocates places using an equal preference system. This means that all school preferences expressed by parents must be given equal consideration although a child will receive only one offer of a school place. For every school named on the form, the child is ranked against others applying, by the application of the published Admissions Priority criteria. Allocation of places is made by the Local Authority up to the prescribed number of places available at each individual school. Parents should include BWS as one of their named preferences on the transfer form and return it to their LA.

It is important that parents understand that the system of allocation of school places by the LA will mean that if, after applying the admissions criteria, a child appears on the eligible list of their first preference school, then this is the place that will be allocated. A candidate with BWS as a second or third preference, even if they are deemed suitable for a grammar school education, would not be allocated a place at BWS if they are eligible for a school for which they have indicated a higher preference on the transfer form. Parents should contact their LA if they are unclear about the preference system.

In addition, all parents wishing their son to enter the School must complete the Supplementary Application Form and return it direct to Bishop Wordsworth’s School. This provides evidence for the application of our oversubscription criteria.

If a child has a current statement of educational needs, speaks English as a Second Language or faces any other barrier to learning, whether medical or educational (eg Specific learning difficulties), or parents feel their son’s circumstances may affect his performance in the test, they can request that special consideration be given to him. Parents must complete the Special Access arrangements form and return it with written evidence to the School two months before the test.

Full details are in the Information Leaflet 4 at the bottom of this page.

Please complete and return the Late Entry Application Form to the Admissions Officer.

Testing Arrangements

The applicant’s performance in two tests, an English paper which comprises a comprehension test and an essay, and a Mathematics paper, based on the National Curriculum for the applicant’s age group, provides the evidence of ability. Candidates wanting entry into year 10 in September 2020 and who take the late entry test in September 2020, will also take a Science paper.

The Late Entry tests are taken under public exam conditions and clearly most boys will be affected by nerves at some point in the weeks and days before the test. Therefore parents are strongly advised to monitor and limit any activities which might put undue additional pressure on the child and induce poor exam performance. No candidate should sit any of the tests if he is unwell or affected by any personal circumstances that may influence his performance. Any parent who considers that their son’s performance might have been adversely affected on the day of the test, is required to write to the School within a week of the test date giving full information. If a child has been unwell a medical note should be obtained from the GP and sent to the School.


The scores attained in each of the tests are standardised to give equal weight to each of the tests and to compensate for the age of the child in relation to the age of the other candidates. The standardised scores are then added together to produce a final result.

Any applicant who attains a score equal to the pass mark or higher will have passed the entrance test.

An applicant who attains a score below the pass mark will be deemed unsuited to a grammar school course of education.

For entry after the start of Year 10 and into Year 11, assessment is delegated to the Headteacher, with due regard being given to the match between achievement in the subjects studied and courses available at BWS.

Offer of a Place

The offer of a place at BWS depends on the availability of places at the School. There are a maximum of 128 places available in years 10-11 and 160 in year 7-9. The priority used to rank boys for admission is determined by the School’s oversubscription criteria as shown in Annex B of the Admissions policy

Parents can expect to receive notification of the test results approximately three weeks after the test date. All offers of places into years 7-11 during the academic year 2018/2019 will be made by the Local Authorities. If a place is offered and not accepted within 21 days, that place will be forfeited.

Waiting List

Boys who are eligible for admission but whose name (under the over-subscription criteria) falls outside of the 160 or 128 planned admission number for year 7-9 and for years 10-11 respectively, will be put on the waiting list, which is also governed by the priorities listed above. Late applicants deemed to be of grammar school ability will be placed on the waiting list in their relevant position irrespective of the time of application. Re-testing of waiting list candidates will occur before Key Stage 4. Only one assessment per academic year is permitted.


Information Leaflet 4
Late Entry Application Form