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The best grammar schools in Gloucestershire

Grammar schools
The best grammar schools in Gloucestershire


Are you considering a grammar school in Gloucestershire for your child’s secondary education? There are seven grammar schools to choose from, while four are within the top 100 state secondary schools in the country.

Keep reading to discover the best grammar schools in 2023 based on national league tables, and how to help your child prepare for success in the Gloucestershire 11 plus.

Gloucestershire grammar schools ranking

Find out more about the three best grammar schools in Gloucestershire based on the Sunday Times Parent Power league tables for 2023.

1. Pate’s Grammar School

Pate's Grammar School ©

Pate’s Grammar School is a high-achieving co-educational school in Cheltenham. It is consistently ranked within the best secondary schools in the UK, let alone Gloucestershire – in 2023, Pate’s was ranked sixth out of all state secondary schools in the country and was awarded the title 'The Southwest Secondary School of the Year 2022' for the second time by the Sunday Times.

‘The Pate’s Way’ is a vision that connects staff, students and the wider community. Everyone is encouraged to embrace challenges, support one another and work towards shaping the future. The school leads on educational excellence whilst maintaining a robust pastoral care system for staff and students. Every individual is supported to achieve personal success, whether through outstanding guidance and preparation for Higher Education or gold standard CPD for staff.

  • Town: Cheltenham

  • Local council: Gloucestershire County Council

  • Gender: mixed

  • Number of pupils: 1,284

  • National rank for state secondary schools: 6

  • GCSE results (2022): 95% A*/A/9/8/7

  • A level results (2022): 95.4% A*–B

Pate’s Grammar School admissions guide

2. Sir Thomas Rich’s School

Sir Thomas Rich's School ©

Sir Thomas Rich’s School is a boys’ grammar school with a co-educational sixth form in Gloucester. It was founded by 1st Baronet Sir Thomas Rich in 1666 and originally occupied a central Gloucester house before moving to a site in the suburbs in 1964.

The school is judged ‘Good’ by Ofsted, who concluded that pupils are “very happy in the school”. The report highlighted the school’s excellent pastoral care and breadth of extracurricular provision, which includes a range of activities in sports, music, performing arts and more.

  • Town: Gloucester

  • Local council: Gloucestershire County Council

  • Gender: boys aged 11–18, girls aged 16–18

  • Number of pupils: 1,200

  • National rank for state secondary schools: 38

  • GCSE results (2022): 84.2% A*/A/9/8/7

  • A level results (2022): 84.5% A*–B

Sir Thomas Rich’s School admissions guide

3. Stroud High School

Stroud High School ©

Stroud High School is a girls-only grammar school in Stroud, Gloucestershire. The school uses the research-based High Performance Learning philosophy and framework, helping students to cultivate advanced thinking and learning to prepare them for 21st century life.

In addition to helping students become successful learners, Stroud High School puts wellbeing at the top of its priorities. There’s a comprehensive programme of activities designed to promote each individual’s sense of self-worth and belonging, including a wellbeing curriculum, yoga and mindfulness sessions, peer support groups and workshops, counselling and specialised therapy.

  • Town: Stroud

  • Local council: Gloucestershire County Council

  • Gender: girls only

  • Number of pupils: 1,083

  • National rank for state secondary schools: 78

  • GCSE results (2022): 74.4% A*/A/9/8/7

  • A level results (2022): 79% A*–B

Stroud High School admissions guide

What are grammar schools?

Grammar schools are a particular type of secondary school in the UK. They are free for children to attend as they are funded by the government – unlike private schools, which rely on fees paid by parents or guardians.

However, unlike other state secondary schools, grammar schools are academically selective schools. School places are awarded to children to pass an entrance exam known as the 11 plus (11+).

Learn more in our complete guide to grammar schools.

How many grammar schools are there in Gloucestershire?

There are seven grammar schools in Gloucestershire:

  • Denmark Road High School

  • Marling School

  • Pate’s Grammar School

  • Ribston Hall High School for Girls

  • Sir Thomas Rich’s School

  • Stroud High School

  • The Crypt School

How to get into a grammar school in Gloucestershire

If you would like your child to be considered for a place in Year 7 at a Gloucestershire grammar school, they will need to take the 11 plus exam. All the grammar schools in Gloucestershire use the same test provider and allocate the same day in September for the exam. If you are applying to more than one grammar school in Gloucestershire, your child will only need to sit the exam once.

In October 2022, the Gloucestershire Grammar Schools announced that they will be changing their 11 plus provider from CEM (Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring) to GL Assessment. This is because CEM is changing their entrance exams from paper tests to online assessments, while GL Assessment is remaining paper-based and supplies familiarisation materials to applicants.

Children applying to a Gloucestershire grammar school for entry in 2024 will take two tests in September 2023. One test will test children on their verbal skills (including reading comprehension, vocabulary and verbal reasoning), while the other will assess non-verbal reasoning and mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding. The two tests combined take approximately two hours to complete.

Everything you need to know about GL Assessment

Gloucestershire 11 plus practice papers

Atom Nucleus makes grammar school preparation easy with tailored resources for the Gloucestershire 11 plus.

Subscribers have access to unlimited practice tests that mirror the style and content of the GL Assessment 11 plus exam, ensuring your child feels fully confident and prepared for success on the exam day.

GL Assessment 11 plus mock tests on Atom Nucleus

Discover your all-in-one online preparation platform for grammar school entry

Atom Nucleus student dashboard

For £59.99 per month, Atom Nucleus gives you:

  • Unlimited 11 plus online practice papers for your child’s target schools, all automatically marked

  • Over 90,000 interactive practice questions for Key Stage 2 English, maths, verbal and non-verbal reasoning

  • Automatic data on your child’s progress and suggested areas for improvement

  • Ongoing support from education experts for you and your child, including parent webinars, live lessons and revision programmes

Start your child’s journey to success in the 11 plus today. Use the full features of Atom Nucleus free for 5 days – cancel anytime.

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