So how do you try for Eton then?

(72 Posts)
Newyearchanger Mon 20-Jan-14 22:09:18

I read that you can try common entrance at 13, but I also saw comments about putting a child's name down.... What does that mean?

ReallyTired Mon 20-Jan-14 22:11:47

Surely Eton has its admissions details on its website. I believe that children do a computerised screening test to weed out those who are truely hopeless several years before common entrance.

Eton or any private school is completely out of my family's league as the school fees are so high.

UKsounding Mon 20-Jan-14 22:13:38 and then select admissions....

There's this site called Google which is really good when you are searching for stuff....

SignoraStronza Mon 20-Jan-14 22:15:54

One does not simply 'try' for Eton, does one? Surely one is 'born' to attend Eton. Looking at some of the toff spawn pupils (I mean you, royal princes) and it is clear that academic achievement has little to do with it.

MillyMollyMama Mon 20-Jan-14 22:24:41

You go to a prep school, make sure the school gets boys into Eton so knows the deadlines, get expertly tutored for Common Entrance and be very clever, articulate and musical, sporty or gifted in some other way. Easier if you have money to pay the fees. More difficult if you want a scholarship. Start saving?

meditrina Mon 20-Jan-14 22:29:58

You have to register your DS no later than the month in which he turns 10 yrs 6 months. Pre-test at 11. CE for those with conditional offers June before entry.

Kings Scholarship, if trying, in the spring before entry. Seriously difficult.

They do ask about OE connexions, which may give a leg up to some. But it's straight competitive entry for the vast majority these days.

SquidgyMummy Mon 20-Jan-14 22:32:52

just skimmed through the prospectus. Fees are "£11k per half" - is that per half term? ie £66,000 per year? <faint>

meditrina Mon 20-Jan-14 22:36:03

No! Eton weird terminology. What everywhere else calls a term, they call a half.

Because at Eton, long ago, the school year was divided into two terms (hence Half as name for each) and no-one did the maths when they moved to a three term year.

CatAmongThePigeons Mon 20-Jan-14 22:36:53

Halfs are terms I.e. 3 halfs in a year. Oddly.

Newyearchanger Mon 20-Jan-14 22:58:07

Google and site only mention exams and scholarships not name putting down

MillyMollyMama Mon 20-Jan-14 23:15:54

This is why DS has to go to a prep school that knows how to get boys in to Eton. DIY is very difficult!

Newyearchanger Mon 20-Jan-14 23:27:57

We live far away and wouldn't consider boarding until yr 9 but he loves academic work and school in general and might be able to get a scholarship this is only 1/10 th of fees

TeamHank Mon 20-Jan-14 23:37:50

Scholarship is only 1/10th of fees?????

How can they get away with calling that a scholarship? shock

Newyearchanger Mon 20-Jan-14 23:40:38

Still about 32 grand then confused

meditrina Mon 20-Jan-14 23:58:16

Scholarships about academic honour. In some schools they have zero cash value.

Eastpoint Tue 21-Jan-14 05:51:03

They offer bursaries for families who cannot pay full fees. That way clever boys from rich families don't get their fees paid & clever boys from less prosperous families do.

Contact the school if you are interested.

middleclassonbursary Tue 21-Jan-14 06:27:26

Eton and a few other top name schools have a generous bursary policy and a reasonably high % in comparison to other schools on bursaries.

barbour Tue 21-Jan-14 09:02:33

I am sceptical....if the modern Eton is supposed to be a true meritocracy in the application process why do they still ask about connections to Eton on the registration form...that sort of question does not appear in most other senior school registration forms....nor does it in Oxbridge sort of suggests there are still a certain % of places unofficially "reserved" for those who can answer, "my father and grandfather is an OE".

Seeline Tue 21-Jan-14 09:06:35

Most private school application forms ask whether there is any connection to the school, either past or present. I suppose it gives an indication of the level of interest.

barbour Tue 21-Jan-14 09:09:27

i have looked at a few...and have not seen one that asks that question....but then perhaps it's only certain ones like Eton that do

Seeline Tue 21-Jan-14 09:11:09

These have been more 'local level' indies - not the same league as Eton.

barbour Tue 21-Jan-14 09:18:40

yes obviously we are not applying to the right schools...

barbour Tue 21-Jan-14 09:30:31

my point still stands though ...if an application process is truly meritocratic then you shouldn't be asking that does suggest the information may be used in weighing up the application doesn't it ?

barbour Tue 21-Jan-14 09:34:05

same point for mother's and father's occupation...

meditrina Tue 21-Jan-14 09:44:52

For 'occupation' they might be assisting if you can really afford it!

And I think other connection to a school can used for sorting out borderline candidates. If you've offered most of your places to the best academic performers, then have say 10 places left and 20 applicants on the next rung all if whom merit a place academically, then other criteria kick in, such as siblings, other connections to the school, points that came up at interview or reference or anything else valued in that particular school community.

