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What's the etiquette in accepting declining indie school place?

(13 Posts)
mummyandme2 Sat 15-Feb-14 17:55:10

Being my usual pessimistic self I really didn't expect any offers so we find ourselves with more offers from indie schools for my dd than expected . Is it usual / acceptable to request another look around before deciding ( quite tricky now as half term next week ) ? Also do you just email those you don't want or write ?
Sorry to sound so dim we only decided on applying to indie schools at the last minute and hadn't done any prep sp thought it was hopeless . Xx

LIZS Sat 15-Feb-14 18:00:00

Fine to ask for a visit , the dates usually allow enough time after half term for this. There may be a form to return either way (and cheque!) , if not send a polite letter - you never know what is around the corner ,especially if you have other dc to consider. I'm still reeling form the idea of people sending a covering letter with the application forms !

mummyandme2 Sat 15-Feb-14 18:24:40

Thank you . Can't believe covering letter with application . I sent in cheque with mine that mortifyingly bounced !

Bowlersarm Sat 15-Feb-14 18:35:30

It's totally normal to have several offers. It can get expensive with paying deposits, but you just need to know which one you are committing to when they start asking for a terms fees in advance.

If you don't get a feel for a school after looking round once or twice and need to again, I'd say that's not the school for you.

Taz1212 Sat 15-Feb-14 19:17:01

DS applied to two schools last year and got into both. I wrote a letter to the school we decided to decline. I pretty much said that DS was thrilled by the place but after much discussion we'd decided to accept an offer at another school. They did write back at a later date asking for more specific information as to why we'd chosen another school over them and I was happy to provide this (the school we'd turned down had actually been my preferred school so I would have been perfectly happy with DS attending!)

NearTheWindmill Mon 17-Feb-14 10:33:04

You exercise normal manners. If you decline the place you write a polite letter saying how impressed you had been with the school, thank them for their offer and assure them that after much consideration, on balance you feel that another school would be most appropriate for your child. You also do this as quickly as possible so the place you are declining can be offered to another child reducing stress for another family. And no, you certainly don't do it by e-mail. Remember the school you have chosen might not work out and you might have to reignite another school at a later date.

What's wrong with sending a covering letter with an application form. I would do that as a matter of routine. Please find enclosed the application form, and accompanying cheque, for entry into year xxxxx on behalf of xxxxxx.

jonnyappleseed Mon 17-Feb-14 11:11:31

I agree with all NeartheWindmill said except, that I think it's perfectly fine and even preferable to include that information in an email.
It's quicker for the staff to amend their lists and get new offers out and they have an electronic record rather than a file of paper. Much easier for administration purposes.

LIZS Mon 17-Feb-14 11:12:20

I get the impression that some covering letters are rather more effusive than that !

belledejour Tue 18-Feb-14 19:00:20

Two of the schools we received offers from specifically asked us to let them know by phone or email as soon as possible if we were not going to take up the place so they could offer it to a girl on the waiting list.

I guess time is of the essence when you are a registrar trying to find/fill places and you only have 2.5 weeks to shuffle them around. So I would say an email or a phone call is fine. They will appreciate a swift response more than a letter.

With my older daughter we declined a place at a school that I thought would be a perfect fit for my younger daughter so I wrote a very nice letter saying how much we had liked the school etc etc and why we had decided to decline the place...wanted to keep the door open for child no.2!

BTW, I usually write covering letters for all applications.

alexw Tue 18-Feb-14 19:09:39

As someone in charge of admissions at a top London school I would say please let us know your thought ASAP - by phone, email, letter - it really doesn't matter. The main thing is if you are going to decline offer for whatever reason then the sooner we know then the sooner someone on the waiting list might get a chance. Also, if you want another look around then simply phone. I am always glad to speak again with parents - it is, after all, a huge decision you are making.

PottyLottie123 Wed 19-Feb-14 11:44:05

Thanks for this post alexw, my DD has a reserve list place at an independent school which we are desperate to take up and are anxiously waiting for any news! I do understand, however, that it is a big decision for those with the luxury of a choice of offers and not one to be rushed.

1stMrsF Thu 20-Feb-14 11:46:19

I echo alex's post and the views of belle and johnny. I have actively encouraged response by email or phone on our 11+ offers this year. The most important thing is that we have your decision, I'd rather have an email than wait another week for you to have the time to write a letter!

Definitely have another look around, it's completely usual for parents to do this, especially as often Dads have not yet visited at this stage.

northlondoncat Fri 21-Feb-14 16:54:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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