The fabled stories of fathers rushing from the maternity ward to drop off the application at the favoured school is less of a story and more of a reality. In this blog, Sophie Oakes looks at some of the key challenges when trying to get into London schools.
School spaces have always been at a premium in London which makes life particularly difficult if you lead a more transitory life. Some schools feel as exclusive as an haute couture dress which might be lovely to own but might just be the wrong fit.
It is important to try and disregard the “fashionable” names because the reality is London has an extremely well regarded, high achieving number of schools that across the capital that are equally successful, if not more so.
In an ideal world, ones child would be registered early on but I cannot stress enough that even if you are toying with the idea of moving to London, think about the education immediately. Preferably years in advance not months! There are different entry points to consider that might make that decision a little easier.
Considering a London school for your child? Get in touch today to see how we can help.
London Schools: Entry Points for Boys
For boys there is obviously the main entry at 4 years old then there is the 7+ entry (year 3), 8+ entry (year 4 & the start of prep school) and the next major entry point is 13+.
So it is conceivable that your son might start at one school aged 4, leave for prep school aged 7 or 8 and then move to secondary school at 13 where he will stay until he finishes his A Level or IB.
London Schools: Entry Points for Girls
For girls it is different. They, like the boys, have the main entry point at 4. Then they would take 11+ exams to potentially move to another school. They now also have the 13+ entry point in line with the boys particularly if they are considering a co-ed education.
London Schools: Selective vs. Non Selective
A lot of schools with the entry point at 4 are non selective hence the race to put the child down at birth.
However, many are selective at every entry point. This means your child must sit an assessment.
If you are applying for schools from abroad, some of them might let you take the test remotely but most will wish you to go to London for the assessment. In fact, many schools will not even let you apply for them unless you have visited the school.
London Schools: Co-ed vs. Single Sex
It is important to consider whether you mind about co-ed or single sex education. There are a huge amount of single sex schools but if you are keen on keeping your siblings together in co-ed then often your choices are more limited.
The joys of a London school are abundant. There is the naturally cosmopolitan atmosphere of almost all schools.
Being surrounded by the wealth of art and culture London has to offer means that school trips are some of the best and the resources at hand for those doing research are copious.
Although few schools have their own sports grounds, trips on the bus to the local parks are just the way of life for most London school children.