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City of London Girls withdrawing offers

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Leo12345 Tue 13-Feb-18 13:37:02

Hello! I was surprised to receive an email today from City of London Girls that their offer to DD is now withdrawn. I opened their original email with the offer and read that indeed this is their policy: first-comes-first-gets.
We are much more prone to go to LEH or if not Kingston Grammar, and now I bless this decision as I learnt something about City of London Girls character and aptitude towards its pupil.

My question is: do other schools (in particular LEH and Kingston Grammar) practice such policy?

We would accept the offer in LEH today then, though we are waiting for the tour in there.

OP’s posts: |
Teddyking1 Tue 13-Feb-18 13:45:25

Kingston Grammar does the same

Leo12345 Tue 13-Feb-18 14:15:23


OP’s posts: |
Leo12345 Tue 13-Feb-18 14:30:49

Now I read the letter from Kingston Grammar, it looks to me even worse: they say that you may accept your offer and once all offers have been accepted, after 6th March, it can happen that more pupils accepted than there are places and in this case first-accepted-first-go will work.
Which mean your DC may become placeless.

OP’s posts: |
LondonUSAmum Tue 13-Feb-18 15:07:14

We got the same email from City this morning. I was aware they did this last year and our Head warned us we must act immediately if we wanted the space but I assumed they would do the “countdown” like they did last year when they emailed parents letting them know places were filling up.
We were hoping to go to the offers day on Feb 20th but I assume that is cancelled now.
I do understand they took 6 from the waiting list last year and likely could be more this year as I’m assuming even more paid the deposit without being certain they will take the space.

Curious as well to hear if any other schools do this...

Lentils Tue 13-Feb-18 15:32:23

Wow, this is ridiculous. I know they need to manage a number of offers and slots on their end, but this just makes my blood boil. As if this entire non transparent 11+ system is not bad enough, schools then want you to make a snap decision that will literally affect the next 7 years of your child's life...Sure, I know, you can argue we had all the time in the run-up to think about it, but I'm sure many are torn between a lot of serious factors.

welshrarebiter Tue 13-Feb-18 15:40:37

Hello all, first time poster here! Firstly, can I say that while I get why schools would do this, I think it's bad form as it's a huge decision and makes it really tricky for those waiting to hear re state school offers.

Second, sorry to gatecrash but do you know if any of the boy's schools do this? We are overseas at the moment and I don't have our offer letters and am now in a panic that I might have missed something. Ds has offers from Alleyn's, Dulwich, Trinity and Whitgift. Thanks so much!

Dancergirl Tue 13-Feb-18 15:41:21

I've heard of this, they did it last year too.

Why don't they offer a smaller number of places and if they don't get enough acceptances they can go down the waiting list?? That seems much more sensible to me.

OP, did they tell you this in the offer letter? My lawyer DH wonders if there is some legal implication ie offer and acceptance....

Lotsofsighing Tue 13-Feb-18 15:43:14

LondonUSAmum why don’t you let City’s behaviour make your mind up for you and take one of your alternative offers?

We’re choosing between two schools and one has exploding offers and one doesn’t. We’re going to offers sessions at both on the 20th. If the offer explodes before then, so be it. I won’t be bullied into making a decision before even having a chance to revisit the school.

The non exploding school is far higher up the league tables and more prestigious. The head there said that actually working out how many places to offer isn’t very hard or complicated, you’ve got lots of historic stats to look at and there’s no excuse not to honour the deadline.

Lotsofsighing Tue 13-Feb-18 15:46:03

Ps it was clear on the offers letter that they do this - they say something like ‘although the deadline is 5 March if we fill our places before then we’ll put your daughter on the wait list’. Or something like that. I think it will work against them as those with lots of offers won’t be jumping on it as those with only one will do.

LondonUSAmum Tue 13-Feb-18 15:46:09

Lentils I agree. City has an offer day on Feb 20th. If you’re not aware of how their exploding offers worked last year and why would you if didn’t read forums or know someone or your Head advised you would likely think you at least have a week or so to contemplate this important decision. My husband and I are in separate countries for the week due to his job so we couldn’t have turned in the signed form yet anyway. And you have to turn it in in person. Plus I assumed many families would travel over half term.

But plenty of families knew what they wanted I guess or are happy to lose the deposit should they decide otherwise.

AveEldon Tue 13-Feb-18 15:48:46

City made it very clear in the admissions booklet and other paperwork

As far as I know W, T, A & DC will all honour offers until the deadline date

welshrarebiter Tue 13-Feb-18 15:53:48

Thanks Ave, just had a panic!

