Nine out of ten pupils applying for places at Birmingham and Black Country grammar schools this year missed out on a place, it has been revealed.
Application figures for September’s intake reveal that thousands of the region’s brightest students were left disappointed in the race for a place at heavily oversubscribed grammar schools.
They show that nearly 15,000 students applied for just under 1,500 Birmingham and Black Country grammar school places.
Under the stringent admissions process, pupils are selected following an entrance exam, and families are required to put their chosen school down as one of six preferences when applying for a secondary school place.
Topping the table for the highest number of first-choice applicants was King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys in Kings Heath, with 710 families listing the school.
The school received 1,219 applications for just 93 places – meaning 12 of every 13 applicants were left disappointed.
Head teacher Michael Roden revealed that parents were so keen on their children attending the school they were willing to relocate from other parts of the country.
“A number of parents commute to work in other cities like London, and we have boys coming from the other side of Wolverhampton to study here,” said Mr Roden. “We have two sets of parents who have moved from Derbyshire, too.”
Mr Roden added that he expected applications for the next academic year to be “higher than ever”.
“The figure of first-choice applicants is actually over 800 when you take into account people who have applied from other areas,” he said.
“We had two open days last Friday and Saturday, and 1,500 people came.”
The school is part of the Consortium of Grammar Schools in Birmingham, which is made up of Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School, Sutton Coldfield Grammar School for Girls and the four other King Edward The Sixth Foundation grammar schools.
Places are determined by entrance exam, but Mr Roden said his school was “not an exams factory”. He said: “We have a national reputation, but we are a school for everyone. We have the best academic record outside London.”
Other sought-after grammar schools include King Edward VI Aston School, which notched up the highest number of applicants per place, with nearly 15 students vying for every Year 7 space.
Kings Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls had 604 first-choice applicants for just 120 places, and Sutton Coldfield Grammar School for Girls saw 447 put the school down as their first choice, despite only 150 places being available.
Sandwell Academy had 1,507 students vying for 180 places, while Wolverhampton Girls’ High School saw more than five times the number of total applicants competing for 108 places.