How do I apply to a boarding school?

For entry to Year 7

You should visit schools when your child is in Year 5; for most schools the registration deadline is October/November of Year 6 with entrance tests in November or January of Year 6. Students may sit the Common Entrance or a school’s own test.


For entry to Year 9


Students taking Common Entrance should visit and register schools when they are in Year 6. Some schools offer a Pre-test English and Maths when the student is in Year 7, successful candidates will then be offered a conditional place subject to success in Common Entrance.


International students


International students and students not sitting the Common Entrance will need to register by the deadline of October/November of the year before entry’ with entrance tests in November or January of the year before entry. Some schools have earlier registration deadline dates and we recommend that you check the individual school websites.


The ISEB Common Pre-Test


The ISEB Common Pre-Test are on-line multiple-choice tests include Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning, English and Mathematics. Common Entrance exams are set by ISEB Independent Schools Examining Board and marked by the senior school of choice; the exams are sat at the end of January or end of May, usually over 4 days. Details of the subject syllabus and exam structure is given on the ISEB website.


For entry to Year 12


You should have visited and made your choice of school when your child is in Year 10, the registration deadline is October of Year 11 with entrance tests, if required, in November of Year 11. Most schools require students who have followed a GCSE/IGCSE programme to have achieved 5 A*-C grades with B grades in the subjects being considered for A Level.