Mums, can I ask a bit about your experiences applying for high schools?

(10 Posts)
ml2109 Tue 29-Sep-15 16:50:15

Hi Mums,

New here, apologies if this is spammy smile

My experience of searching for high schools has involved browsing too many various websites and admin for my liking e.g. bbc, telegraph, tatler, then the school websites...and then to have to fill out multiple separate applications, keeping track of key dates...

Does anyone else find this annoying, or just me? And does anyone know of a good website where I can search/ filter out schools, view the information (deadlines etc) add to a shortlist etc and apply through it?

Thank you! flowers

Millymollymama Tue 29-Sep-15 19:08:19

Does your existing school not give you recommendations? If you are abroad, lots of parents use agencies to filter out the schools you probably do not want. Lots of people can give great advice on here if you say what you are looking for: co-ed, single sex, boarding, day, near London, adacemic, special attributes, eg music, art, sport. If you are very specific, I bet you would get a decent list. Not sure there is any help re forms and deadlines and selection days though!

lljkk Tue 29-Sep-15 19:18:56

State schools in an area usually all have same deadlines / similar curricula.
Private schools are usually ongood, I believe.

TeenAndTween Tue 29-Sep-15 20:17:53

I'm thinking you must be looking for selective and/or independent schools?
Otherwise in England you visit the school, read Ofsteds if keen, put down 3 or 4 or 6 or whatever on one form and submit by end October. Job done.

PettsWoodParadise Tue 29-Sep-15 22:03:57

Pay the money for The Good Schools Guide, worth every penny. It has independents and state schools. You can get the hardcopy or you can subscribe for as little as one month online.

P.s I don't work for them, I am just obsessed with schools at the moment as DD is currently in Y6!

Gruach Tue 29-Sep-15 22:14:36

Strangely I've never found The Good Schools Guide useful enough to be worth buying. In the pre-Internet world it could be read in the library - and now it only seems additional to the sources the OP has mentioned.

I know there is a site you can sign up to from where you can request multiple prospectuses all in one go. (Is it GSG itself?) But for anything more advanced I guess you have to pay an agency?

(I'm completely assuming the OP means independent schools.)

mummytime Wed 30-Sep-15 10:33:31

Are you talking about private schools? If so the Good Schools Guide or an educational consultant are worth it, but I would expect your present school to be giving you a steer towards the right kind of schools.

If you mean state then your LA probably has basic documents which list things like: a list of schools, their address, a summary of their entry criteria etc. You can also find out from the LA which category they admitted children from last year, and the furthest distance in that category.
The Good schools guide again does list a few state schools, and has a mapping function on their website.

Blu Wed 30-Sep-15 11:43:20

My DC state school is in the Good Schools Guide and the mapping function is wildly unrealistic regarding entry for Yr 7. I don't know where they get their data from.

mummytime Wed 30-Sep-15 12:37:56

Oh the maps are just useful for: schools within 5 miles, or whatever.

Don't trust any site for being realistic about distance you might get in from. The data can be: out of date, biased by siblings or other high priority children or people who got in on appeal. The only good source for that is the LA statistics.

PettsWoodParadise Wed 30-Sep-15 21:25:51

The Good Schools Guide will have independent info about the culture and ethos of the schools which can be hard to guage otherwise. I wouldn't use it for distance, but for narrowing down my search and helping with the fit of the school. Some Grammars are superselective on score so don't have catchments in the same way as other state schools and it helps you identify those. Yes for good comprehensives that have oversubscription criteria based on distance the LA data is the best to rely on - as well as friendly admissions officers. smile

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