"Tim, Tim, nice but dim" is far less likely to walk into a selective school these days.

Eastpoint Tue 21-Jan-14 09:48:40

The Girls' Day School Trust are unflashy & were direct grant schools and they ask for family connections. I put down that my DDs' grandmother had been to Blackheath High in the 1920s. I didn't bother to put my mother had failed to get in twice in the 40s & 50s.

grovel Tue 21-Jan-14 09:54:33

These schools like to know how many children of old boys/girls they've got. They also like data about what parents do (20% military, 15% lawyers etc). I understand that they also tend to send a rather more personalised rejection letter to parents who were at the school themselves.

Michaelahpurple Tue 21-Jan-14 10:17:11

I know several clever sons of OEs who have not secured places.

And you don't "put your name down " any more - that went out a glue ago. Like any other school you have to register ahead of a deadline roughly 6 months before doing the exam for admin purposes. In E's case, as stated, by the date the boy is 10.5.

For Eton , westminster, St. Paul's and Winchester you need to have decided you are interested, and to register, during year 5, at various different dates.

All of them offer bursaries for those on very low incomes - scholarships are different. (Chiefly for glory)

Michaelahpurple Tue 21-Jan-14 10:18:35

Oh, and I think I read somewhere that state school bursary boys are sent to a prep school for two years to bridge the gap between primary and public school, and to allow them to study for the CE exam. Not sure what happens to non-bursary state school boys

Hulahaha Tue 21-Jan-14 10:19:31

My son got into Eton , both his parents are state school educated and not from a wealthy background - it didn't matter one little bit . They were charming in the interview process . At the talk about the admission process they bent over backwards to be inclusive about state school pupils . Don't believe all the old school nonsense it has changed - although it is still very expensive !

barbour Tue 21-Jan-14 10:33:07

i am not saying the old school family history is what it takes to get in ...but I suspect unofficially they will always make sure a decent proportion of sons of OEs will get in to keep prep and OEs happy ...they can get the same data by asking it on a post-offer data request form rather than the application form...if it's only the data they are interested in. Let's face it, no superselective state grammar can ask you that question.

barbour Tue 21-Jan-14 10:40:47

My point is, yes, it is likely lot more meritocratic than it used to be, and having an OE father is nowadays no guarantee ...but don't laud in the media saying it is a true (100%) meritocracy now, and then have those questions in your application process...they don't belong in a truly meritocratic selection process which should be based on the child's abilities alone.

IndridCold Tue 21-Jan-14 13:12:56

In my experience it's quite normal for private schools to ask if there is a family link to the school. We initially considered about 7 schools as a possibility for DS (6 or 7 years ago). Every single one of them asked us if we had a previous link with the school - and that was just when I was sending off for the prospectus!

They need to gather this information for their records, in any case. How are they to refute the accusation that sons of OE's are not given a special dispensation, if they don't have accurate information of how many OE's sons they actually have?

mrsjavierbardem Tue 21-Jan-14 13:22:22

no private school can have a 'truly meritocratic system'. Private school makes that a contradiction in terms.

A private school has to balance a number of vested interests and also manage public perception which tends to see the private sector as inevitably weakening the state system. They have to let some poor clever oiks in now or their PR suffers. Where they have 500 boys who have all passed the exam they then can start weeding out based on other skills and factors. And if your dad can build a new school pool - then you will be more likely to get a place - that's always been the case.

David Cameron
Tony Blair
George Osbourne
Nuff said.

This country right now is run by a highly privileged elite; that can't really be denied.

nibs777 Tue 21-Jan-14 16:37:11

agree with that mrsjavierbardem.....they stick the videos of the poor clever ones that get in on scholarships at sixth form on youtube for maximum PR value...the elite who come out of these schools and go on to run things are usually elite before they got there anyway.

Dapplegrey Tue 21-Jan-14 16:56:40

Eton is an independent school - it can ask what questions it likes on the application form.

middleclassonbursary Tue 21-Jan-14 18:14:58

barbour we know at least four old Etonians including one well known hereditary peer whose DS's didn't get into Eton. Every school we've ever registered our DS for has asked us about family connections. My DS was offered places at the one my DH went too and the ones he didn't (all very over subscribed). We've also always been asked our occupations, anyone with a bit of common sense would then guess that unless we had other money that at best we are comfortably off but that we aren't in the 33k+ PA school fee league. I've got nothing to hide so it doesn't bother me.

I think with the advent of the pre-tests you have to be at a reasonable academic standard before they even talk to you so if you don't get over the first hurdle your connections don't mean a lot.

I agree with previous posters, all the schools I've registered the DC for prep and senior have asked about connections to the school and occupation.

