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david bell international
senior and 11+ school search
Students In Uniform

11 -18 years

This is the time your child transitions to an adult, and as we all know the teenage years have their own challenges! Getting a school right at this point will determine the university they may choose to attend, their future career, their circle of friends, and much more.  In short, it's a vital time. 

As a class teacher in Year 6, the final year of prep, and as a school leader, I have overseen the transition of over one thousand children into the school that was right for them.

There are three routes your child may take and this will depend upon where in the UK you live.

Private Schools

There are approximately 1,500 private, or independent schools in the UK.  To complicate matters further, historically the more established or these are often known as public schools! Many, but not all, are known as association schools - these are represented by the ISC (Independent Schools Council) and will be members of one or more different associations - ISA, IAPS, HMC, GSD, and more.  These schools will be inspected by the ISI (Independent Schools Inspectorate).  Non-association schools are inspected by Ofsted - the Government regulator.  These schools will accept pupils from the ages of 11 or 13. 

I have experience working with many of the top schools in the UK, alongside other "hidden gems" you may not be aware of. The most important thing is to get to know your child and their interests and abilities so we can find the right school for them. 

I have helped children achieve places at schools including:

Eton College

City of London School

Roedean School

Cheltenham Ladies College

Brentwood School

New Hall School

Felsted School 

The Dragon School

Sylvia Young Theatre School

Hildon Grange

Duke of York Military School

Monkton Combe

Chigwell School,

and many others. 

Grammar Schools 


Depending upon where you live in the UK, your child may have the opportunity to take the 11+ examination and be offered a place at a grammar school.  These are selective, highly academic state schools, so there are no fees to pay, however, they are highly competitive and not suitable for every child.  Many, but not all grammars are single-sex.  A few independent schools also use the term "grammar" in their name.














11+ schools map

The 11+, where available,  is administered in different ways, depending upon where you live.  In some areas such as Buckinghamshire, all children will take the test, in other areas, such as Essex, it is optional and the selective grammar schools operate alongside the comprehensive academy system, open to all.

I have been proud, both as a teacher and a leader to have overseen children achieving places in some of the top grammar schools in the UK, including:

Chelmsford County High For Girls

King Edwards VII School for Boys

Colchester Royal Grammar

Southend High School for Boys

Westcliff High School for Girls

Southend High School for Girls 

Westcliff High School for Boys 

Maidstone Grammar for Girls 

Invicta Grammar for Girls 

Holcombe Grammar for Boys 


Academies, also known as secondary schools or comprehensive schools are the type of schools the majority of children attend in the UK from the age of 11.  These schools often have a "Sixth Form" which means children will generally stay until 18.  Others finish at 16 and children have the option to move elsewhere for  "Sixth Form"

Children in UK complete formal examinations at 16 years old (GCSEs) and then may choose to enter "Sixth Form" and complete A-Levels at 18.

Generally, these schools are non-selective and stream or set children according to their ability.  The range and quality is huge, and whatever your intentions, we always advise parents to consider their local schools as circumstances change, and if you do not request a particular school, your child we be automatically allocated a school anywhere in the county where there may be a space.  This is not a situation you would want to find yourself in.

Applications to these schools (as with the 11 plus grammars above) are via the local authority and are generally completed online.  Of course, we can help with this process.

your guide to school relocation
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©2022 by David Bell Educational Ltd.

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