Marling School is a non-fee paying, selective Grammar School for boys aged 11-16 years with a co-educational sixth form.  To gain entry all pupils must sit and pass an Entrance Test organised by the school, usually at the start of Year 6. Marling School operates within the Gloucestershire County Co-ordinated Admissions Scheme for Year 7 entry.

Admission enquires for all boys aged 11-16 years should be directed to the Admissions Officer, Mrs Sarah Chilman, including in-year applications. Click here for details on visiting the school. 

All Sixth Form admission enquiries should be directed to the Personal Assistant to the Head of Sixth Form, Mrs Suzannah Dougherty

  • General 1

In the normal primary to secondary route of entry, all boys in their correct chronological cohort for Year 6 must sit an Entrance Test organised by the school (For 2021 Entry, it has been moved from September to Saturday 17 October 2020 for public health reasons). Parents/carers must register the student to be considered for entry by completion of the Gloucestershire Grammar Schools' Registration Form.

Boys who achieve a qualifying score in the Entrance Test will need to declare Marling School as one of their choices on their Common Application Form (CAF) which must be submitted by 31 October, if they wish to gain a place.  In Gloucestershire, the form asks parents/carers to state their ranked preferences for up to five secondary schools. Only boys with a qualifying score will be considered for entry to Marling School.

The Government has now provided information on grammar school selective tests and advice on naming your secondary school preferences on your CAF, please click here to view. 

All offers of school places will be made by the Local Authority (usually 1 March). This will be the school with the highest ranked preference for which your son has met the admission criteria.

Out of county applications will be accepted for candidates who live outside Gloucestershire, however, parents/carers will need to contact their own local authority in relation to the Common Application Form. The process should then enable your own local authority to liaise with Gloucestershire County Council regarding allocation of schools.

Admissions Policy

Our current 2020 Admissions Policy can be viewed below.

Following the recent consultation, the 2021 Admissions Policy has now been determined, and can be viewed below. 


Important Dates


2021 Entry (current Year 6s)

ENTRANCE TEST RESULTS will be emailed on Tuesday 1 December.  You will receive an email from the school where your child sat the test, and from each school you requested your result to be shared with.  Emails will be sent from 2pm onwards.  With so many emails being sent, there may be a delay, therefore we request that parents allow until the end of the day to receive the email.  Please check your junk/spam folders.  You may find it helpful to read the 'Results Out - What Happens Next?' information sheet below to clarify the admissions process going forwards.

National Allocation Day is 1 March 2021. You will hear from your local authority which secondary school your child has been allocated.  The local authority strongly encourage you to accept the school place offered, even if you request to go on another school's waiting list, to ensure your child has a school place in September 2021.

2022 Entry (current Year 5s)
The registration window is usually open in the summer term of Y5. As soon as dates are agreed, they will be published here.


2021 Entry (current Year 6s)

Late Applicants - if you have missed the 17 October 2020 Entrance Test, there is a Late Test in the New Year. The Late Test is not a second attempt at the Entrance Test.  Register for the late test, via our website, in January 2021 with the Late Test being held at the start of February 2021.  Candidates sitting the Late Test who meet the qualifying standard will NOT be included in the 1 March 2021 allocation of grammar school places.  They will need to ask Gloucestershire County Council (GCC) to go on the Marling School waiting list by the GCC deadline of 8 March 2021.  Any late applicants who meet the qualifying standard in the Late Test, will be ranked and slotted into the waiting list according to their test result.

Please find below the Marling School Admissions Policy, the Gloucestershire Familiarisation Booklet produced by the test providers,  and the Admissions Information Booklet produced by the Gloucestershire Grammar Schools - all relevant for 2021 Entry.

Official CEM Practice Material
CEM are not planning to change the content of the admissions test in light of the COVID-19 situation. Their assessments aim to measure underlying skills and aptitudes and are designed to be taken by learners with a wide range of ability. CEM are confident that their assessments will continue to be effective at differentiating learners, even in light of a gap in schooling.

In addition to the Familiarisation Booklet for 2021, CEM have officially released some additional practice material. Please download below:
Open Events

2020 Virtual Open Evening

On the evening of Monday 12 October you are warmly invited to join us for a virtual open evening.  You will hear a live presentation from the Executive Headteacher, Dr Stuart Wilson and have the opportunity to view a new video of the school in action this term, including the opportunity to hear from current students about their experience at the school.

We will be running the event at both 5pm and 6pm.  In order to register for this event please email with your preferred time (please also indicate if you are able to do the alternative time if your preferred session is full) and you will receive a zoom link for the evening.

In the meantime, you may like to take a look at our VIRTUAL OPEN MORNING

  • General 3

Student Induction Day
Previously planned for Friday 3 July, we are currently exploring whether we can safely create an opportunity for students to visit us in small groups before the end of this term.  Additionally, we are planning a range of online opportunities to help our new intake get to know the school, the staff and other students in advance of September.  These will be shared with our new intake by email as soon as possible.

Registration Group Allocation for our new intake
Over the coming weeks we will be allocating students to their new tutor groups which are based on our five school houses, Bennett, Carter, Elliott, Fuller and Greenstreet. If your family has an existing link to one of our houses (for example through a father or grandfather who is an Old Marlingtonian) we will endeavour to take that into account when placing students. If you have such a link please email me ( with the name of the family member, the house they were in and the dates they were at Marling.

