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North London preps - am i meant to register this early (6m old!)

(19 Posts)
Eesha Tue 28-Feb-17 21:28:54

Hi all,

I've got another thread running about hoping to get into a state school near me but I want to have a private primary as a backup as I'm really not in the best area and pretty much out of catchment unless maybe joining mid year if others drop out.

I have been told I should have registered my kids at birth (twins) which I never knew! Is this really the case? I'm now panicking that I should register them on waiting lists. Someone recommended Maple Walk so does anyone have first hand views on this or other prep schools in nw London? Ideally this would just be a backup for me as I'm hoping for a decent state. Maple Walk is about an hour by bus at most but cheaper by far but I'm a bit lost on where else is worth looking into.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated

LegosAndSkiing Tue 28-Feb-17 21:40:07

My DS is at a South West London Prep School and I registered him at 2 months and he was offered a place, as well as his friend who was registered a few months after his first birthday.

I am not familiar with Maple Walk Prep but I have a friend who has a child at Hendon Prep, she loves it there and she is doing very well, I think they have regular opening days so maybe you should think about going and having a look.

Good luck smile

ridinghighinapril Tue 28-Feb-17 22:11:28

You'll need to look at the entry criteria for the schools that you are interested in - they will each have their own specifics and we ended up writing a table just to get our heads around all the different variables. FWIW, in our neck of the woods only one school was by order of registration (which me missed by 2.5years!), all the others were by assessment only so date of registration didn't matter but the closing dates for application all varied!

underneaththeash Tue 28-Feb-17 22:13:32

Are they August birthdays? If so you may be too late, if September you'll be fine.

Maple walk is okay, but a 2 hr commute is a long one.

Eesha Tue 28-Feb-17 22:27:07

underneaththeash they are August born, but was also looking at whether to hold them back a year as had heard it might be an option.
ridinghighinapril Hendon Prep isn't too far from me but higher fees, so a toss up between fees or commuteconfused....I will definitely look into it though.

Does anyone have any views on Hampstead preps?

wickerlampshade Wed 01-Mar-17 05:52:55

Boys or girls? Some of the boys schools do early registration eg the Hall and Trevor Roberts. None of the girls schools do to my knowledge

Eesha Wed 01-Mar-17 15:15:57

Two girls - is it normal for most to charge registration fee to get on waiting list? I thought it would be few and far between but looks like quite a few now do

AnotherNewt Wed 01-Mar-17 15:33:40

Everywhere charges a registration fee to register as a candidate for entry and it's been like that for ages. I can't think of a single exception (but expect that now I've said that, someone will post at least one).

Very schools actually require a birth registration (I can think only of Wetherby). But for those schools which are 'first come first served' you may need to register very shortly after the birth, also for those which close their lists when they reach a certain number.

And then there are those which assess all applicants provided you have registered by the deadline.

So even if you think you've missed out already on one or more schools, there will be others still possible.

You may as well register early, then look at them in detail as actual entry point approaches and you have more idea of what will suit your DC and what will work for you as a family. Registration fees only ever go up, which is another reason for doing it early(ish).

A complicated school run can be a real embuggeration. I don't really know much about N London schools, but depending on how much you currently have to spend on fees, it might be worth registering at several that are logistically possible (maybe a spread of coed/single sex, feeder/standalone) and then you have a range to decide from later.

wickerlampshade Wed 01-Mar-17 16:39:15

yes completely normal

JamDonutsRule Wed 01-Mar-17 21:04:29

If you have any specific questions on the Hampstead Preps I may be able to answer? Or PM me if you prefer?

Eesha Wed 01-Mar-17 22:45:19

Thanks so much JamDonutsRule, I'll pm you as might bore everyone heregrin

CruCru Thu 02-Mar-17 09:41:31

I don't know Hendon Prep - of the Hampstead preps, The Hall wants you to register before your son is 12 months old, Hereford House will only take registrations for boys younger than three months (although I heard they were thinking of changing this because it is a bit insane).

Of the girls' schools, I don't think there are any that require registration at birth but at least one will only take registrations submitted within a really tight window (am thinking of South Hampstead). Actually, that is true of Highgate too.

2014newme Thu 02-Mar-17 11:26:57

An hour commute each way aged 4+ is pushing it.

Eesha Thu 02-Mar-17 11:48:06

The commute is worrying me, its 15min by car but 45min by bus, but the school sounds good and also its hugely cheaper

SquirmOfEels Thu 02-Mar-17 12:01:23

Have you actually tested the length of journey at peak morning school run time? And the parking?

2014newme Thu 02-Mar-17 12:14:16

I really wouldn't choose a school based on its cheapness

dinkystinky Thu 02-Mar-17 12:20:16

My kids are at Maple Walk - its a lovely school and for reception doesn't assess for entry. Go to an open day and have a look around - my DS1 would probably be one of the older kids showing you around. We registered them both when DS2 was 2 and DS1 5 I think and moved DS1 there in year 3 when DS2 started in reception. There is sibling priority then it goes by date you registered so worth registering early - though I think it is often a back up in case kids don't get into the state school they want. Our journey there and back is quite short - I don't think I'd be travelling an hour plus (traffic in the area can be awful) for it though.

Others schools, particularly prep schools, do require you to register early. Again have a look at good schools guide and take a look at their websites and recommendations.

LegosAndSkiing Thu 02-Mar-17 14:43:58

I really wouldn't choose a school based on its cheapness

Many people think if you have to pay to send your child there, then it is a good school.

dinkystinky Thu 02-Mar-17 14:47:30

I'd also like to add OP that a lot can change in a school in 3 years (as your child is only 6 months) so those local primary schools which are not so great may well end up improving beyond all measure and becoming highly sought after by the time you're applying for state school primary school places.

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