Surrey secondary schools(6 Posts)
Hi, hope someone can help clear up my confusion on secondary schools!! If I get my son into a prep school such as Ewell Castle which is 3-18, do they still have to sit the 11+?
I have 3 sons and am keen for them to all go to the same school and get the same opportunity so am concerned if we go for a private school with entrance exams that one may not get in. Any thoughts?
Which are the less selective/ easier to get into schools? Which are the competitive?
I am broadly looking at A3 corridor within M25 (roughly).
Help....feeling very overwhelmed by all the options!!!
If a child goes to a school that runs from 3 to 18, the expectation is that they will automatically be allowed to stay for the transition between Year 6 and Year 7. However, I have heard of parents being advised (at other schools not the one you mention) that their child would be better suited to a new school at age 11 i.e. that they are not considered academic enough to be allowed to continue. You'd have to ask for the stats and the policies on that and also have to consider that these things can change if for example a new Head takes over.
I would say separately however that giving all 3 children the same opportunities doesn't necessarily mean that all 3 go to the same school forever. It is definitely easier when they are little of course but, by age 11, you may find one of them is incredibly academic, one is very sporty and the other is an all rounder. It may be that any school you find only suits one of them or makes one of them happy. A lot of it is ability but a lot of it is personality as well. Unless they are all very similar, it might be a tough call to find a school that will be right for all 3 of them for 15 years.
In the area (not Surrey) I was brought up in, there were several private schools that went all the way up, and they were very clear that entry to the junior school (non-examined)did not give you automatic entry to the seniors (11+).
This was to stop the parents who thought that an easy way of stopping their child from not getting in was to join them at junior level.
They didn't even give preferential treatment, a couple failed every year I know about. However they would give the parents a heads up beforehand, and I suspect if the child just performed badly on the day but generally was fine, they would offer a place anyway.
I would start by asking the school.
However beware that a new head could change things. I have fond memories of the outrage caused a few years ago when a local Girls school made passing the entrance exam (at 11+) compulsory to proceed to the senior school. So things do change.
Also be aware that what suits one child may not be the best for another. It is not that rare that a child follows an older sibling but for various reasons is unhappy but then thrives in a new school (including one of a boy going from a Competitive private Grammar to a State school).
You need to check with the school what their transfer arrangements are but often to go from prep to senior is relatively straightforward with the entrance test being used to set and award scholarships in line with external candidates, and Ewell Castle isn't particularly academically selective unlike, say , Epsom College.
Thanks everyone, really helpful, have some school visits lined up so will see what we think of them. Xx
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