UK Educational consultants

London Day School Waiting Lists

Lucy Watts
July 14th 2017

 Now that the throes of the London Day School testing are over, a number of parents will find themselves with waiting list offers.  Lucy Watts, former Headmistress of Eaton House, Belgravia, has some guidance on how to manage the next few days before School acceptance dates.

If your child is on a waiting list, it means that he or she has effectively passed the entrance exam and should be congratulated for that.

No doubt your child's current school will be in touch with the waiting list school(s), if that is encouraged by the entry school.  Your Headmistress or Headmaster will usually have a relationship with the schools and can often help to understand the waiting list situation.

There is no need for you to bombard registrars and Heads with, for example, your child's latest skiing medal or recent pieces of artwork as all the relevant information will already be in place to supplement the exam performance.  Your current school will have sent a specific report to the prep/senior schools which will have outlined your child’s profile and extras.  Tell them if a particular school is genuinely your first choice.  Allow your current school to negotiate on your child's behalf.

Either format carries the same weight - just make sure that your correspondence reaches the relevant person.  On receiving a waiting list offer, respond by thanking the school for putting your child on their waiting list and if you are genuinely interested in a place, make that clear in a short, polite email or handwritten letter.

Please do not, therefore, overdo any connections because however much dinner party chat there might be, there is a firm and fair system of school place offers.  Let the schools know that you have a positive connection but do not push 'names' at the schools as they will have many people trying to do that and they still have to abide by their exam result criteria.  If you have personal connections with a school through family, friends or others, make that clear but do so subtly.

Ask for feedback from the schools if your child is not offered a place.  This will just be an outline that can be discussed with your child's school, not least to prepare for another application if that is appropriate.Although the feedback might say that a child was 'weaker' in a particular area during the exams, it does not mean that that will be the only area on which your child should focus.  Remember that your child's school will focus on all round preparation. 

Do not despair if your child is on a waiting list.  Once places are accepted, lists often move.  There are plenty of great schools for everyone! 

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