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 schoolParents/carers must register their child for the Entrance Test by completion of the Gloucestershire Grammar Schools' Registration Form (usually in the summer term of Year 5).  At the start of Year 5, please contact the Admissions Officer to be added to the Year 5 mailing list in order to receive relevant commuications.

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.

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 and the 2021 Admissions Policy, detailing the August 2020 variation, can be viewed below.

The 2022 Admissions Policy has now been determined by the Governing Body of Marling School and can also be viewed below.  All consultation responses received were carefully considered by the Admissions Committee.

Important Dates

 2021 Entry (current Year 6s)
National Allocation Day was 1 March 2021. The second round of allocations (waiting list round) is currently taking place, and Gloucestershire County Council will notify parents after 29 March 2021 of the outcome. 

2022 Entry (current Year 5s)
The Registration window for the Entrance Test will be open 17 May to 30 June 2021.  We are planning for the Entrance Test to take place on Saturday 11 September 2021 (at the start of Year 6).  This date is subject to any government restrictions/advice at the time and communications will be ongoing with all registered candidates.

In the meantime, Marling School has a Year 5 mailing list for all those interested in receiving relevant communications for September 2022 entry.  Please email with 'Reminder to Register 2022' in the subject line. Additionally, you may find it helpful to read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs for 2022 Entry) below.

2022 Entry (current Year 5s)

If you would like to be added to the Year 5 mailing list, please email with 'Reminder to Register 2022' in the subject line.  Please find below the Gloucestershire Familiarisation material for 2022 Entry produced by CEM, which includes some practice questions.

 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.  

Open Events

2021 Virtual Open Events

Following on from our virtual January open events, we will publish further dates as soon as they are available. 

If your son is currently in Year 5, and you would like to be added to the Y5 mailing list, please email with 'Reminder to Register 2022' in the subject line.

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 2021 Appeal Guidance Notes for Parents, 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 3pm on Monday 26 April 2021.
Appeal Hearings will take place w/c  14 June 2021

Please find below the appeal Guidance Notes for 2021 along with the Coronovirus Appeal Protocols for 2021.


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 available familiarisation material below.

COVID-19 announcement from CEM (June 2020): 
Are the assessments going to be changed or adapted due to the COVID-19 situation, 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 2022 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 -