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to late to get into an independent school?

(17 Posts)
spacedustcollector Wed 23-Mar-16 11:39:41

DD4 is supposed to start school I September. Always wanted to send her to independent (I mean non state and fee paying school - not good with UK terminology). However, wanted her to take a year out as we lived in Dubai. So was hoping for her to start next year from year one so I was going to start the process now in time for 2017 start.

Now our plans have changed and we have moved back to the UK and she needs a reception start date of September 2016.

Do you think it is too late for her to start the process now? I don't want to sound totally clueless contacting schools now and be laughed at.

I have sent her application for state school in, just in case.

AnotherNewt Wed 23-Mar-16 11:44:18

You'll just have to cross your fingers and enquire.

Do you have a short list if schools you know you like and think will suit your DD?

Will DDs 1-3 be returning to a school they previously attended? Because I'd have thought getting her in as part of a job lot is easily going to be your best bet.

BellaVida Wed 23-Mar-16 11:49:26

It will probably be difficult, but really depends if there is much movement in the area you are moving to.

As AnotherNewt said, you might have more luck placing DD4 if the school has spaces they need to fill for your older DCs.

Have you started ringing around any schools yet?

spacedustcollector Wed 23-Mar-16 11:51:35

Sorry I meant DD four years old. Not really good at mumsnet terminology. Only one DD.

I have looked at only one school - that was the one I wanted her to attend next year. They don't have space this year.

I am starting this week.

sleepwhenidie Wed 23-Mar-16 11:56:07

Depends very much on where you are in the uk I think. If London then it's going to be a challenge. If you have a short list of schools then I'd try and befriend admissions officers, explaining your predicament, asking to put DD on waiting list and the making sure you follow up regularly so they keep you in mind if/when a place becomes available. This may happen sometime after the start of term in Septemberso you will also need a plan B, which could be a private pre-school that takes kids from 2.5 up to reception year, a state primary (often very good, especially in London) or I guess HE.

mummytime Wed 23-Mar-16 12:36:53

You might get a place - I have known places suddenly open up in August for very highly selective and sort after Girls schools. I would just contact admissions officers being honest about your situation. I would look at all kinds of schools too, at least here lots of children go from State schools to private schools at a wide range of entry points.

StitchesInTime Wed 23-Mar-16 18:01:50

It depends where you're moving to.

We started looking at independent schools for DS1 closer to the start of the school year than this (May), and both of the schools we were most interested in still had spaces for the September.

But I don't live in a wealthy area, so there's less competition for spaces in fee paying schools.

LIZS Wed 23-Mar-16 18:05:52

You may well get a place. Speak to the admissions secretary of each school and go on their waiting list. After primary allocations for state schools in a few weeks' time and around the start of summer term there will be some movement.

AnotherNewt Wed 23-Mar-16 18:13:51

I think you will need to look at more schools as soon as that is possible. And of course, go on the waiting list now for the one you already know you like.

Private schools are not all the same, and it's obviously wrong just to pile into a largely unknown school just because it charges fees. Whether private or state, you need to look for one that will be a good fit for your DD (sorry about making the wrong assumption before about number of girls). And of course the best fit for her might be a state school, though as you are way after deadline for a first round offer, that will limit what is still available. But the LA has to come up with something.

If you are going to a city, there is a reasonable prospect that the number of families coming and going mean you will rise up the waiting list for a good state school or get an ad hoc place at a private one you like.

If a less populous area, then it might be Hobson's choice in both sectors. But even then you need to visit any possible school, before applying, crossing your fingers and hoping for the best.

writingonthewall Thu 24-Mar-16 11:12:21

Are you in London? try St Margaret's in Kidderpore Avenue, Hampstead - small school and they are flexible about how many children they have in each year.

Helenluvsrob Thu 24-Mar-16 11:31:45

Cast your net wide and i'm sure you won't find it hard to get a normal 4yr old into an independent school. Obviously depends on where you live, The "big names" with complex assessment processes will be full, but heck this is reception! Get her in somewhere caring and friendly and if you fear it's not " academic enough" move at 7 .

HildaFlorence Thu 24-Mar-16 11:46:56

I think it spends where you are London may be an issue but outside London you may well be fine.I would ring round

ChasingPavements Thu 24-Mar-16 11:49:54

Ring round. Say that your plans have changed and you'll be back in the UK earlier than expected. You won't look a fool.

ameliesfabulousdestiny1 Thu 24-Mar-16 12:01:02

You should be able to get a place, even in London. Some places might also open up once state school offers go out (18 April), so it's worth getting on waiting lists now.

FishWithABicycle Thu 24-Mar-16 12:11:50

Time will be tight - parents who have been offered places for September 2016 start will have until the first day of the Summer term (probably around 11th April or possibly 18th depending on the school) to decide whether to accept the place or decline it - after this date they will be liable for the first term's fees even if they decide not to accept. Quite a few will be agonising about which offer to accept or whether to save money and go with their state option, and so there will be a flurry of changes over the next few weeks as offers are declined and families on the waiting lists get their offers made.

What month is your child's birthday? If she won't be turning five until after Christmas you may be OK to not start her at school in September and will have a bit more time to get to grips with your options.

womdering Mon 28-Mar-16 06:46:47

Indies often have completely different intake criteria for those moving from abroad. Call all schools. It's likely/ possible Reception places have been allocated but you never know! Year groups closed are only opened to those moving home (long distances).

AnotherNewt Mon 28-Mar-16 08:08:09

If you're moving to a place where school places are under pressure (parts of London) or are set on one school (which you seemed to be saying) then it might be full. Because although schools can do what they want, they won't exceed their reception class size (if they have a stated one) and they won't be holding places in case there are late applicants.

National offers day for state primaries is 18 April this year, after the start of term, which will make it impossible to hedge until state offer is known (or rather, it'll still be possible, but might be more expensive).

But unless your move is to an area with a very static population, it's quite likely a place will come up from the waiting list before too long.

Have you made a plan B for what she will do until a place you like comes up? State (late) application, even if you hope you won't need to take up the place? A nursery that lets them stay on? Home education?

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