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Independent Senior Schools

These schools are by their very nature well established with a long history, many going back even further than the first English Parliament in the 13 th century. The top schools will have entry points for girls at 11 and boys at 13 and then not again until the sixth form at 16.

St Paul 's Girls' School  Godolphin and Latymer and most of the London Girls Day schools require registration  at the latest by the 1st  November before the set birthday for entry and will sit examinations in the January following. St Paul’s Boys and Westminster require them to be registered by the end of Year 6 (10 years of age but it is best to register from year 5). If the deadlines are not met it is not possible to put in late applications and one must wait until the next regular point of entry in most cases

Some of these schools will allow the entry examinations to be taken overseas if they are assured that a child's current school can provide a strict examination process. This does allow some flexibility and a child is able to work in a known environment. Some schools will require pupils are brought here for testing and it is essential that the child is allowed a couple of days, at least, to recover from tiredness and flight fatigue.

Independent Schools are very much governed by League Table results and these are produced on their success rate at GCSE and A level. Results are published annually and are available to all. It is essential to understand that the grading is for 5 GCSE passes at grades A* - C; the top schools have pass rates well in excess of 75%+ and some well over 90%+ of their students obtaining A* and A grade in all of their examinations, which for some may number 11 or 12 examinations.

Anomalies of which to be aware:

  1. Parents need to be aware that some top schools still have Saturday morning school with sport in the afternoon. This is very much part of the British system and the ethos of the school. This is a non-negotiable part of the school week. If you wish to have your child attend a particular school, but want the weekends for family time, then it is vital one checks the school's requirements.
  2. At its best the British System of Education is one of the finest and it therefore follows academic standards are very high, as is the level of expectation from pupils.
  3. Some parents are rather astonished when they are told that their child coming from another system will possibly be behind the British system; it is not a condemnation of child, system or country, simply that we do things in a different order here. Particularly in Maths and English students may find themselves struggling in the examinations. Parents to whom this is indicated would again be sensible to take advice before committing themselves to the "British Experience". On a positive note, numerous schools will wish to have a cross section of pupils within their establishment and as always, will invariably, give credit for other skills and accomplishments where necessary.
  4. It is important that parents ensure that the school is aware of their child's strengths, especially in areas such as music, drama, sport and other hobbies or interests; again these are a considerable part of an established school ethos and play a vital part in a child's development as a well-rounded student. Most established schools have Scholarships or Exhibitions within these areas as well as the academic fields.