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Independent School Offers 13+

(23 Posts)
Katie172 Thu 07-Mar-13 10:09:44

I am sure that lots of you will think this is a stupid question but I need to find the answer so if anyone can spare a mo to explain I will be very grateful.

We are quite new to the indie sector... ds is in year 8 . My question is about offers from schools for year 9. Reading threads here I can see that many parents hold offers for several schools. If you have ,for example, 4 conditional offers for year 9 places (that are conditional subject to common entrance results) and you have paid the necessary deposits for all of them are you able to hold onto all places in theory?

I am asking this because ds is on a waiting list for his first choice and although his ht has said that parents have to decide their 1st choice by 1stMarch I realised too late that I didn't know if this meant that all other offers had to be given up. If anyone can clarify how it works for 13+ places that would be great. I am assuming there must be a cut off date but cannot find any information. Thought I would ask here rather than look like a twit (again) in front of the ht !

NeedHoliday Thu 07-Mar-13 10:40:25

I'm not sure but would have thought that you would at least need to release them before the end of this term. I was holding an offer for a common entrance school and my letter stated they required a terms notice which would mean if you don't release by the end of this term you could be liable for a terms fees.

Have you tried calling the Head of Admissions for your top choice school and asking them they are normally very helpful?

IndridCold Thu 07-Mar-13 11:07:09

You have to choose one school by the end of February because they need to finalise which school is going to mark your child's CE papers.

I would imagine, therefore, that if an oversubscribed school learns that it won't be marking the papers of a child with a conditional place then they will assume that the place has been rejected.

Incidentally, my DS was on the waiting list for a top school and it was exactly a year ago that we heard that he had been promoted to a conditional place, so it is the time that waiting lists move.

So if you are in the same position I wish you the best of luck!

scaevola Thu 07-Mar-13 11:21:07

Yes, you have to make a first choice by the deadline (for marking) which means relinquishing other offers. So numbers will change and waiting list candidates may be 'promoted' leading to other places they have been hanging on to freeing up. And there can be movement even later, if a family has a CE offer but is also trying for a competitive non-CE 13+ place.

Katie172 Thu 07-Mar-13 11:28:59

Many thanks to you both-that is really interesting. Ds is on the waiting list for a top independent that is just perfect for him in every way. His second choice is good but will involve a much longer journey. His first choice is 5minutes walk away. More than anything though he is desperate to go there.

Mendi Sat 09-Mar-13 10:48:52

Am also interested in the 13+ entrance system. scaevola, what is a 'competitive non-CE 13+ place'? My understanding was that schools require a pre-test at 11 or 12, on the basis of which they make a conditional offer, and then the child takes CE in the summer of year 8 and assuming all is well, the conditional offer is confirmed.

So in all cases, CE is a part of the selection process. Or have I missed something?

Also, I am interested to know what the point of CE AND pre-test is. Do children ever get a conditional offer withdrawn after CE? If not, what's the point of if? And if so, isn't it a bit late in the day by then to find another school? Particularly if you are only able to hold one CE place open!

All guidance on this opaque process gratefully received!

scaevola Sat 09-Mar-13 11:06:49

No, some schools set their own exams for 13+, and they are competitive exams (like 11+, but different style of paper).

Not all schools pre-test: some go just on head's reference and interview.

If they pre-test (8! Combination with reference/interview)l. It is a way of whittling down numbers and sifting or a suitable academic standard and general "fit" for the school.

Candidates would not have a conditional offer withdrawn if they fulfil the conditions (ie get the required marks at CE). CE is a qualifying, not a competitive exam. If however the candidate does not get the required mark by a long way, and there are no extenuating circumstances, then the place cannot be taken up(it's a bit like getti the offer grades for university entry: but there's no formal clearing for children left without a place though: it's up to heads to hit the phones)

Katie172 Sun 10-Mar-13 00:22:28

So to clarify, if you cannot hold more than one conditional offer, when schools get lists of the pupils naming them as first choice and realise that some pupils with conditional offers have not named that school as their first choice do they have to contact the parents to ask them to officially give up the place before they can consider offering it to someone on the waiting list ?

IndridCold Sun 10-Mar-13 09:07:15

You cannot hold more than one conditional offer after 1 March. If parents have been holding two conditional offers they would have to choose just one of them and their current head would inform the other school so that they could offer that now unwanted place to someone on the waiting list.

