Blog Education Questions

Why is London so particularly competitive? In part it is simple demographics. With a population of 8,546,761 London has grown 16% in a decade, adding a million new people since 2004. There are now 2,117,000 children under the age of 19 in London, and this population is predicted to swell by 13% over the next decade. New school places are simply not being built quickly enough. Entrance to all types of school in London is now highly competitive, with parents scrambling for primary and secondary school places.

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This is, without a doubt, the fiercest entry point particularly when seeking an upward move into one of the top schools. For example there are only a handful of places available in the Lower Sixth at Eton, with over 50 boys applying.

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What do independent schools teach? This is not a straightforward question. Independent schools are precisely that, independent and self-managing. Schools determine their own programmes of study and which qualifications and examination boards to use. Just as each school has a different school day and a particular balance between sports and arts, so each school offers a different range of subjects and a different range of qualifications.

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The epithet, 'the early bird catches the worm' is ripe when trying to find nursery and prep-prep school places. What follows is a brief overview of the key entry points in independent education, but do remember that there are always exceptions to the rules. Independent schools are precisely that independent. Whilst they share much in common entry procedures do vary. These idiosyncrasies can only be fully grasped by talking to each school and discussing their entry requirements.

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The UK has the world’s most famous boarding schools, many of which are exhibiting at the Independent Schools Show. The Show is an excellent opportunity to meet the world's leading schools, discuss entrance requirements, fees and bursaries, think about taster days, and consider whether a first class education would be right for your child.

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Why do some independent schools absent themselves from league tables and what is "value added"? Many parents will be using tables to evaluate the schools present at the Independent Schools Show.  With this in mind, we have provided this guide to league tables and explain why respected voices warn against taking them too literally.

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Your child is unique, as is each school. Establishing the right match for your child is one of the most challenging decisions a parent can make. Simply making the decision of private or state is a conundrum in itself, so selecting what type of independent school can cause many a sleepless night. Below are 5 tips to help you gather the information you need to make a decision:

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