New Parent Evening
Previously planned for 9 July, we are sadly not able to run this as a live event this year.  Instead, it will be replaced by an online event where all the same information and guidance will be made available.  Further information will be shared with our new intake by email as soon as it is available.  The new parent pack of information, usually handed out on the evening, will be posted to your home address in July.

Year 7 Camp
Traditionally, we take our Year 7s on an overnight camping trip designed to help them get to know each other and build a sense of team within tutor groups.  Unfortunately, we have already been informed that the campsite will not be open in September so we have reluctantly taken the decision to cancel this year's camp.  We are intending to incorporate some similar activites into the first days in September but at this stage, as there is great uncertainty as to how we will be allowed to operate, those plans are not yet finalised.

In-Year Applications
Any application made outside of the normal primary to secondary route must be made directly to the school's Admissions Officer, through completion of an ‘In-Year Application Form’. If no places are available the candidate can be added to the Indicated Interest Register to be notified when a place becomes available to be assessed at that point. The Indicated Interest Register will be held for the remainder of the academic year of application.

The Admissions Officer will arrange an admissions test to ascertain whether the candidate matches the academic standard of the existing year group. A place will be considered by the Admissions Committee of the Governing Body. Places can only be offered if the relevant school year group has vacancies. If an offer of a place is made, the school transfer must take place within six weeks.

Candidates are offered two applications to join the school (Year 6 Entrance Test is counted as the first attempt).

There is a process of appeals against non-admission (see the Appeal Process page).

Please download the In-Year Application Form below. Once completed and returned, this will enable your son to be added to the 'indicated interest register'. You will be contacted as soon as a vacancy arises.
Appeals Process

There is an Appeal Process which enables parents/carers to appeal against non-admission to the school. If you are not happy with the allocated school place on 1 March:

1. Any boys who have met the qualifying standard for Marling School can ask to go on our waiting list.  Gloucestershire County Council’s (GCC’s) waiting list deadline is 8 March 2021.  GCC will notify parents of the outcome of waiting list requests after 29 March 2021.

2. All parents have a legal right to appeal and must set out the grounds for appeal in writing.  Typically, if your son qualified and was not offered a place because admitting your child would cause prejudice to the provision of efficient education or efficient use of resources at the school (i.e. overcrowding), you would need to put a case forward for your son that outweighs the degree of prejudice caused to the school.  If your son did not demonstrate the requisite ability for grammar school in the entrance test, you would be looking to provide evidence to the appeal panel that he is.  Additionally, if you believe extenuating circumstances may have affected your son’s performance on the day of the test, or you are dissatisfied with the way the admission procedures were carried out - these would be included in your grounds for appeal. You may find it helpful to read the 2020 Appeal Guidance Notes, which can be downloaded below.

'Appeal Packs' can be requested from the Admissions Officer by emailing after 1 March 2021.  

Key Dates
Deadline for lodging Y7 Appeals is tbc.
Appeal Hearings will take place tbc.

Please find below the appeal guidance notes for 2020, we do not anticipate any major changes to these notes for the 2021 round of appeals.


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.

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 that challenge the reader and use mathematics on a regular basis.  Please see the familiarisation booklet and some additional OFFICIAL CEM PRACTICE PAPERS, realeased in June 2020, below to enable parents to help their children prepare for the Entrance Test.

COVID-19 announcement from CEM (June 2020): 
Are the assessments going to be changed or adapted this year, as candidates will not have had the full Year 5 curriculum?
CEM are not planning to change the content of the admissions test in light of the COVID-19 situation. Their assessments aim to measure underlying skills and aptitudes and are designed to be taken by learners with a wide range of ability. CEM are confident that their assessments will continue to be effective at differentiating learners, even in light of a gap in schooling.

Please see below 2021 Entry Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for further information.



Cotswold Beacon Academy Trust is a thriving partnership of schools working together to generate and celebrate success and to create opportunities for our students and staff that raise aspirations and inspire excellence.

Schools in the trust are committed to: 

  • Creating opportunities that raise aspirations and inspire excellence in students and staff 
  • Promoting high levels of personal development and well-being in our students 
  • Forming a distinctive partnership of schools that value their uniqueness and collegiality 
  • High quality leadership and teaching, with a highly creative curriculum. 
  • Maintaining a relentless focus on high standards and excellent outcomes for our students 
  • Creating opportunities for staff development to enable us to recruit, develop and retain the very best teachers and leaders 
  • Innovating together for the benefit of our students and staff 
  • Fostering relationships where autonomy and accountability go hand in hand 
  • Creating a strong, financially resilient organisation that achieves efficiency savings for mutual benefit allowing to focus resources on teaching and learning

Our Schools

Cotswold Beacon Academy Trust formed on 1st September 2016. It currently comprises Marling Grammar School and Sixth Form, Berkeley Primary School and Cam Woodfield Junior School. Links to the websites of the schools are provided below:


More information on Cotswold Beacon Academy Trust can be found at


Marling School is part of the Cotswold Edge Teaching Alliance - a partnership of schools and institutions sharing their skills, experience, talent and capacity to help improve learning and achievement in schools across Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire. CETA members have a shared vision to work together to provide excellent provision and outcomes for all students in their schools and to support other schools to do the same. This is achieved by pursuing excellence in teaching, learning and leadership through training, support, research and development created and delivered by schools for schools. Working in partnership across the primary and secondary sector is central to the CETA ethos. Please visit the CETA website to find out more -