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Am I really too late to privately educate just because I did not get DD's name down by 2?

(70 Posts)
toolatetoprivatelyeducate Sun 12-Apr-09 16:05:00

We are in West London and had intended to send DD to a state primary until she is 7 (she will be three in August). However, circumstances have changed (well state school catchment areas have) and we want her to go private from Reception.

I have been looking at the websites of Ravenscourt Prep, Bute House, Orchard House and Chiswick and Bedford Park and it seems we have no chance of getting her into Reception at any of these. Is this really true or do they hype up the difficulties of entry to make themselves look exclusive?

Has anyone manged to get a DC into a popular private school despite not having got their DC's name down by the official deadline?

sarah293 Sun 12-Apr-09 16:10:16

Message withdrawn

scienceteacher Sun 12-Apr-09 16:11:53

You need to call up the schools and speak to the registrars.

Most schools start the application process in the year preceeding entry. There will probably be a lot of multiple registrations, which means there are places even when there appear not to be.

twinsetandpearls Sun 12-Apr-09 16:15:19

No , I bickered in my family for years abot keeping dd in the state sector. Dp eventually won and we got her a place in a well know public school for the following year. We then moved so I imagine someone else has that place.

singersgirl Sun 12-Apr-09 16:20:12

Bute House has a ballot for reception so I would imagine you don't have to register before they are 3 - could be wrong though.

toolatetoprivatelyeducate Sun 12-Apr-09 16:24:54

We thought that too Singers but the website says you have to have your DD's name down for the ballow by midnight on 30 Sept of the academic year that they turn three. Because DD was born in late August this is the academic year in which she turns three and it is obviously past 30 Sept.

I am really scared now. We cannot now get into a decent state school from our house and it seems we cannot get into a private school either.

happywomble Sun 12-Apr-09 16:32:09

I would phone the schools. Hopefully they will be able to tell you how long their waiting list is and give you the option of putting your DDs name down.
There must be people moving in and out of the area all the time so places must come up.

LIZS Sun 12-Apr-09 16:34:42

Do those schools have nursery departments as they may prioritise children from there. I suspect there will be economic fall out between now and sept 2010 resulting in cancellations so it is worth going on any waiting list although you may only find out whether you get a place this time next year(when a term's notice is due) or even later.

toolatetoprivatelyeducate Sun 12-Apr-09 16:41:12

I have put us on the waiting list for Ravenscourt and Orchard House but have been told that it is very, very unlikely we will get a place. In fact they would not even take the registration fee from me as it was so unlikely.

I think getting in at Reception might be harder than getting an occassional place at 6 or 9 or 13 or whatever. I guess hundreds of parents are cometing for the Reception places whereas only those with special circumstances want the places that come up once their children are settled at other schools.

lalalonglegs Sun 12-Apr-09 16:45:34

None of my children are at private school but my hunch is that all this "you must get them down for such and such a school before the epidural has worn off" is a massive scam. There are several (supposedly) very competitive private schools in my part of London and I know a handful of people whom, like you, were unable to get their children into reception at good state schools and were "miraculously" offered spaces at the last minute at one or other of the most cut-throat pre-preps. Especially with the recession, I imagine that it won't be spectacularly difficult to find a place at one of them, especially you don't have a particular preference.

foxinsocks Sun 12-Apr-09 16:47:20

have you looked at the one in Kew? the sister of ravenscourt (can't remember its name)?

that seemed to have places (so I have heard)

there are others round there you haven't named. Have you looked at them all?

MuffinBaker Sun 12-Apr-09 17:02:16

TBH I think it is almost irrelevant what others have done as each school will be different and times are changing.

Quattrocento Sun 12-Apr-09 17:14:16

It depends. A lot of schools genuinely are full and have waiting lists by then. This happened to us - not because our plans had changed or anything but because we were too disorganised to get her name down in time. So she missed a place for nursery but she did get a place for Kindergarten though, a year later.

giantkatestacks Sun 12-Apr-09 17:21:57

Agree with foxinsocks - there are others. It might be an idea to avoid that competitive hothouse type atmosphere anyway and go for one that is less subscribed.

