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Could anyone give me the low down on how to apply for places for my DD in the independant sector?

(20 Posts)
ronshar Wed 28-Oct-09 11:10:15

Our DD1 is in the top 5 of children in her year group for Maths. She is the top female. Also her Literacy scores are in the top 10 of her year group.
DD1 is currently in year 5 so I am starting to worry about her going to the local secondary schools. They all only manage to get an average 50%, at best, of pupils through maths & english at C+.

I am not precious about my children. I am aware that she may do perfectly well at any of the local schools.
We would really love to give her the very best opportunties but unfortunately we can not pay for them.

Can anyone give me any idea where to start with the whole process?

Jajas Wed 28-Oct-09 11:23:23

Apply for a bursary at your local Independent school?

ronshar Wed 28-Oct-09 11:35:57

Thank you for answering.

I'm not sure whether you apply for bursery on its own or does DD1 have to take entrance test etc?
We have a few private schools locally. Lancing College being one of them. I would prefer an academically good school.

So I have no idea at all where to start really.

Lilymaid Wed 28-Oct-09 11:42:43

Have you considered Brighton College as it is a more academic school?

lucysmum Wed 28-Oct-09 11:47:03

Go on their wesbites. Ask for prospectus. Have a look round. Meet with head. Ask specifically about entrance tests including scholarships etc. Register if it is likely to be right school. Take entrance exam - often Jan in year 6. Await results.

ronshar Wed 28-Oct-09 20:18:50

Thank you ladies.

So I basically look for schools and then apply for a place.

I had visions of a central examination which I then had to find a school to accept DD with.

I shall start looking.

Thank you.

fivecandles Wed 28-Oct-09 21:08:45

There will be lots of info about bursaries on school websites. The vast majority are means tested on a sliding scale which could be up to 50% or 100%. Obviously your dd would need to pass an entrance exam first. In the current climate there is less competition that usual for places at independent schools. Having said that with more middle class parents facing economic difficulty including many existing parents at indepdnent schools there will probably be more competition for bursaries.

ronshar Wed 28-Oct-09 21:50:40

Fivecandles, is each school different?
There isnt a central admissions criteria policy. I dont know why but I thought it would be a bit like the UCAS, or what ever it is called now, system.

fivecandles Wed 28-Oct-09 23:20:57

Yes, each school is different and will have an entirely separate admissions procedure. Indepednet schools are entirely separate after all. They're not run by a central body which is sort of the point. The process however will be largely similar. Honestly, all of the info will be available to download (including what income you need to be on to be entitled to a bursary and how to prove it and relevant info about exams) on the school websites. That's where you need to look.

OurLadyOfPerpetualBloodSucker Wed 28-Oct-09 23:32:25

As well as looking at the websites, you might find helpful people on the end of the phone if you call the schools.

They're often quite happy to have an informal chat and will tell you things like maximum bursary value, or how many bursaries they offer - information you won't necessarily get from the websites.

sunnydelight Thu 29-Oct-09 03:17:41

If you're in that area, have you thought about Brighton & Hove High School school? I've just had a look at their website and there's a whole section on scholarships and bursaries.

ronshar Thu 29-Oct-09 09:25:35

Excellent. Thank you ladies.
Yes I have thought about B&H. Brighton College is supposed to be good as well.
Do any of you know anything about Burgess Hill School for girls?
Would a girls school be better? I went to a mixed school but did get rather distracted by the boyswink.

Rocky12 Thu 29-Oct-09 15:33:30

What sort of bursary are you looking for? I would be clear on your income, I was talking to another mother the other day. Her household income was £100k per year. She thought she would get a least 50% reduction in fees and was about to approach a few schools....

sunnydelight Fri 30-Oct-09 00:24:51

I think that Brighton College is more inclined to offer financial help to families already at the school who have fallen on hard times, especially if their childen are nearing the end of their schooling, but that's hearsay rather than published policy. Personally it's not a school I would choose if I was strugging financially as there are a lot of seriously "rich kids" there and the extras may not be manageable.

I also know a couple of parents who removed their children from the school as they got a bit fed up with the "what car is daddy buying for you to learn in?" and "where are you skiing this holiday?" conversations, although I will admit to having a moment of pure envy one day when I was shown around their dyslexic unit one time when DS1 was struggling at our local primary.

wicked Fri 30-Oct-09 15:41:45

You have probably missed out on the Open Day circuit, but all is not lost.

Check out the websites of your local independent schools and request a prospectus. Once you have had a look at the prospectus, call up the admissions secretary to arrange a meeting with the headteacher. You should be able to get a tour of the school, where you can ask further questions.

The school may offer a taster day where your child can spend a day in class, getting a feel for the place.

If you wish to proceed, you need to be prepared to part with a registration fee (around £75). This will enable your child to be assessed and offered a place formally. If you choose to accept the place there is a deposit to be paid (£500 - £1000 typicall), and at that point you are in. If you withdraw, you need to give a full term's notice, etc.

MABS Sat 31-Oct-09 00:26:28

i know a fair bit about all the local schools, mine are at indie just out of Brighton,were in brighton til recently,but loads of mates are there still. any specefic questions?

hercules1 Sat 31-Oct-09 09:35:41

I would get a tutor asap for the entrance tests.

ronshar Wed 04-Nov-09 11:49:23

Would DD1 need a tutor if she is already achieving top level four in year 5?
I dont really believe in teaching for tests. As it means that children do not have a rounded knowledge of subject. Am I wrong? Do we need to tutor?

Mabs I have applied for Burgess Hill prospectus, I am not sure about Brighton College because we have very little money and I know that DD would be upset if she was always being made to feel worthless because of it!
Do you know about B&H school for girls?

Thank you for your help ladiessmile

wicked Wed 04-Nov-09 11:53:30

You should not need to get a tutor.

Most schools will have them write an essay and do a maths paper, and this will be of the same standard as SATS.

In addition, there will likely be verbal and non-verbal reasoning tests. You can't revise for these, but it is good to be aware of the format of the tests. To do this, buy a pack of Bond Assessment papers from WH Smith or wherever, and get your child to do up to three of these.

Most selective schools (but not academic hothouses) basically take children who are average and above. They do not have to be superstars. Then there are plenty of non-selective independent schools who will take all abilities.

ronshar Wed 04-Nov-09 11:59:24

Ok. Thanks.
We are having to rely on DD1's brains in order to get her a good education which will not happen in the crappy schools locally.
So idealy we will need either a bursery or scholarship.

I just wasnt sure if there was anything in particular we needed to know so we can get it right and not ruin her chances because I failed to get all the relevant information before we applied.

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