Moving to UK in September on waiting list for private schools(31 Posts)
Hi, we are moving From India in September and seeking admission for our ten year old son in one of the private schools in Richmond. I've written to all the private schools there and have heard from four with the same response, year 6 is fully booked, they can put my son's name on waiting but he's unlikely to get a seat. Since, there are others ahead of him. Is there an admission expert here who can guide me through the process or someone who has been in a similar situation?
More academic private/ independent schools are unlikely to have places. However, places do come up on occasion. Many highly selectives only take new pupils if they've recently moved to the area (major relocation). Widen your search by applying to some of the 4-13+ indies, too.
Most private schools require a term's notice so it's unlikely anyone would vacate a place for September at this stage as they would incur a financial penalty. Focus on traditional prep schools which go up to 13+/year 8 as they are usually keen to take pupils who plan to stay beyond 11, even if it takes them above ideal numbers short term.
Alternatively the borough would have to find you a place at a state primary school for year 6 once you arrive and you are then in a position to apply for secondaries alongside everyone else in October. Private secondaries may require registration now as entrance tests and interviews will be before or just after Christmas.
Agree with focussing on schools which go up to 13. They will want a child who will stay for three years. Year 6 in schools that only go up to 11 is a difficult year. Generally pupils will sit 11+ soon after Christmas, and then do nothing much after.
1. Use an educational consultant. They should know who might have places. The Good Schools Guide offer this service but there are others.
2. Use TfLs journey planner and cast your net a bit wider. For example Newton Prep is right opposite the railway station that has trains from Richmond.
3. Alternatively don't worry about Yr 6 and take whatever place you can, and really focus on 11+. You probably wont be able to pitch level so try for a range including Kew House, Radnor House and Ibstock, perhaps sitting a couple more than usual, if your son is relaxed about exams. Work on this over the summer. State primaries in Richmond are generally good, and there will be plenty trying to switch to independent at 11.
Agree with pp, try preps such as King's House, The Mall or Newland House but don't bother with schools that only go up to end of Year 6 such as Kew Court, Broomfield etc as they won't be interested. Alternatively try and get him into a junior dept of a school that continues to 18 as needmoresleep suggests. Places like Radnor, Ibstock, Harrodian, or St Paul's (Colet Court) if he's very bright. Also agree state primaries are all 'outstanding' in Richmond and there will be places in Year 6 as there is always a lot of movement in the Borough.
Very valuable information here. So, I've written to all the independent schools in Richmond, I'm going to get in touch with an education consultant and write to the council to apply to the state schools as well. Thanks everyone for the valuable inputs.
Agree with all that has been said above. Think about it from the school's perspective - if your son comes in to a school that prepares for the 11+ in year 6, they have almost no time to prepare him and he might drag down their results. If he comes in to a school that goes to 13 he is important because they lose a lot more children at 11 than they used to, and they'll have two years to prepare him for common entrance.
A school with a space will always assess a child if it is their policy to do so. There are occasionally children who enter in Y6 who if they are really exceptionally advanced, so I'd disagree with the above. Geographical relocation tends to overrule isolated entry points (at 5, 7, 11, etc.), but many academic schools will take a very able child who's already well prepared. In fact, a small number of pupils are 'quietly asked' to leave in Y5 as it is suggested to them that 'this isn't the right academic setting' (ie that they'd be unlikely to make it through to the Seniors / that their result wouldn't benefit the school at 11+). Awful as the latter is, it does happen.
Hi onestressball, how can one request the schools to assess the child?
They will respond asking for it if they are interested in having him. It would be unusual for any private school not to ask for some form of assessment, perhaps involving a day spent at the school with peers and tests, plus reports from current school. Even non selectives need to know if he would fit in to the established year group. However they are under no obligation to do so even if they have a space, unlike state schools which must offer you a vacant place.
If they have a space (do make it politely clear that you're relocating from abroad), they'll invite him for assessment.
No reports or references would be necessary at this stage, although you have no bridges to burn and could provide them upon request. An assessment usually takes the form of a day at school during which a child is tested (maths and English papers, occasionally VR and NVR) and views are taken on how they'd fit in with the current peer group, etc.
For those living abroad, assessment tests can be administered at a child's current school with the use of an invidulator. You could mention these possibilities to the Admissions Secretary. If it were possible, they'd probably have offered it to you when you'd spoken before.
Thank you! Appreciate a prompt response from you.
Agree with the others that you might be more likely to get a place in a 4-13 prep.
How far are you prepared to travel? Occasionally children leave Hurlingham in Putney at the end of Year 5 because their parents want them to go to a boarding school at 13, and Hurlingham only goes up to 11. Two left at the end of Year 5 in DD's year and went to Feltonfleet as their parents knew that the rest of the year group would be concentrating on 11+ preparation as soon as they started Year 6.
Some senior schools now start in Year 6 and the children take the 10+ and leave their prep at the end of Year 5, thus avoiding the horrors of the 11+. This again means there will be one or two places in Year 6 at some schools. You would need to ring them all to see what is available. I think you might have to look just a little outside Richmond though.
Hi Cleo, I'm open to other options but I need help. I've written to good schools guide for an education consultant, now awaiting their response. I've also write to the council. I hope to be able to secure a seat for my son in one such school before our move in mid September.
Recommend u google laidlaw education consultants in Richmond, Sue laidlaw knows this area intimately. Best of luck.
I would actually highly recommend checking with Richmond council - most likely even excellent state schools have a space in Year 6 - send your son to state school for a year and apply for the following year to all the independent schools in the area...
Hi Shubh, You will also need to check out secondary schools as your son will need to take the 11+ in January if he goes to a prep which only goes up until Year 6. Obviously if he goes to a prep which goes up to 13 there is not the same urgency.
There are often spaces in yr6 in state primaries in Richmond. It's possibly the easiest year group to find a space. of course it will only be for one year.
Or from Richmond try Newland House in Strawberry Hill (Twickenham-Teddington border) which goes to 13, similarly The Mall Twickenham.
Some 13+ schools pre-test in year 6, which means that even for the later transfer point the pupil has to do well in an open competitive exam only a couple of terms after arriving in the country.
Looking for schools which go through to 18 might be worthwhile. Is the Harrodian reachable from where you plan to live?
What sorts of features are you looking for in a school?
And be aware that, if you go for state schools, the deadline for secondary applications is in October (state grammar school tests will be earlier than that).
Hi, I'm looking for a school that's known to have a safe, warm environment. We will need the support from school to help my son settle down in a new culture. Not looking for an overly competitive environment. My kid is academically much above average but not the top of his class. He plays football, is a speed cuber, bakes etc. I hope to find a school that'll nurture his personality but definitely something that's academically strong as well.
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