It depends what schools they all feed into as well - have you thought about that?

toolatetoprivatelyeducate Sun 12-Apr-09 17:27:48

I know other's experiences are not indiciative of what will happen to us. But I was hoping for proof that the "impossible" line is an exaggeration. I can't beleive that there is a good chance that my DD will not have access to any decent education at Reception even though we can just about afford to pay.

Fox - do you mean Kew Green Prep? That is very inconvenient for us (I need to drop DD off on my way to work in town) but I will try it. It's website says they strongly recommend registering by your child's first birthday. What are the other schools I have not mentioned? As far as I know there are no other ones in the Hammersmith/Chiswick area - except for Heathfield House which is new and I must look into.

london20 Sun 12-Apr-09 18:58:35

My daughter is starting Reception in a private school near(ish) to where you live this September. It is a heavily over subscibed school and is reluctant to accept anyone onto the waiting list now. However, when we looked around the school the teacher told us that last September, for the first time ever, several children failed to turn up on the first day. This was obviously due to the economic climate and parents getting cold feet at the last minute. So I think you have a very good chance of getting your daughter in this year - you may just have to be prepared to wait until late in the summer or the first week in September to find out which I know is worrying. Best of luck.

toolatetoprivatelyeducate Sun 12-Apr-09 19:07:49

That is v interesting London. Can I ask which school that was (although I totally understand if you don't want to say).

london20 Sun 12-Apr-09 19:09:33

Newland House in Teddington so probably a bit far for you.

iwantitnow Sun 12-Apr-09 19:37:32

Glad we moved from Chiswick now, it is unlikely you will get a place now - can you send her to a state school and then keep phoning to see if you can get her in later in the year. How about a school near your work place or move.

toolatetoprivatelyeducate Sun 12-Apr-09 19:46:04

I can't move. Our (lovely) home is here, our friends are here, our work is near(ish) here. Are other parts of London really easier school wise?

london20 Sun 12-Apr-09 19:54:57

I don't think it is easier here and after reading other threads on private schools it seems the whole of London/Greater London seems to be competitive regarding school places. Do you think you would be prepared to wait until late summer and take a place at the last minute?

toolatetoprivatelyeducate Sun 12-Apr-09 20:00:15

I may have no choice London. It will be next summer (she is 3 in august). Eighteen months is a long time to be anxious about your child's future but maybe I have no choice. I am amazed & furious that between the State and Private sectors there seems no way to guarantee a three year old a decent education when she starts school. It's totally ridiculous.

foxinsocks Sun 12-Apr-09 20:04:05

yes round here it is slightly easier (am near London20) but where you are I think it is the worst for private schools. We used to live in W6 (dd/ds were due to go to Brackenbury).

Everyone who wanted their child to go to private school practically had them down at birth or they were certainly considering it at that age.

A few things to bear in mind. First of all, loads of families near you will have registered at more than one school so when push comes to shove, some places will come up. So DO register if you can.

You may need to widen your search. Kew Prep has a good reputation I think (and especially for not being as pushy as some of the others). There's also Falcons (the girls bit) towards Acton. Kensington Prep (further towards Fulham).

Have you considered others closer to town if you are going that way?

lalalonglegs Sun 12-Apr-09 20:05:39

But your LA will have to find her a place at a school and, while it may not be your first choice, it might be more impressive than you think. Why not visit some of the schools in your area because your child will get into one or other of them.

foxinsocks Sun 12-Apr-09 20:05:46

I mean everyone feels like you do where you are. I don't think it's a hopeless cause by any means.

(ps also think it's cheeky how much you have to pay to register...don't know what it's like now but remember when my NCT lot had to do it!)

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