Newyearchanger Tue 21-Jan-14 19:59:40

Sounds like too late for us... Ds is yr 7 local independent on academic scholarship. Not a super selective I dontthink. He seems to have just taken off and has come top in everything so it just crossed my mind to possibly move somewhere a bit more academic in yr 9.

Ill have another look at the website anyway.

We earn too much for much of a bursary but not enough to pay that sort of money.

Thanks all.

nibs777 Tue 21-Jan-14 20:12:10

is he at day school or boarding Newyearchanger?

Newyearchanger Tue 21-Jan-14 20:17:26

Day but keen to do occasional nights soon smile

middleclassonbursary Tue 21-Jan-14 20:34:44

"We earn too much for a bursary but not enough to pay that fort of money"
How do you know this? Contrary to popular opinion there is will not be a £40 000 max earning to qualify for a bursary for a boarding school like Eton.

Newyearchanger Tue 21-Jan-14 21:44:10

Yes , 10 % scholarship would be too little but our joint income is fairly high but as I say not at 30 grand a year to spare sort of high

Newyearchanger Tue 21-Jan-14 21:44:42

Depends on the bursary level I suppose.

middleclassonbursary Tue 21-Jan-14 21:52:24

As already stated you've missed the boat for entry to Eton for non scholars but both scholars and non scholars can apply and indeed get substantial bursaries, for scholars this is added up the automatic 10% reduction.
If you earnings/assets etc are not sufficient to cover the fees then at a school like Eton and a few others it very likely you will qualify for a bursary.

middleclassonbursary Tue 21-Jan-14 21:54:31

I hate autocorrect. I was trying to say for scholars this is added onto the automatic 10% reduction.

Newyearchanger Tue 21-Jan-14 22:10:58

Had a look, so he could do the Kings Scholar exam only then , 14 in the year .

middleclassonbursary Tue 21-Jan-14 22:24:48

Yes that's right. The Kings Scholarship or KS as it is known is notoriously difficult but anyone can enter their DS for it I believe.

Newyearchanger Tue 21-Jan-14 22:28:38

Thanks, shame , but I guess we hadn't made that decision last year so can't be helped.

We just looked at the Latin. He could give it a fair shot, not ridiculously hard but fairly challenging .

ShaynePunim Wed 22-Jan-14 14:18:24

"it sort of suggests there are still a certain % of places unofficially "reserved" for those who can answer, "my father and grandfather is an OE".

Well, that would suggest that your father is also your grandfather, so probably not the type they're looking for.

grovel Wed 22-Jan-14 14:53:24

Naughty, Shayne, very naughty.

grovel Wed 22-Jan-14 14:57:25

You're obviously not just a pretty face.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Wed 22-Jan-14 15:42:46

Oh, I don't know Shayne - I should think that particular boy would be one that any school would want to rescue.....

OP forget all the rubbish. If your DS is the kind of child who looks at a KS Latin paper with relish then it really would be worthwhile to at least investigate entering him.

There are obviously other schools you might consider as well. Particularly as you say he enjoys learning and has a record of academic achievement.

I guess the big question is whether his current school would prepare him. Is he the penultimate year of prep or the first year of an 11+ senior school? Although I've heard lots of stories of KS tutors I can't imagine how one would cover everything necessary without current school help.

As far as I understand things they would want a boy who was awarded a KS to actually take up his place - so would probably do everything possible to make that happen.

peteneras Wed 22-Jan-14 18:00:19

”The Kings Scholarship or KS as it is known is notoriously difficult but anyone can enter their DS for it I believe.”

Not true.

There are some eligibility criteria to meet, amongst others, a candidate must have taken the computerised Eton List Conditional Place Test and achieved a score satisfactory to Eton; and the boy’s current head teacher must write a report to demonstrate to Eton’s satisfaction that the boy is sufficiently strong academically to sit the Scholarship examination.

Not all prep school head teachers are prepared to do this to risk making a fool of themselves if the boy is not up to par and worse still to the detriment of the prep school’s future candidates!

ZeroSomeGameThingy Wed 22-Jan-14 18:45:53

This is what you want OP.

He would have to take and pass the computerised test to gain access to the KS exams but not until the KS year.

The only disadvantage of this route, ie not already being in possession of a conditional place, is that if he doesn't get a KS he doesn't get in.

IndridCold Wed 22-Jan-14 19:26:34

We know several boys who are on bursaries at Eton, and I believe that most of them are 50% of the fees, if that helps. It's still an eye watering amount of money...

From Zerosum's link, it looks as if you will also need your DSs current school to be on board with your plans, as your son already has a scholarship. Do call the Admissions office for more info, though, as they are the experts - they are very helpful. And best of luck to you if you do decide to go ahead. Nothing ventured nothing gained smile.

