Entrance Procedures

Entrance procedures and popular entry stages

Each independent school has its own admissions policy and entrance procedures. You can make an application for entry at any stage, provided places are available.

Popular entry stages for independent schools in Scotland

The most popular entry stages tend to be at nursery (ages 3 and 4), at ages 5 and 11 (day schools) and at ages 13 and 16 (boarding schools). In Scotland, most children start school in the year when their 5th birthday falls between 1st March and 28th February, although each independent school will have its own policy about this so you are advised to check with individual schools.

Early application is strongly recommended

Applications for entry at the start of a new school year (late August for day schools and early September for boarding schools) should preferably be made during the autumn months of the previous year, to give schools sufficient time to process applications and organise entrance assessments. However, since many schools have waiting lists at the most popular entry stages, early application is strongly recommended. Application deadlines should be checked with individual schools.

Entrance assessments - what's involved?

Independent schools assess children to be sure that they can meet each individual child's educational needs and to decide how those needs can best be met. Be assured, schools understand that parents, especially those of very young children (P1-P3), are often anxious about entrance tests, so they will make every effort to put you and your child at ease. Assessments and interviews are usually held in the spring term (in late January, throughout February and into early March) although this varies from school to school. Your child's age will determine the nature of their entrance assessment and whether it is formal or informal. While some schools are academically selective, the majority admit children of mixed abilities.


Entrance Procedures