Public school enrolment

(24 Posts)
ICoriander Fri 03-Jun-16 13:48:20

DD1 is registered with 2 boarding schools and enrolment is required by next term.

One of them is notoriously competitive for a place, but is DD's first choice. Prep have said they can't guarantee she would gain a place but she has all the credentials and ability, and would definitely support her having a go. They are confident she would gain a place at no.2 choice.

I'm really torn as to what to do. If I only enrol with no.1, but she doesn't get a place, she has lost the excellent opportunity she had with no.2. Do people enrol with more than 1 school? I can't really afford to lose £1000 enrolment fee.

We didn't have private education ourselves, so I'm not as clued up on the whole thing as some parents.

Clonakiltylil Fri 03-Jun-16 14:56:45

I am surprised at the £1000 fee. Where did that figure come from? I know that the registration fee for Wycombe Abbey is £200 and for Roedean it is £150. Are those the type of schools you mean?

Clonakiltylil Fri 03-Jun-16 14:58:58

Surely the deposit is only payable once she takes the test, passes and is given a place?

Balletgirlmum Fri 03-Jun-16 15:00:32

Usually you just lay a small deposit to register for the entrance exam & only send the larger deposit once a place has been offered.

Gruach Fri 03-Jun-16 15:08:46

Is this in England? Enrolment isn't a term I've seen being used here. As pp have said - after the registration fee there isn't usually a significant payment until the entrance exam has been passed, at which point you accept the place and pay a deposit.

ICoriander Fri 03-Jun-16 15:48:13

Registration cost £250. Enrolment fee is £1800. The enrolment deadline is next term, but having one back and read again, only the enrolment form needs to be in, not the fee.

In that case, if I'm registered for both then I may as well enrol for both?

I seem to remember a tutor saying that the schools will be aware if they're not your first choice school, and they don't like to be second choice... Can anyone shed any light on this please?

ICoriander Fri 03-Jun-16 15:50:37

*gone back

Yes, Gruach, in England.

AnotherNewt Fri 03-Jun-16 15:58:14

It sounds as if they are checking with all registered candidates whether they want to proceed. In which case your answer is yes to both.

Unless it is a CE school, you do not have to nominate a single choice at any point. And if not CE, it would be unwise to try for only one (unless you had a secure plan B for a totally different type of school).

meditrina Fri 03-Jun-16 15:59:06

"I seem to remember a tutor saying that the schools will be aware if they're not your first choice school, and they don't like to be second choice... "

How would they be aware unless you tell them?

ICoriander Fri 03-Jun-16 16:14:50

Yes, both CE (13+ entry). I think the schools would be aware from some list to do with CE?

AnotherNewt Fri 03-Jun-16 16:19:35

You do have to nominate a first choice schools for CE, and that wil, be the school that marks the script. This year's deadline has been and gone, so I'm assuming this is for next year.

Different schools do have slightly different practices, but you have to nominate your first choice some time between November and February/March before the exam, and yes, some schools do ask for a further deposit at that point.

So it sounds as if you still have a bit of thinking time. Is there much difference between the two conditional offers?

ICoriander Fri 03-Jun-16 16:22:44

AnotherNewt, it's for 2018 entry. We've only been for tours and house visits so far. Don't the offers come after school entrance tests/interviews?

AnotherNewt Fri 03-Jun-16 16:28:21

Not necessarily, because Commin Entrance is a conditional offer system.

Different schools base their offers on different things: pretest exam, interview, reference, taster day etc.

When you get the offers, they will tell you what CE mark they will be looking for. And then you choose which of these will be your first choice, and you formally confirm that.

There are very few upsets at CE, because the whole process is designed to be a prolonged way of matching candidates to schools. Having the odd deadline where parents have to pay a second deposit helps make sure everyone has made their choices in time. And by the final 'first choice' deadline, everyone has to (as that is the way you arrange the marking).

ICoriander Fri 03-Jun-16 16:29:25

I'd be hoping to qualify for a smallish bursary, but not sure we will. We have to submit bursary forms along with enrolment forms, so would it be worth doing that now? It may come down to going with the school that would offer us a bursary, if either do.

