UK Boarding School Admissions Process

● Each school has slightly different deadlines and entry assessments
● Application to competitive top schools should be made well in advance

Stage 1 – Finding the right school for your child

2-3 years before entry

● Understand the strengths and interests of your child
● Consult our education consultants for advice on suitable schools
● Take tests such as UKiset/ CAT4 to identify child’s academic positioning and find the most suitable schools (test results may also be used for school applications)

Stage 2 – Visits

1-2 years before entry

● A chance for you and your child to see the school, its facilities, staff, students and the local area
● Private visits can be arranged (schools are always willing to do this – especially for families from China and Hong Kong)
● We can arrange boarding school educated consultants to accompany your family on school visits/ interviews, and provide counselling advice throughout
● Visit during an organised Open Day, ‘taster’ visits organised by the schools for children to stay overnight or summer camps that prepare children for entrance exams

*Remember first impressions definitely still count in these visits so book a session with our expert interview coaches before visiting the schools

Stage 3 – Registration

At least one year before entry

● The earlier the better for normal entry points
● Schools accept registration for other entry points where there might be a vacancy
● Some schools require students to submit a hand-written letter or supplementary questionnaire
● Our experienced consultants can guide you through the application process, and review and edit the documents before submission

Stage 4 – Entrance Examinations & Interview

Sept one year before to next Jan

Entrance exam

● Largely similar in most UK boarding schools

● However, most exams (other than ISEB Common Entrance) are still set by individual schools and requirements can vary considerably, meaning the child should practice past papers from each separate school they apply to. Some schools have designated time for exams to be taken at their school, while some are more flexible, with the possibility to have exams taken in Hong Kong.

Interviews

Most schools interview students
– Can be done during a visit, as part of the entrance assessments, or by Skype

Scholarships and bursaries

● Most schools offer scholarships and bursaries for students who excel in core academic subjects as well as subjects like Music, Art, Sports and Drama
● Qualifying students need to apply for scholarships and bursaries in advance
● Scholarship assessments/ exams are not usually taken on the same day as standard exams

Stage 5 – Offer

Dec one year before– next Feb

● Schools make formal offers of places in writing after reviewing the student’s performance in entrance exams and interviews
● Some schools follow a strict annual timeline for releasing offers, usually in December
● We provide advice on school decisions by analysing the school and student profile

Stage 6 – Acceptance

●You are required to accept or decline an offer in a given period of time (roughly 2-3 weeks)
● Once you have accepted the offer, you will be required to pay a deposit

Stage 7 – Familiarisation Visit

May or June before entry

● Many schools ask new students to make a return visit to the school
● Format of visit varies from school to school
● A chance to know other new boys/ girls and their families, and to take care of domestic arrangements such as uniform, and guardianship if required

Stage 8 – Paperwork

● We assist with visa applications and guardianship arrangements
● Practical information regarding medical, uniform and school holiday arrangements

UK Independent Schools: Admission Timeline

Depending on the student’s age, below are different possible entry routes:

Preparatory Schools (Prep school)

Year 5

Age : 9-10

Sep

Year 5 is a good time to enter prep school if the goal is to enter a top senior school and be prepared for 13+ Common Entrance

Jun

Deadline for registration at top schools (e.g. Eton, Harrow, Wellington, Westminster & Winchester)

Year 6

Age : 10-11

Oct – Nov

11+ Pre-Tests for top schools (to offer conditional places pending Common Entrance exam results)

Jan

11+ Entrance exams (mainly Girls’ schools)

Year 7

Age : 11-12

Sep

Last year of entry to Prep School for students wishing to be prepared for 13+ Common Entrance

Registration at 13+ Senior Schools

Year 8

Age : 12-13

Jan – Feb

13+ Entrance exams (non-UK Prep School students)

May

13+ Common Entrance exams (UK Prep schools)

Senior Schools

Year 9

Age : 13-14

Sep

Register for 14+ senior school

Jan – Feb

14+ Entrance exams

Year 10

Age : 14-15

2-year GCSE programme begins

Year 11

Age : 15-16

Sep

Nov

16+ Entrance exams

Dec

16+ Offers

Year 12
Sixth Form/Lower Sixth

Age : 16-17

2-year A-Level programme begins

May

13+ Common Entrance exams (UK Prep schools)

Year 13
Sixth Form/Upper Sixth

Age : 17-18

Application to university/ higher education begins

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