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Should DD write a personal hand written letter to school she really wants but is on waiting list?

(43 Posts)
Amsr Wed 26-Feb-14 12:24:43

DD is on the waiting list for the school she really wants to go to (Alleyn's). I have already written to the school telling them that it's her first choice. A friend has suggested that DD should hand write a letter to the headmaster herself. Just wondered what people's opinions on this are and if so, what should she write?

SantanaLopez Wed 26-Feb-14 13:07:35


Why the hell would a hand written letter make a difference? Do you real think that the head teacher will read the letter and throw someone else out so your DD can have a place?

MillyMollyMama Wed 26-Feb-14 13:09:24

No. Absolutely not. You have nothing to gain and all to lose.

Kez100 Wed 26-Feb-14 13:25:10

No, it would be arrogant to do so.

Ask yourself, how would you feel if she suddenly fell a few places on the waiting list because others had written letters too (but their letters were considered much better quality letters than your DDs) and so they jumped above her on the waiting list?

wonderingwoman64 Wed 26-Feb-14 13:27:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

basildonbond Wed 26-Feb-14 13:41:54

God, no - it's not going to do any good and could end up damaging your dd's chances of moving off the waiting list

Alleyn's offers have to be accepted by 5th March (2 days after state school offers) so if the school needs to go to the waiting list in order to fill its places that will happen by mid-March at the latest. However children at dd's school who've been wait-listed have been told not to get their hopes up as no-one got in from the waiting list last year so it would probably be a good idea to start bigging up your dd's other options

HyvaPaiva Wed 26-Feb-14 13:43:13

Don't do this!

PoshPaula Wed 26-Feb-14 13:44:12

No. Emotive and inappropriate.

LIZS Wed 26-Feb-14 13:48:56

please don't !

JeanSeberg Wed 26-Feb-14 13:50:41

Is this even real?

morethanpotatoprints Wed 26-Feb-14 13:51:26

Heard it all now grin

forbreakfast Wed 26-Feb-14 13:52:19

Please don't!

AbiRoad Wed 26-Feb-14 13:54:11

I assume the point would be not to get your child prioritised over someone with a place but over someone else on the waiting list if they only offer to some on the list? Even so I would not do it.

Shootingatpigeons Wed 26-Feb-14 14:14:14

It will start an arm's race, 11 year olds putting their self esteem on the line, and being lined up for failure, in trying to write the best begging letters and Heads getting besieged by sad little letters. It'll be like tutoring, it won't matter if there is evidence it makes a difference or the effect on a DCs self esteem, everyone will think they have to do it...... sad

wondering I don't agree with you. I am sure no good school would claim to be able to rank children first past the post, they all have strengths and weaknesses. Needs must that they pragmatically come up with some sort of order but if you are on a waiting list they implicitly accept that you are of a standard to go there, and they would be happy to accept you. Plenty of DC who get in on waiting lists go on to excel, and nobody ever remembers they were on one in the first place. However I do agree that OP has to be philosophical about it and encourage her DC to see the benefits of Plan B, then if a waiting list place comes up it will be a bonus.

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Wed 26-Feb-14 14:44:35

To put it very bluntly - I don't think the ability to write a begging letter is one of the assessment criteria.

Hopefully, she will move up the list. If not, then may be the school didn't give her a firm offer because others fitted the school better. I am starting the 13+ admissions round with DS1 and I am careful not to big up one school over another because we don't have any control over the selection process.

TantrumsAndBalloons Wed 26-Feb-14 14:48:42

are you writing the letter directly on to £50 notes? That might help I suppose.

AgaPanthers Wed 26-Feb-14 14:54:38

When we went to Eton open day, the admissions tutor said that lots of parents and their DCs did this - 'updating them' on things like their Grade 8 music exam pass, top of the class in exams, and so on.

He was clearly approving.

WhoWasThatMaskedWoman Wed 26-Feb-14 14:55:17

I think it's manipulative to let a child do this. However active and specific confirmation from you that yes you definitely do wish to remain on the waiting list because Alleyns is your family's number 1 choice, and will be accepted over any other offer, might perhaps swung it between two otherwise indistinguishable waiting list children? Maybe?

Floggingmolly Wed 26-Feb-14 14:57:25

God almighty, no. hmm

MerryMarigold Wed 26-Feb-14 14:58:04

grin at the £50 note notepaper. [You can get £50 note napkins in poundland if you want to write on the back].

fideline Wed 26-Feb-14 15:16:27


TalkinPeace Wed 26-Feb-14 16:24:15

Dear Alleyns
I'm too poor to own a word processor so am writing this by hand.
Yummy Daughter

irisha Wed 26-Feb-14 16:29:24

I have heard of this happening among the Kensington/Knightsbridge/Chelsea set to get into a pre-prep/prep. Specifically, I heard of it in context of getting into Wetherby and the like.

I personally think at 11+, it's borderline creepy and looks desperate. The best chance you have is to call them towards the end of next week and tell them that you will still accept the place whenever it comes up at the expense of losing a deposit and (if needed) a term's fee at your second choice school. Obviously, if that's what you would do.

The wait lists will move for a while because of knock on effects. Child 1 releases an offer to School A, School A offers to Child 2, who already accepted a place at a second choice School B. They call school B and tell them they don't need the place after all. School B thought they didn't have a place, but now they do - go back to waiting list, etc.

So it's about being patient and really wanting it. Not 100% guarantee obviously, but I think a letter from DD will just scupper any chances they she had.

AgaPanthers what you describe for Eton is quite common to do if you got a waiting list place - these are given out in Year 6 for entry into Year 9 so it does make sense to keep them current on your achievements in the next two years to increase chances of converting a waiting list place into a firm offer. But I don't think it's relevant here.

EdithWeston Wed 26-Feb-14 16:30:33

For Eton, you sit on their waiting list for 18 months or so, and so updates have a different purpose. They reassess (on paper) all those on their waiting list in about Dec/Jan of year before entry, getting updates from HTs and welcoming them from families.

It's not like an 11+, where nothing is really going to change between exam/interviews in Jan, offers in Feb, and waiting list shuffle in March.

Pooka Wed 26-Feb-14 19:15:11

I know someone at dd's (state) school was made to write a 5 A4 sided letter to the superselective (state) school to more or less say she had a bad day, she really is a xxxxx girl and would they reconsider?

Bearing in mind that post-test the marks give a rough idea of whether it's worth putting as one of your choices. She (and my dd incidentally) were well outside the threshold that has been successful in previous years.

I felt sad for her. It doesn't help that her parents moved near the school in anticipation of her getting in. sad

I know from New York friends that the private school entrance system runs along lines of time-honoured etiquette and the sending of "first choice" and "I love you" (when a school not first choice but you still like it) letters. Handwritten in expensive stationary.

<thanks god that not the norm here>

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