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Boarding school

Entry headaches

8 replies

Defaultmum · 25/02/2024 03:00

We are currently going through the entry process for our preferred boarding school, in fact it’s the only school we are applying for as we are very happy with our choice and my husband is alumni of this school. It’s a UK school and a well known one. We made initial contact with the school and placed his name on ‘their list’ when DS was 5 yo.

Well the registrar seems totally loopy, first our initial enrolment (done early 2023) was completely lost and we had to redo it.
Then we were told they had everything in order to proceed to interview stage, we were requested to supply a ‘certain document’, it was sent the same day as the request and I followed up with a phone call to ensure it was received.
Now six months later the same person is requesting the same document, saying she hasn’t received it. We still haven’t progressed to interview stage.

Would you raise this as a complaint or should I keep calm?

All this is making me think I need to consider other schools. This is starting to get stressful.

has anyone experienced anything like this before, they are testing my patience, and if I provide feedback I’m worried my son’s place could be at risk because I could be perceived as a problem parent.

its for 2025 entry so starting to worry.

OP posts:
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Kattenburg · 25/02/2024 03:17

Hmmm. Seem to remember something similar at school that turned out to be the best thing ever. Ultimately admissions are a totally separate department to teaching and pastoral. Which school is it?

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Defaultmum · 25/02/2024 03:32

@Kattenburg i won’t be naming the school. And I totally agree, the teaching and pastoral care are the most important.

OP posts:
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Kattenburg · 25/02/2024 04:01

Yes, but starts with a B doesn't it? Let's put it this way, if the school was very eager with the paperwork at this stage, it wouldn't be the best sign. They're dealing with 2024 entries, your turn will come. As long as you have your offer and have accepted it, it's fine. If you cannot bear it you could make an appointment with the registrar's secretary and sort it all out in one go instead of going through this.

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tachetastic · 25/02/2024 11:16

I don't think making a complaint to the Headmaster about the Registrar is the best way to go about securing an offer, so I would just roll with it.

Why isn't your prep school getting involved? Our Head was clear that we are responsible for choosing the school and registering in Year 5, but they then take over and do everything else. Obviously we would need to provide necessary documents.

Most schools I know have already done their assessment days and interviews and are now at the point of making offers, and this is for both 2025 and 2026 entry, so I don't think you are early at all if it is a well-known school that is likely to be over-subscribed.

That said, while over-subscribed schools certainly exist, I think they are rarer than most school's would like you to think and quite a few do still have spaces for applications in Year 8. I think you are too late for a new Year 7 application now.

Good luck!

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tachetastic · 25/02/2024 11:19

@Kattenburg As long as you have your offer and have accepted it, it's fine. 

I think OP's concern is that it is now the end of Feb and they haven't even been invited to an assessment day or interview, most of which will have taken place by now I imagine.

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Kattenburg · 25/02/2024 12:15

tachetastic · 25/02/2024 11:19

@Kattenburg As long as you have your offer and have accepted it, it's fine. 

I think OP's concern is that it is now the end of Feb and they haven't even been invited to an assessment day or interview, most of which will have taken place by now I imagine.

@tachetastic Quite. Will try to stay off MN past my bedtime from now on :)

OP, or her husband, should contact the registrar - not with a complaint, obviously.

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RazzlePuff · 25/02/2024 12:17

Keep calm and carry on. Write the nicest possible email reminding send previously and attaching documents, and tell also sending by post so that you have a paper trail.
Had experience with well known and highly sought after school who withdrew DS2 application after I had withdrawn DS1 application due to a learning need. I was totally spinning because other students at DS2 school had gotten acceptances and declines and I had nothing despite making a very early application.
I phoned and enquired about the application and was waiting for a call back when 2 days later got an acceptance and and later a face to face apology.

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Ziegfeld · 25/02/2024 17:33

Keep calm.

That they are now requesting the document shows your file is “active” - they are now looking at the application with a view to next steps in the process. I would be more worried if you’d heard nothing from them at all.

You don’t say what the school’s standard published timetable is (ie if/when children take assessment tests or when they normally interview), so it’s hard to tell whether your process is on track or not timing-wise.

However if, in the worst case scenario, your application had gone astray earlier, there are probably only one or two boarding schools in the country who won’t accept late applicants these days. School lists are not as full as they used to be and there’s a lot of movement on places.

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