Prep school application form Q: which other schools are you applying to?

(7 Posts)
ridinghighinapril Sun 29-Jun-14 20:49:52

Why do prep school application forms ask you to state which other schools you are applying to?
It really is none of their business!
In the area we live the prep schools are oversubscribed (so we are led to believe) so by offering places to those they judge as the most suitable candidates (by 4+ assessment) they have nothing to lose, as there will also be a waiting list to fill declined offers.
Are they hoping that the prospective pupil has not applied anywhere else and, therefore, thinks that their school is the best? Enlighten me!

ridinghighinapril Sun 29-Jun-14 21:12:23

*Pre-prep, not prep

Ladymuck Sun 29-Jun-14 21:33:39

Well, they are businesses, so they have a number of reasons for wanting the information:-
a) market research - who are they competing against? What are parents looking for? Trends change over time, often relatively rapidly, and having empty seats could have a huge and immediate impact of the school budget.
b) how certain can they be that an offer will be accepted and eventually taken up? Or will an initial deposit be paid and then rejected when state school places are known, or another school makes its offers?
Every school will want the reputation of being oversubscribed, regardless of whether they are or not.
Whether all parents give an honest answer to the question is a different matter, and I suspect many parents will ignore the question, though it may come up at any parental interview.

Ladymuck Sun 29-Jun-14 21:35:09

One of the local independent schools has recently hired a firm to conduct research into why parents turn down its offers and take offers from competing schools.

moonbells Sun 29-Jun-14 22:50:06

I think there is also the fact that once offers go out, you usually have very little time, perhaps a week, to accept. You might find yourself having to accept or refuse an offer from one before you have got any communications from another school. If they both know you are waiting on both they may be more flexible.

horsemadmom Mon 30-Jun-14 11:22:30

It's nothing sinister. The schools don't want to find you are double booked for assessments. If School A does them on Monday and Tuesday and School B does them on Tuesday and Wednesday, they will both know that you can't have a Tueday slot.
Sometimes there is some behind the scenes horse trading. You have probably spoken to your nursery Head about which school is your top choice. If School A is your favourite and they love your DC, School B might just offer a top of the Reserve List spot and not waste an offer. We were in this position with DD1 and I thought it was quite clever of all involved.

ridinghighinapril Mon 07-Jul-14 11:22:15

Thank you for your responses.

I can't decide whether to be honest or not, as I don't want my child to be declined a place or put on a reserve list, if the school think we may opt for a rival. I don't know if the heads discuss offers with each other. I know our nursery won't have any influence on the schools, as the nursery is a run-of-the-mill day care type, not one that prepares children in any way at all to get into a pre-prep.

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