... I'm assuming that you can? They each have their own application procedure, so none are going to know how many others you apply to? Obviously it would be silly not to narrow it down to two or three, but do people ever keep more options open than that? If this IS the case, then is there normally a lot of switching around on gcse results day? And if running a certain A level course is dependent on numbers, presumably if students bail out on a school at the last minute, courses could get cancelled. Just trying to understand how scrupulous people usually are with their applications ...
dd had 3 offers: A was in line with predicted GCSE results (this is where she is studying now) B was if she exceeded expectations (staying on at sixth form linked to school attended from Y7). C was a backup if she didn't do as well as expected.
Option B is a very oversubscribed sixth form and they wanted to know if she had accepted any other offers. The others didn't ask.
We strongly suggest to all our students to apply to as many as possible with the criteria in mind that catslife pointed out. It is far better to the offers in hand to cover all possibilities so you can make a clear decision on results day than to scramble round if things turn out differently.
Students have until the start of October to change providers (this is when enrolment data has to be reported to DoE for funding)
We went to see lots, and then we did the same as catslife -
the absolute fall-back was her GCSE school - they took 5 GCSE A-C the dream option of superselective grammar if her grades were over and above (4A* and 4A!!) the next grammar down from the dream that she liked and had a realistic chance of qualifying for (GCSE 5A)
She ended up at the last one and is happy.
The only problems we had were that all had induction days in July and all had pre-set work/reading to be completed by start in September.