Backingvocals Tue 13-Feb-18 16:03:03

It's pretty awful. I knew this was possible but only from reading MN last year. Children are at state school so no particular network knowledge. That the offer expires is mentioned in the email but obviously you have no idea that that actually means you have literally one working day to get your info in. Friends of ours are on holiday this week were completely unable to do this and have just had the email letting them know it's expired. I'm just lucky that I have a flexible job that allows me to disappear in the middle of the day to deliver everything they require.

Lentils Tue 13-Feb-18 16:13:29

Bullied is the right word for exploding offers. We decided against CLSG because of the commute and had a twinge of regret around exam time, but glad we didn't apply now. It seems that some schools are moving toward a less pressurised entrance procedure and some ratcheting it up! @AveEldon - not complaining about whether they make it known in their literature or not, complaining that exploding offers for an 11+ entrance is just plain ridiculous. I would not be surprised if they are banking of a few families saying YES, paying the deposit as insurance, while they mull over other choices.

hardboiled Tue 13-Feb-18 16:22:23

Personally I think it's indecent to make people pay a deposit before state schools offers day.

FanDabbyFloozy Tue 13-Feb-18 17:04:59

City do this, also Channing. I know children caught out last year.

It hurts the less well off who are waiting to see if they have a decent state option on 1st March and can ill afford a wasted deposit. Pretty despicable.

Lotsofsighing Tue 13-Feb-18 17:08:26

Yeah, Channing was the one I was referring to...

NWgirls Tue 13-Feb-18 18:22:46

* It hurts the less well off who are waiting to see if they have a decent state option on 1st March and can ill afford a wasted deposit. Pretty despicable.* YES! sadangrybiscuit

Highgate apparently also does this although I have no offer letter to lok at to confirm that-

Let me also mention that King Alfred (in Golder's Green) demand a full term's deposit (£6,241) as early as 5 January!

Despicable by all these schools to design a process that puts families that consider schools in both sectors under such pressure.

Firefox1066 Tue 13-Feb-18 18:35:21

It's a reprehensible practice. Moreover, if they are going to do this, then I want them to be explicit about it. Not jut shove it into the offer letter text. They should be making it very clear at Open Day and again with the exam literature.

Lastly, they could easily have had a realtime counter on their website that showed how many offers had been currently received. At least then it would have been a more transparent process.

LondonUSAmum Tue 13-Feb-18 18:46:53

It’s so deplorable. We are out of the country visiting a sick relative and while we knew we would have to act fast only because of this forum and our Head we could not act this quickly even if we wanted to. Just because they can do it this way doesn’t mean they should.

Lentils Tue 13-Feb-18 20:24:08

@LondonUSAmum - it's their loss. It looks like your DD has other amazing offers anyway. I was reading on another forum someone tsking / tutting about how parents hadn't read the literature about offers. People like that miss the point! Exploding offers terrible when they happen in the job market - and apparently don't lead to great employees anyway. In the 11+ setting it's adding insult to injury. Families wouldn't be applying to so many schools if independents were more transparent - but hey that takes away their mystique and aura. Why a school can't manage a wait list based on historical data without resorting to additional stressful measures is beyond me! And the fact that they are doing it for their convenience rather than mitigating the stress of the families speaks VOLUMES.

LondonUSAmum Tue 13-Feb-18 20:29:34

Lentils thank you for the kind and supportive words. We read the literature and were aware but were still caught off guard st no notice being given by the school that it was happening so quickly. It will be okay and we can stay on the wait list but do think it’s best to accept another offer and move on. Still stings to have something your child has earned be taken away from her so abruptly. Don’t have the heart to tell her!

Foxpants Wed 14-Feb-18 09:22:54

Hmmm - going to be controversial here and say that I don't think it's that bad a practice (yes, I'm a CLSG parent). Highgate did at 7+ this year and made it completely clear on its literature, City too has always been completely transparent about its policy. This can be an absolutely torrid time for people who are on waitlists or who don't have slots for their children. Parents have loads of time to make their mind up on the right school ahead of results day and don't usually need to sit on lots of offers.

Also, if someone is about to save £150k for a state school place, I think they can part with £1.5k as insurance for a private school place.

Just can't see why it's such a controversial practice....

AnotherNewt Wed 14-Feb-18 09:29:08

I think it's a really unpleasant practice. Only a handful of schools do this, others manage their numbers differently (more attention to offer/WL offer balance) and although that is more intensive on staff time, it is better for families and reflects the school's view on what the school/family relationship should be like. Honouring an offer is a question of integrity, after all. Hedging offers with conditions means it shouldn't be a surprise when it happens, but at heart it is still a case that they will make offers they are not prepared to honour.

It would put me off a school, tbh. But others will be happy with it.

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