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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:53 pm 
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Do Indies generally give enough time to know state school allocation status before demanding acceptance or otherwise of an offer and payment of deposit?

I've heard of CLSG being ruthless with this but are there any others? I'm thinking of mainly girls' day and boarding Indies in the London, Kent areas and girls' boarding further afield. Also considering New Hall and Brentwood in Essex.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:54 am 
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The HMC schools are divided into geographical regions and usually there is a local agreement amongst such schools as to the offer process, though I should point out that such a process is designed so that parents are not held hostage by the independent schools (so locally all independent schools should have the same date for confirmation). It does tend to be girls schools that have earlier deposit dates, but New Hall and Brentwood are both HMC so you should be fine.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:11 am 
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From the web sites of two independent schools in Surrey (the first talking about this year, and the second talking about next):
Quote:
Parents will be asked to reply by Monday 7 March 2016.

Quote:
Monday 6 March 2017: Final date for 11+ responses from parents

So, these are both giving you a week beyond National Offer Day (1st March) to make your mind up. That's fine if you're allocated a space at your state school of choice immediately - not so good if you end up on a waiting list.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:17 am 
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Location: Herts
I think they are all very reasonable. Parents should not need more than a few days to decide. They should have done their homework beforehand. The indys have places to fill and many on waiting lists go elsewhere so need to be nabbed quickly. DG


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 11:26 am 
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Thanks very much. I see it's the waiting lists that could present a problem.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 12:28 pm 
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schoolrun wrote:
Thanks very much. I see it's the waiting lists that could present a problem.

Yes, waiting lists can cause a problem. Once someone accepts an indie place and pays a deposit, it usually becomes binding and should a person opt for a place from a waiting list later on, they will typically lose their deposit and in case of at least some schools, they will also become liable for the first term's fees.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:46 pm 
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Our unexpected problem was that scholarship offers have an earlier reply by date, which a couple of years ago was before allocation day. (And for us was hampered by the fact that we were leaving for a week skiing on the evening that the offers arrived and therefore had to make a decision and compete all the forms in the hour after my husband got home from work, whereas we had assumed we would have all that week to think about it.) Though I do know someone who has been given an extension for replying to a scholarship offer to allow them to wait until after allocation day so it's always worth asking.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:51 pm 
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I know of people who have negotiated extensions for scholarship offers until after NAD


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:40 pm 
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Thanks for the replies...another related but unrelated question. I have decided to go against my initial plan of having DD apply for just a couple of schools. We might go for several, to have more options. Do there tend to be a lot of clashes for Indies' exams? If you do experience a clash, how flexible are the schools in arranging an alternative date or refunding registration fees?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:38 pm 
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Hi Schoolrun,

The indies would expect any parent to have checked the exam dates before they pay the registration fee and it is highly unlikely you would get your money back just because there is a clash of exam dates. You need to establish the facts before you pay for anything.

Indie exams are often around the same time each year, so if you look up the dates of exams for September 2016 entry, it will give you a good idea of when next year's exams are going to take place and whether there is a likelihood of clashes in dates between schools. This is something you could do now, to narrow down your list of possible options. Other than that, you will know for certain at the time of registering for the exams what the actual dates are, so if some schools have a clash of dates, you will have to decide which one you prefer to go for.

Bear in mind that even if there is no clash of dates, some schools will have their exams scheduled very close to one another, e.g. school A may be on Tuesday and school B on Wednesday or Thursday. You will have to make a judgment as to how much stress over such a short period of time your DD will be able to handle. Even for the brightest and most academic of children, the physical effort of having to sit through 3 or 4 hours of indie schools' tests and emotional/psychological stress that is also involved can be extremely draining. Not many children perform well under the 'exam marathon' conditions.

Last but not least - sometimes exam dates for one school clash with another school's open day which may prevent you from visiting the school you are interested in. It happened with a couple of schools around our area this school year. One was a case of an indie's open day clashing with a state grammar's exam. The only way to avoid this is to start visiting the schools as early as possible - we started in year 4, revisited shortlisted schools in year 5, plus saw the one we liked most two more times, just to make sure we were making the right decision. Please try to visit each and every school you are considering before you decide to enter your DD for the exam and also find out about potential travel arrangements to/from those schools.

Good luck with it all.

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