Admission fee for initial discussion?(4 Posts)
(Note. cross posted in SEN)
I’m in the process of contacting various independents to see if they can meet my sons needs. One of the schools we like has told me they can’t discuss meeting his needs until we have submitted the application form, with accompanied fee. I’ve said I’d rather send his SEN details first to see if they can meet needs but they’ve said no.
No other school has requested fee for the initial discussion - and this has turned me off the school a little. But perhaps it’s more common than I think...?
That sounds ridiculous! I would avoid at all costs! I have never heard a school do that. Hope you find somewhere fabulous!
Are you contacting preps or senior schools, OP? Two big-name senior schools which I contacted specifically asked to see my dS' SEN report before I completed the application forms and paid their fees - presumably so I wouldn't waste my money and both of our time - so I haven't had same experience as you yet. Was this a well-known school?
I think this is odd.
If you go to an Open morning or evening, it should be possible to mention your DS needs in general terms and arrange to have a chat with the SENCO. I would expect them to ask you top bring any statement or ed psych report to that meeting.
At that point I think they should be able to advise you. Schools have to be very careful these days not to be seen to discriminate, so they might not give a definitive answer. At this point, I don't think they can guarantee anything but should be able to advise you to go ahead and apply to take the exams, or they might not say outright not to bother but suggest elsewhere might be a better fit.
By the way, they aren't charging you for the discussion but for applying. It's not quite the same thing. However, as with all queries, you should be able to ask as many as you want BEFORE actually applying.
If I were you I would email the school saying you have queries - be clear that you have questions relating to the school and your sons needs, which you would like to ask before formally applying, to be sure that you are actually happy to apply and applying is suitable. Be clear that you are not happy putting in a formal application (probably wouldn't mention the money aspect) until you have answers to all your questions. Simply ask who you should speak to about the queries and when would be a convenient time to discuss further.
If they say in writing that you must apply first - reply saying you dont feel comfortable applying without more information.
Unfortunately this could all be an attempt to put you off - they aren't keen to meet the needs of SEN but clearly can't say that....so try to deter people in other ways. It's up to you if you want to engage further with a school that takes this attitude if you feel they are doing that.
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