Applying for a 13+ Grammar School Place: Navigating the Occasional Place Opportunity

If your child missed securing a spot at a grammar school during the 11+ entrance examinations, don’t lose hope just yet. The 13+ entry might be the next viable step for your child’s academic journey. Unlike the more common 11+ entry points, most grammar schools do not offer an official 13+ entry. However, they do present what are known as “occasional places.”

What are Occasional Places?

Occasional places arise when a currently enrolled student leaves, creating a vacancy. This opportunity is rare and can occur at any time during the school year, though it most frequently happens in Year 8 or 10, aligning with the 13+ age group. Given the unpredictability and scarcity of these openings—often just one slot—competition is remarkably fierce. Prospective students are usually given a very short notice, ranging from one week to three months, to prepare for and sit an assessment test.

How to Secure a 13+ Grammar Place

  1. Register Interest Early: The first step in this process is to contact the grammar school(s) of your choice and inquire about the possibility of occasional places. If available, place your child’s name on the waiting list. This proactive approach ensures that you’re in the loop should an opportunity arise.
  2. Consistent Academic Preparation: Since the notification period for these assessments can be very short, continuous preparation is crucial. Focus particularly on core subjects such as Maths and English, which are often heavily weighted in grammar school assessments.
  3. Consider Additional Support: Given the high stakes and competitive nature of securing these occasional places, additional academic support can be beneficial. Personalised tuition can address specific areas of need and enhance your child’s confidence and ability to perform under pressure. Our tuition company offers both one-to-one tutoring and group classes, designed to reinforce key concepts and sharpen examination skills.

Why Choose Our Tuition Services?

At our tuition company, we understand the unique challenges posed by the 13+ entry process. Our tailored tutoring programs are designed to provide:

  • Targeted Learning: We focus on the subjects most critical to success in the 13+ assessments, with an emphasis on Maths and English.
  • Experienced Tutors: Our tutors are not only experts in their respective fields but are also experienced in preparing students for the specific demands of grammar school assessments.


While securing a 13+ grammar school place through occasional vacancies presents challenges, thorough preparation and strategic planning can significantly enhance your child’s chances of success. By putting their name on the waiting list early and ensuring they are consistently engaged in their studies, you can navigate this competitive landscape more effectively. Consider bolstering their preparation with our specialised tutoring services, designed to equip your child with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in their assessments.

Taking these proactive steps can make all the difference in turning the possibility of an occasional place into a reality for your child’s educational future.