Bishop Vesey's Grammar School

Bishop Vesey's Grammar School

About Bishop Vesey's Grammar School

One of the oldest schools in Britain, Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School (or BVGS) was founded in 1527 by the Bishop of Exeter John Vesey, a friend of Henry VIII and tutor of Queen Mary I. It is now a selective academy for boys aged 11–16 years with a mixed sixth form, and is partnered with the nearby Sutton Coldfield Grammar School for Girls.

The school aims to provide inspiration and excellence to students across the Midlands. It prioritises academic excellence, inspirational teaching, and enrichment opportunities to build leadership, independence and resilience.

  • Address: Lichfield Road, Sutton Coldfield, B74 2NH
  • Local authority: Birmingham City Council
  • School type: boys' grammar
  • Headteacher: Dominic Robson
  • Number of pupils: 1,354
  • National rank (Sunday Times Parent Power): 51
  • A level results: 86.9% A*–B
  • GCSE results: 75% 9/8/7

Bishop Vesey's Grammar School term dates

The 2023–2024 term dates at BVGS are:

  • Michaelmas (autumn) term: 6th September – 21st December 2023
  • Half term: 27th October – 3rd November 2023
  • Lent (spring) term: 9th January – 21st March 2024
  • Half term: 12th–16th February 2024
  • Summer term: 9th April – 16th July 2024
  • Half term: 27th–31st May 2024

How to apply to Bishop Vesey's Grammar School

Bishop Vesey's Grammar School shares a testing process with the seven other grammar schools in Birmingham, as well as the grammar schools in Warwickshire, Shropshire, Walsall and Wolverhampton. You only need to register once to apply to any grammar schools across these areas.

1. Register for the 11 plus

Before registering, speak to your child’s teacher to see if the 11 plus and grammar school is right for them.

When your child is in Year 5, register them for the 11 plus on the West Midlands Grammar Schools portal. Registration opens at 9 am on 9th May 2023 and closes at 4 pm on 30th June 2023.

2. Apply for school places

Once your child has taken the exam, you will get their results on the 20th October 2023. If your child achieves the qualifying score, you can include grammar schools on your local authority application form.

Before listing BVGS as a preference on your form, check its admissions policy and make sure your child is eligible. As well as your child's exam score, how close you live to a school can be an important factor in whether your child is likely to be offered a place.

The application form must be submitted to your home local council by 31st October 2023.

What's on the Bishop Vesey's Grammar School 11 plus?

The 11 plus exam for BVGS takes place on the 16th September 2023.

The West Midlands 11 plus test is provided by GL Assessment. It consists of two papers, each lasting about 60 minutes. A few minutes are allocated at the start of each paper for children to listen to instructions and complete some unmarked practice questions.

Both papers are divided into smaller, individually-timed sections that assess:

  • English comprehension
  • Maths
  • Verbal reasoning
  • Non-verbal reasoning

The test is entirely multiple-choice format, with no writing sections. Children record their answers in a separate answer booklet which is marked electronically.

The maths and English questions assess your child's understanding of Key Stage 2 national curriculum content, including Year 6 objectives. It tests their ability to reason and apply knowledge accurately.

The reasoning questions assess your child’s logic and problem-solving ability. Verbal and non-verbal reasoning are not typically taught at school. They are intended to measure how well children can spot patterns with, connect and manipulate written and visual information.

Learn more detail about each paper, and get free preparation resources, in our full 11 plus guide:

What is the pass mark for Bishop Vesey's Grammar School?

  • Qualifying score: In 2022 and 2023, 205 was the minimum score at which a child could be considered for a place at a Birmingham grammar school. Bear in mind that the admissions criteria apply (below).
  • Cut-off score: In 2022, the cut-off score was 223. This was the score achieved by the child who was offered the final place at BVGS.
    Unlike the King Edward VI Birmingham grammar schools, BVGS does not have a priority score.

Scores from recent years above can be used as a guide only. Achieving the qualifying score doesn't guarantee a place at the school, as it's likely to be oversubscribed with qualified candidates. We always recommend researching the admission policies and oversubscription criteria for your target schools.

How is the Birmingham 11 plus scored?

After your child takes the exam, their scores are age-standardised and combined to give them a total score across all papers. These total scores are ranked in order, and oversubscription criteria are applied.

Bishop Vesey's Grammar School admission criteria

The planned admission number (PAN) for the school is 192. Children who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) naming BVGS and who achieve the qualifying score are offered a place first. After this, when more children achieve the qualifying score than there are places available (highly likely), places are offered in this order:

1. Looked-After or previously Looked-After Children who achieve the qualifying score, ranked by order of test score.

2. Up to 38 children who get free school meals and achieve the qualifying score, ranked by order of test score.

3. Other children who achieve the qualifying score, ranked by order of test score.

When test scores are equal, children who live nearest the school will be prioritised. Distances are calculated in a straight line from the child's home address to the foot of the steps leading to the main school entrance.

Bishop Vesey's Grammar School catchment area

Bishop Vesey's Grammar School no longer has a catchment area. Places are offered based on children's performance in the test. Priority is only given to children living nearest the school when test scores are equal.

School Details

Type of School Grammar
Address Lichfield Road Sutton Coldfield Birmingham B74 2NH
Phone 01212505400
Region Birmingham and Walsall


Admission Year Sept 2024
Gender in YEAR 7 Boys


CAF form 31/10/2023
Registration 9/5/2023 - 30/6/2023
Academic Exam 16/9/2023
Test Results Day 20/10/2023
Open Days 15/6/2023
Allocation Day 1/3/2024

Academic Selection

Number of Places 192
Standardised No
Age Standardised Yes
Total Number of Exams 2
Qualifying Score 223
Admission Policy View

Exam Boards

  • Granada Learning (GL)

Exam Styles

  • Multiple Choice (MC)

Sample Papers

Name Document or Link Subjects
Familiarisation booklet View Mixed Subjects

Find answers to our frequently asked questions about Bishop Vesey's Grammar School

  • What extracurricular activities are offered at Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School?
    Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School takes pride in its diverse and enriching extracurricular activities, providing students with a well-rounded educational experience. These activities foster teamwork, leadership, and creativity, enabling students to pursue their passions and interests beyond the classroom.
  • How does Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School support Pupil Premium recipients during admissions?
    The school is dedicated to ensuring equal opportunities for all. Priority selection is given to eligible students with qualifying scores, ensuring they have a fair chance of admission. The school assists these students, helping them familiarise themselves with the entrance examination format. This support aims to level the playing field and enhance chances of success.
  • What is the reputation of Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School in terms of university placements?
    Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School has earned a remarkable reputation for its university placements. Approximately three-quarters of its students continue their education at prestigious Russell Group universities, renowned for their academic excellence and research opportunities. This demonstrates the school’s commitment to nurturing and preparing its students for success in higher education and beyond.