The application process for private schools differs greatly to that for state schools.
Each school manages their own admission process and sets its own criteria. Many of these private schools are academically selective and test applicants, even for primary admission. Those that are not selective will usually still require an interview to assess your child’s suitability for their particular school environment.
It is difficult to say when an application should be made for admission to a private school. Some schools take registrations from birth, this is a little extreme for most private schools but two years in advance is not unreasonable. Once you have established the schools you like you should contact them and ask when you need to register your interest and also the details of their admissions process.
When choosing a private school you should always visit and evaluate not only the academic offering but also the extra-curricular activities such as music, sport etc. In terms of inspection reports Ofsted only inspect about half of the independent schools in the UK. The others are part of associations such as the Independent School Inspectorate and they are inspected by them. The school website should provide information as to where to find the inspection report.
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