Private School Admissions Process Explained

You have made the decision to send your child to a private school in Buckinghamshire but what can you expect from the admissions procedure? Navigating the intricacies of school admissions might feel like a high-stakes challenge – competition for the most popular schools can be tough – but by doing your research and applying as early as possible, you stand the best chance of securing your son or daughter that coveted place.

Unlike the state school system, the private school admissions process is set by each school on an individual basis. An enquiry to a few choice schools will provide the details you need to shortlist your chosen schools.

In general, families can expect a warm welcome to their enquiry with the better schools asking about your son or daughter, their likes and dislikes before getting down to paperwork.  If you choose to visit the school at an open day or organise a private visit, your initial impressions should help you decide if the school is for you.  If you wish to take your interest further, then generally you will be asked to complete an in-depth application form and pay a registration fee.

When it comes to assessing children, it’s important to understand if the school is ‘testing’ or ‘assessing’ your child.  Selective schools will test children to see if they meet minimum academic entry requirements.  Non-selective schools will undertake an assessment to understand your child, their levels of their academic ability and if any support would be required when they enter the school.  If your child has special educational needs, tell the school as early as possible.  This isn’t a show stopper but early disclosure means the SENCO at the school can read your child’s reports to see if the school can meet their needs.   Most schools require reports or references from previous schools; and in certain circumstances, these could carry more weight than test results. It depends on the school and also on a family’s individual circumstances.

If you are applying early enough, check to see if the school offers Scholarships.  This is an amazing way to boost the confident of your child – as long as they meet the criteria set out in the scholarship material.  Scholarships are seen as prestigious but are competitive so do prepare your child well before you undertake the process.

Akeley Wood School Admissions

Our independent school attracts pupils from Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire.  We aim to offer an inclusive environment, which encourages and challenges pupils to not only deliver academic success but also to enjoy sport and creative subjects in a supportive, nurturing environment.

Our beautifully recently refurbished Nursery accepts children from 12 months as long as we can meet their needs, and our admissions process includes two settling-in days to ensure children are happy in their new environment.

Parents who are interested in applying to our Junior School may register at any point after the September following a child’s fourth birthday, though children already enrolled in Akeley Wood Nursery will automatically receive a place, providing we believe we can still meet their needs as they move to the next level.

Our Senior School welcomes children from a variety of backgrounds, from state primary schools to independent prep schools, and involves an educational assessment to check that our school is the place to nurture individual talents and help them shine.

Places in Sixth Form are highly sought after, given the broad range of A Level subjects on offer so it’s best to apply early to secure a place after GCSEs.

Scholarships are available each year for September entry, please check our website for information on how and when to apply.

Throughout Junior and Senior School we offer taster days allowing children to meet their new friends and get to know the staff and surroundings.  Feedback from teachers also helps to inform the application process.

To find out more about our school admissions process, contact Mrs Jayne Wilson, Enquiry and Admissions Manager, on 01280 860824 to discuss your specific requirements.

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