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How early to register for independent?

(17 Posts)
LauraMipsum Wed 09-Mar-16 16:25:26

In a bout of wishful thinking more than anything I've been looking at a school which I would love DD to attend (I was nearly sent there as a child). I don't know that we will be able to afford it but there's 3 years between now and then...

The website says that places are in high demand and that early registration is essential.

How early is early? Now? (DD isn't two yet confused) A month before application? The year before? I will do the form and registration fee now if necessary but in an ideal world would leave it as late as possible so that I know if it is a realistic possibility or not.

AveEldon Wed 09-Mar-16 16:27:46

Call them
In SW London for some places you need to register at birth

AnotherNewt Wed 09-Mar-16 16:28:50

How do they manage their list, and what I'd their oversubscription criteria?

If they assess all applicants, and always keep their list open until the published deadline, then any time will be fine. But if they are first come first served, or if they have a maximum number of candidates and close registrations when that's reached, then the earlier the better.

AnotherNewt Wed 09-Mar-16 16:36:32

AveEldon where is SW London requires a birth registration for reception? (I assume from the ages given that's the entry point for OP's DC). Genuine question. I can only think of one school in North London that does.

And I can think of a couple of really popular first-come first-served schools in SW London, where you've always had to be fairly prompt (in first year) but at hadn't realised any were now effectively 'at birth'

cavedescreux Wed 09-Mar-16 16:41:23

Unless it says "registrations are accepted from third birthday" or equivalent, "early" is usually from birth. Where I live anyway!

LauraMipsum Wed 09-Mar-16 16:43:27

Wow. Sounds like now is about right then as she's 16 months! I'd imagined I could leave it until she's four (she's an autumn baby so will be nearly five when she starts school) but that's probably not a good idea. Thank you all.

AveEldon Wed 09-Mar-16 16:43:42

I think it's just due to sheer numbers. Some schools have changed their registration procedure so it's the age order at registration - otherwise they would only have children born in Sept (& siblings)

At 9mths (11 years ago) we were too late for both Thomas' & Newton Prep

DancingDinosaur Wed 09-Mar-16 16:45:52

Now. And even then you might be too late. I put my dc down at 4 months.

AnotherNewt Wed 09-Mar-16 16:52:47

NewtonPrep doesn't require a birth registration (they changed selection procedures under previous head, and AFAIK it's not changed again under current one). As long as you apply by deadline, you'll go to the assessment.

Thomas (unless they have changed it) accept a certain number of registrations, then close the list.

I think all schools have always accepted registrations from birth, I suppose I was asking whether there are now schools where it has to be at birth (and if so, do they end up with loads of autumn borns, plus their siblings).

LauraMipsum Wed 09-Mar-16 16:53:51

Wow! [shocked]

AveEldon Wed 09-Mar-16 18:07:09

Sorry Newt - I meant Finton House

Michaelahpurple Wed 09-Mar-16 21:25:13

Wetherby pre prep you need to be down at birth (in fact if born late in a month you can be unlucky) but I don't know anywhere else that closes before the age of your child

eeyoresgrumpierfriend Mon 10-Oct-16 15:40:54

Need to register at birth for Hornsby House on Balham these days. They avoid ending up with lots of Autumn bornes by ranking the list by how soon after your child's birth you register.

fittedcupboard Mon 10-Oct-16 22:05:09

Ask the school. I'm in NW London and they vary from deadline of the November before the assessment, to one where I rang up when he was 5 months old and was told I was too late

IsayIdontknow Tue 11-Oct-16 00:04:47

I rang up a few schools when DS was eight months old, and was told that I was leaving it rather late for one central London school. I think he just managed to get onto the list before it closed. He is August born. I was so surprised that I had to research schools before I look at nurseries!

Supposedtobeworking1 Tue 11-Oct-16 13:18:28

It really depends on the school, so probably best to phone and ask and also do a Google search as it may well be that others have discussed the particular school online too. Also bear in mind that many preps have a kindergarten so the children start as early as just after their 3rd birthday. This means that the number of reception age places is much lower as many of the children will have come through from Kindergarten class. My DS started at his small, rural prep just before his 4th birthday so second year kindergarten and we got a place for September entry having put his name down in January. Only two of his classmates didn't go through to reception so that only left two available places for children coming in at Reception age.

CruCru Tue 11-Oct-16 18:14:23

I registered my son for schools when he was two weeks old. Some schools were first come, first served, some would only accept applications made before the first birthday, some gave a two month window when he was three, one would only take applications made between the first and second birthday. Each one makes up their own rules so it is worth finding out what each one does.

Even once you'd registered, the oversubscribed ones would have other things for you to do - such as attend an open evening on a particular date, with no alternative available. If you miss it, you're off the list.

Similarly, they would email out a request for information by a certain date. It is worth keeping an eye on your email once you've registered.

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