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 2020 Entry, Saturday 14 September 2019). 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 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 school will notify parents/carers of the result before the Common Application Form deadline.

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

2020 Entry (current Year 6s)
The Entrance Test
took place in September 2019. The Local Authority will allocate 150 places on 2 March 2020. 

After 2 March, but BY Monday 9 March 2020 you can request to go on the Marling School Waiting List via Gloucestershire County Council's (GCC's) online system.  For candidates wishing to share their September test result with Marling School, late, a request to go on the waiting list must be sent to GCC.  In order to be added to the Marling School waiting list your son must have met the qualifying standard.    For candidates who live outside of Gloucestershire, in addition to liaising with your own local authority, it is advisable to email GCC directly with your waiting list request on

If this is your first application in Gloucestershire, please complete GCC's "late" Common Application Form, currently available on the GCC website by the deadline of 9 March 2020.

Candidates who missed the grammar school entrance test in September, have the opportunity to sit a 'post-allocation test' on Thursday 19 March 2020 - providing they have requested to go on the Marling School Waiting List with GCC by Monday 9 March 2020.  (This is not a second attempt at the entrance test and is only available to candidates who have made a waiting list request to GCC, who have not yet sat the Gloucestershire Grammar Entrance Test).  Please check your email account regularly on Friday 13 March, as this is the intended release date of the link to register your son for the post-allocation test.

If you would like any further clarification regarding the ongoing 2020 Entry admission process please contact the Admissions Officer on

2021 Entry (current Year 5s)
If you would like an emailed reminder to register for the Entrance Test in June 2020, please email with "REMINDER TO REGISTER 2021" in the subject line to

Register for Entrance Test

2021 Entry (current Year 5s)

If you would like an emailed reminder to register for the Entrance Test in June 2020, please email with "REMINDER TO REGISTER 2021" in the subject line to

Open Events

There is no need to pre-register for any of our Open Events. We welcome parents/carers and their sons who may be interested in attending the school. 

2020 Open Mornings
Thursday 2 April and Thursday 25 June 2020, arrive for 9.00 or 9.30am

Visit the school on a normal working day, no need to pre-book.  There will be an introductory speech in the School Hall followed by a student-led tour of the school.  Please let your tour guides know if your are restricted for time.  We look forward to welcoming you and your sons.

Open Evening - October 2020   4.30-7.00pm

An opportunity to visit the school in a more informal setting.  Arrive for the Headteacher's introductory speech at 4.30pm, then follow the 'Marling Challenge Trail' taking part in hands-on demonstration in the classrooms.  Meet teachers and existing students along the way.  It's an ideal introduction to the school for Year 5 pupils and a great opportunitiy for Year 6 pupils to see the school before completion of the Local Authority's Common Application Form.  The Headteacher's introductory speech is repeated at 5.30pm and, again, at the close of the evening at 7.00pm.

  • General 3

Student Induction Day - Friday 3 July 2020
All Year 6 boys starting Year 7 in September will be offered a day to visit Marling School.  They will meet their classmates, tutors and key members of staff.

New Parent Evening - Thursday 9 July 2020
During July, a parent evening is arranged to induct our new parents.  You will receive the new parent pack which should include all you need to help with the transition to Marling School.

Year 7 Camp
The transition from primary to secondary school can be a daunting experience. To aid the whole transition process, Marling School organises a Year 7 Camp in the second week of September. The Camp takes place at Cranham Scout Centre, a beautiful location nestled in a secluded valley, just off the Cotswold Way. Aside from the experience of camping out for one night, the boys take part in a whole series of activities designed to boost self-esteem, encourage teamwork and problem solving skills, nurture independence and resilience and simply have some fun. The activities include, climbing, orienteering, an assault course, an archery session and a campfire. What better way to get to know your classmates!

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 2 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 9 March 2020.  GCC will notify parents of the outcome of waiting list requests after 30 March 2020.

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 2 March 2020.  

Key Dates
Deadline for lodging Y7 Appeals is 3pm on Monday 27 April 2020.
Appeal Hearings will take place w/c 8 June 2020.


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 below to enable parents to give guidance on the style of questions used.

 Please see below 2020 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 -