ICoriander Fri 03-Jun-16 16:34:38

School no.1 has pre-test, but it only accounts for 10% of overall marking - heaviest weighting is Prep Head's report & interviews. No.2 is the same minus pre-test. Her prep have said she can go to any school on CE predictions (top set for all subjects).

happygardening Fri 03-Jun-16 16:41:58

"I seem to remember a tutor saying that the schools will be aware if they're not your first choice school, and they don't like to be second choice... "
Of course every school wants you to be their first choice, the cynic in me says this is because they want your money, they will tell you its because they want parents who are completely signed up to their ethos and love what they do, rather than parents who are slightly disappointed that their DC in not somewhere else. But ultimately all but a select few are struggling to fill their vacancies and when the chips are down will take anyone whose suitable and couldn't care less where else your DC tried to get a place at.
"One of them is notoriously competitive for a place, but is DD's first choice."
Most schools with very competitive entry will be perfectly aware that parents will at the very least have got a back up even if its just in the back of their minds. And many of those back up schools will be perfectly aware that some will have tried and failed to get places at schools which have very competitive entries.
"How would they be aware unless you tell them?"
This was many years ago but I think we had to state on one of our registration forms where else we'd registered DS1, I clearly remember being asked where else we were considering during our guided tour of SPS and he was certainly asked at one interview.
"Don't the offers come after school entrance tests/interviews?"
It depends on the school this that pre test in yr 6/7 for entry into yr 9 will offer a conditional place and ask for deposit of some description. If the place is just conditional on achieving some sort of % at CE then you usually stump up a fairly substantial deposit before sitting CE sometimes 18 months before sitting it.

happygardening Fri 03-Jun-16 16:46:11

"I'd be hoping to qualify for a smallish bursary, but not sure we will. We have to submit bursary forms along with enrolment forms, so would it be worth doing that now?"
This depends on the school DS2's school will give you a provisional figure even before you register, some want you to apply for a bursary a few months before sitting CE, there may be some out there that wont give you a figure until you're DD has sat CE although one would hope not. You'd need to speak to the bursar about specific details of the schools your applying too.

ICoriander Fri 03-Jun-16 23:14:45

"But ultimately all but a select few are struggling to fill their vacancies and when the chips are down will take anyone whose suitable and couldn't care less where else your DC tried to get a place at."
Unfortunately, DD1 has chosen 2 of the 'select few'.

Thank you for all the advice, I've been sweating over it for months now, wish I'd asked on here sooner! I've been trying to get the answers from her school but not getting very far. Perhaps I haven't been asking the right questions... Anyway, it's much clearer in my head now smile. I think the next step is to speak to the bursars.

IndridCold Sat 04-Jun-16 14:11:06

I'm not sure if your question has been answered or not, Coriander, but I believe that for Sept 2018 entry no school can ask you for a non-returnable deposit before January 2017.

bluecarpet Mon 06-Jun-16 09:48:10

How can you afford boarding school if you can't afford to lose £1000? Fees will go up by more than £1000 each year at current rates of school fee inflation.

ICoriander Tue 07-Jun-16 23:45:48

bluecarpet a lot of the fees are paid by DH's employer. The deposit is £1800 and I don't think anyone would be happy to lose that amount of money. Anyway, it's already been resolved that I don't pay the enrolment fee until a place has been offered.

ICoriander Tue 07-Jun-16 23:48:02

DD has already been boarding for 2 years and fees haven't gone up once, nor are they going up this year. It is probably already one of the most expensive prep's though.

charlstraw Fri 10-Jun-16 23:13:44

1000 pounds whoa! shock

Pythonesque Fri 10-Jun-16 23:22:55

My daughter's just done CE; I can confirm we didn't get asked for a deposit of that size until we had a definite unconditional place.

My son's the same age as your daughter and we're in the midst of senior school choice dilemmas too - it's too hard and frustratingly early to have to do it!!

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