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Some Nurseries are part of Pre-Preps and indeed some Pre-Preps are part of established Preparatory Schools. Like nurseries these are in high demand and it is important to register for a place as soon as possible.

Head teachers may decide not to grant an interview with parents if they do not have a place available. If they have a waiting list already and offer to place you on this list, it could be that the number is already some 40 strong.

It is prudent that parents do not expect of right a definite place.

Humphrys' Education prides itself on its relationship with the schools and knowing where openings do occur.

We ask that parents are realistic in a competitive environment and understand that their first, second or even third choice may not be an option.

Without wishing to paint a pessimistic picture it would be sensible for parents to be aware of some of the established and long standing situations. In the top Preps such as Wetherby for boys and Pembridge Hall for girls it is standard procedure and a requirement to register within 14 days and 24 hours of the birth respectively of a prospective candidate. Places after that are extremely rare.

Every child of 5 years of age has to be in full time education, however State Education now exists from the age of 4 and from 2004 will also operate a half day for every three year old.

The Independent Sector is in consequence under heavy pressure and again space is limited.

All children will normally be tested at 4 years of age to see if their ability is acceptable for a place. The level of education at these schools is high, with the aim being to gain a place at an established Prep School. In some schools an Educational Psychologist will undertake the testing.