123flower Sun 10-Mar-13 10:12:58

OP you need to contact your first choice school to ask what the situation is - whether any unwanted places (around March 1st deadline) have already been allocated. You could also add that you'd still be interested should a place come up during the summer term. I believe this happens only very rarely at the top academic schools - Eton/St Paul's/Westminster. I remember a boy at DS2's prep failed to make the CE grade for one of these a couple of years ago. I assume his place was then offered to a waiting list boy. Maybe other parents know more about this, but we were given to understand that very, very few boys are rejected at the last minute so you have to assume it's unlikely you'll get a place at this late stage.

LIZS Sun 10-Mar-13 12:57:31

You could also ask your HT for advice as to whether there are any second sittings for schools which set their own 13+ entrance tests and do not rely on CE. Many will have a few places to do this as they know some candidates are reliant on outcome of scholarship/bursary applications for their first choice schools which are only now being made(or not).

Katie172 Sun 10-Mar-13 15:03:18

Thank you for all your replies -they are all very helpful and I understand the process much better now. The first choice school is Sevenoaks so I am assuming that the situation is the same as the other top schools that 123flower mentioned. Dc is very keen to stay on the waiting list and we are happy to stay on it for as long as we can but I realise now that if we don't hear good news this month then dc's chances are very slim.

IndridCold Sun 10-Mar-13 15:24:59

I would talk to your HT tomorrow and ask him to call Sevenoaks to find out what's going on. It could be that they are still deciding which children to promote, or they may have offered promotions and are waiting to hear whether they have been accepted or not. Whichever it is, at least you will know.

You are right though, this is the last big movement on the waiting lists, although the odd extra place does sometimes come up between now and September.

123flower Sun 10-Mar-13 15:27:11

Katie: tell your first choice school you'd still be interested if a place becomes available before the start of the Autumn term - though I imagine you'd end up having to pay the first term's fees at your second choice school as well...

LIZS Sun 10-Mar-13 16:24:33

Sevenoaks has in the last few years become much trickier to get into and indeed they over offered a couple of years back. Some may well be holding back up places at schools which test at 13+ and will relinquish in June should they then meet CE requirements for Sevenoaks et al offer come up.

suppermummie Mon 11-Mar-13 10:53:17

has any one heard from st pauls for sept 2013 (reserved list)...
has there bin any movement in the reserved list

mumfortwo Fri 15-Mar-13 11:16:57


Heard through the grapevine that it is unlikely that waitlist candidates will be successful for Sept 2013 entry to St Pauls as the feeling was that they had over offered for this entry. Further if you have not heard, you should get this confirmed by your HT, as if there were any remote chance of movement, you ought to have heard already.

bluescissors Fri 15-Mar-13 11:28:33

I too have heard they've over offered this year and have sent out letters to waitlist candidates telling them they are effectively removed from the waitlist. As entries had to be submitted on march 1, now is the time that waitlist movement happens but it sounds like it is unlikely SP are in a position to offer places to their waitlist.

I assume you have a back up Supermummie? You need to talk to your Head.

Good luck.

123flower Fri 15-Mar-13 16:00:59

My sister-in-law (her son has a conditional place) has also heard St Paul's has over offered this year. She's heard nothing from the school, so hopes that doesn't mean they'll fail any boys at CE. Apparently this has happened in the past, but not recently. Does anyone know about this?

AuntieStella Fri 15-Mar-13 16:10:32

Westminster over-offered a few years ago (boys who are now in year 11), and out the word out to HTs that they may need to fail some boys in the expectation that HTs would encourage weaker candidates look for a plan B.

It tends to put parents off a school if that happens frequently, and schools are usually good at managing their lists.

LetsEscape Fri 15-Mar-13 16:57:24

Didn't St Paul's take some of those boys the year Westminster over-offered?

happygardening Fri 15-Mar-13 17:45:50

"My sister-in-law (her son has a conditional place) has also heard St Paul's has over offered this year. She's heard nothing from the school, so hopes that doesn't mean they'll fail any boys at CE. Apparently this has happened in the past, but not recently. Does anyone know about this?"
My DS got a place a few years ago we were told that they routinely over offer so that they can pick the best ones!

timmytoes Mon 18-Mar-13 11:40:18

Westminster had spare places at the beginning of this year, I know a boy who started one independent secondary school in Sept, hated it and joined Westminster at the start of this year, 1 term "late". He never took the Westminster pre-test in year 6 but was admitted on an excellent head reference and post CE results. Apparently the Westminster spaces arose on the back of a few boys decided to join Eton instead post scholarship/CE results.

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