Newyearchanger Wed 22-Jan-14 19:43:56

Silly question at the end of the thread but any parents o sons actually there... Is it an excellent school?

summerends Wed 22-Jan-14 19:57:32

Believe me NewYear the Eton parents who post here regularly are extremely enthusiastic about their school, I am certainly convinced of its perfection wink

Newyearchanger Wed 22-Jan-14 20:02:04

That's great summerends smile

I live far away so it really would be "sending him away to school " Difficult to know if that will feel right in a year and a half.

He is yr 7 first year of secondary school

ZeroSomeGameThingy Wed 22-Jan-14 20:06:07

I'm sure what you actually meant is

" Would it be an excellent school for your DS? "

summerends Wed 22-Jan-14 20:06:11

Sorry, should have emphasised that I have never been to Eton wink but those enthusiastic parents will come along to give you their viewpoints.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Wed 22-Jan-14 20:08:14




middleclassonbursary Wed 22-Jan-14 23:40:50

Eton has a very loyal following and IME the vast majority of parens there are very happy with it. Other parents look at it and feel its just not their cup of tea and choose to send their DS's to what are in their view at the very least as good and at the very least as selective boarding/day schools because they just feels its not the right place for their individual DS.

peteneras Thu 23-Jan-14 09:59:26

”Although I've heard lots of stories of KS tutors I can't imagine how one would cover everything necessary without current school help.”

That’s precisely it, Zero, . . . they are stories, nothing more than stories! I’ve also heard claims of ultra expensive private tutors in central London ‘specialising’ in KS exams. But so far, I do not know of one single King’s Scholar who’d made it to College because of his private tuition from private tutors. At least not in the last 10 years.

Let’s face it, a boy who needs extra private tuition from private tutors has no place at College. He would be sunk in no time at all! This is the official word from Eton about the kind of boys they are admitting to College, ”. . . the examiners are keen to reward boys who show real ability. . .”

Even the Master-in-College (Housemaster of College) is very carefully screened and selected. To take on the combined brain power of 70 King’s Scholars under one roof (often at the same time) requires the calibre of someone related to Superman! smile That’s why the current incumbent is truly amazing, not least because she’d beaten a few well qualified men to the post but also the first ever female housemaster to be appointed at Eton.

So, don’t waste your money on private tutors hoping to become a KS.

Dapplegrey Thu 23-Jan-14 16:16:25

Newyearchanger - my ds left Eton 2 years ago. It was the best thing that ever happened to him and he loved it. He has got a great bunch of mates from there who I think and hope will be friends forever.

peteneras Thu 23-Jan-14 19:26:02

summerends, generally speaking, Eton parents are extremely enthusiastic about their school because they have first-hand experiences and involvements with the school and therefore, know what the school is really like - quite unlike the casual observers who get all worked up because of the ‘ETON’ word and who know nothing about the School except their own prejudices.

Newyearchanger, is it an excellent school, you asked. That must be the understatement of the year!

Eton produces† and knows of nothing but excellence!

Like in all production lines, there may be a dud or two that emerges at the end of the process every now and again. grin

MrsBright Sun 26-Jan-14 11:38:03

They get away with called a minor fee reduction a 'scholarship' because it gets them Charitable Status and all the tax loopholes that go with it. Its that cynical.

Spawn of Toffs indeed. If you want you child to look down on most other people for the rest if his life, and think that money is everything, then a posh private school is probably the best way to achieve it.


No most schools now give smaller scholarships so they can channel the funds into larger means tested bursaries. That way if you are talented and rich you don't get much money off but if you are talented and not so rich you are likely to get a much bigger reduction.

Newyearchanger Sun 26-Jan-14 12:06:28

I have to say 10 % doesn't sound like a heck of a reduction for a Kings Scholar

Dapplegrey Sun 26-Jan-14 14:17:35

Mrs Bright - my ds doesn't look down on anyone and nor does he, or any of my family, think money is everything.
You sound as if you have got a big chip on your shoulder

peteneras Sun 26-Jan-14 16:25:51

”. . .quite unlike the casual observers who get all worked up because of the ‘ETON’ word and who know nothing about the School except their own prejudices.”

Inevitably, they are bound to show up. Some people just will not learn or simply don’t want to learn. Next, they’ll complain how life has dealt them a bad hand.

Newyearchanger, take it from me, if your DS is good enough to get a King’s Scholarship from Eton (or any academic scholarship), Money is the last thing you should worry about sending him to Eton. Never mind about 10% reduction, depending on your family circumstances, your son can and will get even 110% reduction. Yes, that’s one hundred and ten percent I’m talking about, no typo here!

The overs being free sets of new uniform and even pocket money to boot. Eton is on record to say it does not want money to be the cause of preventing a deserving boy from going to Eton.

Floreat Etona!

Newyearchanger Sun 26-Jan-14 17:10:36

Thanks for that, I will look at the KS application

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