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Existing or potential JV partners can read the background to our private school league tables on the preceding web pages and see them at

For our international partners, it is very likely you will have clients seeking the top academic boarding schools. Such clients often have very specific wishes for particular schools because they have heard of major heritage / brand schools like Winchester, Eton, Wycombe Abbey, Cheltenham Ladies, Sevenoaks or Brighton College. The named schools are usually in the top 10 of their boarding categories, but such schools are usually heavily oversubscribed and need applications 2 to 5 years in advance of entry. Thus, it is vital to know the comparisons with other top schools and also the admissions process, because you may well have to divert the parents’ attention to other schools.

We are here to help our partners get the best and most suitable schools for their clients. Bear in mind that top academic schools have very high entry standards and often reject more than 75% of applicants based on inadequate test scores or insufficient knowledge of English. This is where our Maths and English assessments are of real value. They are designed to evaluate whether a child is likely to pass an admissions test but much more, they also highlight any weaknesses, so that we can recommend (and implement) tuition to bring them up to the required standards.

Most International agents work on a commission basis for boarding schools. Most of the top academic schools refuse to pay commission for introductions. Why would they when they have more than 4 times as many applicants as vacancies. That is why we handle these schools applications on a fee paid basis, which sets us aside from most agents, who just use panels of schools paying the highest commission. If you are not familiar with marketing a fee paid model, let us help you.

The school choice / application process is subtly different :

  1. Top schools usually require applications 3 to 5 years in advance. They are nearly all age 13 entry and take very few pupils at age 16. For next tier schools you need 1 to 2 years advance notice. Mid range boarding schools are 6 to 12 months.
  2. It’s best for us to assess the pupil first to determine which grade of school they might succeed with entry. It often happens that international children are behind their UK counterparts on specific parts of the UK curriculum, especially in maths. We can recommend tutors to fill in those gaps before they take the admissions tests.
  3. Some top schools will require an essay like a Personal Statement. Most will also require an interview and it’s wise to be prepared for the likely questions.
  4. Senior schools take entry at 11, 13, 14 and 16 unless they are elite schools like Eton where all entries are age 13
  5. Most entry tests are taken in October preceding the year of entry but second tier schools may be January. Decisions are given 1 to 2 months after testing.

For our UK joint venture clients they typically require day schools – often because a family is relocating into the UK. We get a lot more prep school age children in these cases. Day schools do not pay commission – so again it is a fee paid assignment. A lot of assignments are for the Greater London area, which is heavily oversubscribed. Many enquiries come to us only 2 or 3 months before the family relocates. Be aware it is just impossible to get top London schools at such short notice. We will ALWAYS find suitable school vacancies but parents must be realistic at what is available on short time scales.

Often the biggest issue is choice of curriculum. Foreign parents often ask for an American curriculum or the IB younger age curriculum. The IB PYP and MYP are not highly regarded in the UK and choice will be restricted to a small number of International schools, some of which do not have an inspiring track record. If the family is on a short term UK assignment this may not matter, because transferability to other schools is more important. However, if the family is in the UK to stay with University entry planned, then curriculum and academic performance become vital and that’s where we are able to offer expert and impartial advice. What makes a top prep school? We are the only company to publish top league tables based on school leaver destinations, which is the only realistic way of measuring a prep school.

All of our league tables are copyrighted, but for our bigger JV clients we can permit selective reprints of the top 10 names. Why not speak to us to learn more about the potential?