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Highgate for y7 entry: any recent experience?

(8 Posts)
MrsCanute Mon 11-May-15 12:32:05

I've heard rumours that for the last year or so Highgate School has sent out its offers early, with a cut-off date for acceptance/refusal BEFORE the other school offers come in.

Is this true?

thankgoditsover Mon 11-May-15 12:53:51

No, absolutely not as far as I understood this year. They're part of a syndicate of schools that agrees its dates for exams and interviews to avoid clashes, and sends out its acceptances/rejections all on the same day.

What this does mean is that the Highgate offers come a week later than the girls' schools offers, because they coordinate with the boys' schools.

They all have an official date for acceptance/decline of offer of a couple of days after the state school offers (1 March) which doesn't give you huge amounts of time to make a decision.

However, what was different for Highgate than the other privates we applied to is that they said the quicker you accepted, the more guaranteed you were of a place. The other schools said explicitly that if you replied by the deadline, you had a place, unconditionally. Highgate said if you replied on the last day of the deadline they might have somehow run out of places so you're better off being quick about it. Thought this was a bit crap of them. Don't know whether it ever happened in practice.

horsemadmom Mon 11-May-15 17:57:59

It did happen this year at 11+ as they over offered and panicked. CLSG too.

thankgoditsover Mon 11-May-15 19:57:42

Really? They rescinded offers of places if you didn't cough up well before the deadline? Thought the whole point of the deadline date is to coincide with state school offers. What happens to parents who rejected other schools, accepted Highgate/CLSG and were then told that, actually, there's no place for the child after all?

horsemadmom Tue 12-May-15 09:01:45

Parents who accepted quickly got their places. Many will drag their feet over multiple offers. I can't remember if the state school offer date had passed by more than a day or two. Remember, this was 11+. There is no such equivalence at 7+ because there is no state entry point then.
My best advice with 11+ is that you are very clear before offer day about which school is your top choice, second, third etc. and then just go for it.
Yes, some people who spent too long wringing their hands over their top choices, didn't watch their emails which would have warned them that the deadline had been brought forward or were silly enough to have gone on holiday to think about it without the means to transfer the deposit.......Poop or get off the pot.

thankgoditsover Tue 12-May-15 09:59:53

I half agree with you because I can never understand why some people take such an age to make a decision between one private school and another and it strikes me as a bit thoughtless to sit on multiple offers. We replied/rejected/accepted son's offers from both state and private within a day of receiving them.

However some families need to wait for the state offers in order to make a decision. Highgate's fees are a six figure sum over a school career, after all.

And other schools seem to manage to fix a deadline and stick to it. You can't have an official deadline and then change the goal posts. It seems like they're gaming their offers - and if they over-offer they either need to put on an extra class or avoid that mistake again.

MrsCanute Tue 12-May-15 10:44:51

Thanks. This is very useful. Also off-putting.

If a school is so cavalier with successful applicants (making a stressful experience even more stressful), it makes you wonder a bit.

I'm sure Highgate is correct in assuming it can afford to pull rank... doesn't mean it's right to do so.

thankgoditsover Tue 12-May-15 11:13:27

To be fair, in all other ways, the entrance process there was compassionate and thoughtful. The admissions secretary went out of her way to be helfpul. They do a good job of selling themselves on interview day and it seemed like a great school.

However, I think they're trying to up their game academically. Hence getting the girls in. And now it's become much harder to get into than it was and I think they can't quite bear the idea of potentially under-offering and missing some good candidates. It must be so hard for these admissions departments to get the offer rate right but that is true of all of them, not just Highgate and City Girls.

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