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Moving from state to private at 8 years old

(8 Posts)
pjsgalore Sat 17-Nov-12 16:23:02

We had always thought we would educate our little boy privately from reception, however, I recently discovered we have a very good church school down the road from us. It means I could walk him to school, we could postpone the big fees, and will be great for us getting to know other families in the area (we're new to the area). I'm really excited about it. However, we would like to move him at 8 into a prep school. I'm not from the UK, so not entirely sure how it works. Can you just move a child at that age into a fee-paying school? Would he need to write entrance exams? Can he enter at that arbitrary age? Any advice would be most appreciated!

Ladymuck Sat 17-Nov-12 18:44:50

It depends on the schools in the area to be honest. They are all different. Some fill up at reception, some gradually take in more children further up the school. Some will have formal competitive exams at 7+ and 8+ (50 or more children sitting for 8 places say). Most schools will do some form of informal assessment at least to see whether the school is a good fit. A lot depends on where you live. Here in London there is a real squeeze on school places, and there is a lot of competition for private schools, so it can be harder to get in later.

HilaryM Sat 17-Nov-12 20:29:51

It definitely depends in the area. Where we are, lots of parents do that, but you do need to get their names down early-ish.

trinity0097 Sun 18-Nov-12 11:45:30

We tie lots of children at that age, no official entrance exam, just a trial day where the learning support lady will work with them for a bit to see if the child has any needs the parent have not disclosed (we prefer it if the parents are honest about any extra needs the child has - we take 99% of those that want to join us, the needs have to be very severe for us not to think the child would benefit from our school)

OwedToAutumn Sun 18-Nov-12 11:53:22

It depends on the school. DS's school starts at 7+. There is a test which is both selective and competitive. Quite a few boys come from state or church schools.

Then there is a smaller intake at 8+.

Obviously, casual places will come up, but I understand the competition for these can be very competitive. So, 10 people may be competing for one place, as opposed to about 2 or 3 for the main intake.

pjsgalore Sun 18-Nov-12 17:45:58

Thanks so much everybody, really useful. I think we'll definitely take the church school, if we get in. Trinity0097 - do you work at a school? Is it in London?

suburbandream Sun 18-Nov-12 17:53:27

It depends on the popularity of the school I suppose, but within London and the home counties there is always going to be a fair bit of movement because of jobs, international families etc. We moved from central London to Kent when our two were 7 and 9 (going into year 2 and 4). About half the schools we looked at had places available for both year groups. They went for a taster day, DS2 didn't have to do any kind of formal test (in fact they said he was "reluctant" to do any writing but they took him anyway smile). DS1 did an assessment paper but he didn't really even know he was doing it IYSWIM, it was a case of being in with the class during normal lessons and the teacher gave him a "worksheet" to do while the rest of the class got on with their stuff. Our school is not desperately academic so I suppose for more academic schools the testing would be much stricter. Since we've moved to this school there have been quite a few new children joining and some leaving, it's the nature of the area I think.

pjsgalore Sun 18-Nov-12 19:20:30

oh thanks so much ladies smile. Definitely going to try for the local school then. So excited to have found another option other than paying 3,500 a term and spending two hours a day in the car! woo hoo! We're in south London, suburbandream, but have dreams of moving to Kent eventually! xx

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