Exclusive: four ‘bonkers’ tactics used in the admissions race for London’s most exclusive independent schools

Headteachers and consultants at the heart of the race to get into London’s most exclusive independent schools say that competition for places has now reached “bonkers” proportions.

As interest from affluent overseas parents fuels demand in the capital’s admissions hotspots, a TES investigation has revealed that:

  1. Some parents are trying to win coveted school places for children they have yet to conceive.
  2. Tuition companies offering “baby packages” that will hand-deliver filled in registration forms to schools as soon as a child is born
  3. Reports of mothers booking specially timed caesarean deliveries to try and get ahead in the admissions race
  4. Three year-olds receiving private tuition to help them get into prep schools

William Petty, co-director of Bonas Macfarlane, a company that provides tutoring, as well as school admissions consultancy and mentoring, told TES: “We now have the most in demand private [schools] sector in the world.

“One mother who called an exclusive pre-prep school from the labour ward, a few days after the birth, was laughed off the phone. First come first served now means closest to the embryo.”

This is an edited version of an article in the 19 February edition of TES. Subscribers can view the full article here. This week’s TES magazine is available in all good newsagents. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here

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