Applying to a UK private IB school
Each school sets its own admissions procedure and there is no standard model.
All schools will require you to complete a registration form (if you wish your child to be considered for entry) and pay a non-refundable fee, generally in the range of £100 to £300. It is common to apply to 3 or 4 schools simultaneously, but bear in mind you will inevitably forfeit several of those registration fees.
Schools will often try to get parents to register as early as possible. Our own philosophy is to get our clients to visit schools first and if you like the school, register afterwards. However, some of the elite academic schools are now insisting on registration fees before even permitting a visit.
At the younger ages, the PYP and MYP are offered by mostly international schools, which often have a wide ability entry policy. Whereas the typical UK curriculum private school is demanding Maths & English tests from age 7 onwards, IB schools tend to seek an interview plus a look at the previous 2-3 years school reports. All schools require reports and a reference from the previous school. SEN schools will require a recent educational psychologist’s report.
The big change in admissions procedures comes for the IBDP schools at age 16 entry. The top schools like Sevenoaks and King’s Wimbledon require registration over 12 months in advance. Schools like this require students to sit entrance tests in the 3 subjects to be taken at Higher Level in the IBDP. An English language test may also be required for non-native speakers. Note that the top 5 schools are sometimes rejecting 80% of candidates based on admissions test scores!
Our bespoke advice services not only cover school choice but also the minefield of guiding your child through entrance procedures.
We often recommend children are personally tutored for admissions tests, where entry is competitive. We have relationships with several firms of Tutors, which specialise in entrance tests. Just ask.
Assuming your child is accepted by a school, you will receive a written offer and be given a fixed period (normally 2 or 3 weeks) in which you have to accept that offer (or lose it). You will then be asked to pay a deposit and / or the first term’s fees or both. Children from outside the EU may need a visa to study in the UK. They need to apply to schools which have Tier 4 Highly Trusted Status awarded by UK Visas and Immigration. Only these schools can issue the CAS letter with their offer with which parents can apply for a visa.
Schools will require you to enter into a binding contract with them, which inter alia will usually require you to pay a forfeit of one term’s fees if you do not give the school a full term’s notice if you withdraw your child.
It is part of our role to guide you through the minefield of admissions procedures. Just fill in our enquiry form or phone us on +44 1622 813870