Secondary Transfer Q&A
BISHOP GILPIN Questions and Answers:
If after reading the relevant information you require further assistance, you can contact Mary Ann Rogers (Merton) on 0208 545 3974
Which schools do Bishop Gilpin Year 6 leavers go to?
A wide range of state and independent schools including the following:
State: Cheam High, Greenshaw, Lady Margaret's, Nonsuch, Raynes Park High, Ricards Lodge, St Cecilia's, St John Bosco, Sutton Grammar, Tiffin Boys, Wilson's, Wimbledon College.
Independent: Brighton College, Christ's Hospital Boarding School, City of London School, Claremont Fan Court, Collet Court St Pauls's Prep, Dulwich Prep, Emanuel, Felton Fleet, Francis Holland, Godolphin and Latymer, Hampton, Hall School Wimbledon, Ibstock Place, James Allen's Girls' School, Kingston Grammar, King's College, Lady Eleanor Holles,More House, Notre Dame, Old Palace of John Whitgift School, Putney High, Rokeby, Reed's School, Surbtion High, Sutton High, St Paul's Girls' School, Trinity, The Hall, Ursuline High, Wimbledon High, Whitgift.
Are academies and grammar schools state schools?
Yes, they are funded by the state. Academies and grammar schools should be listed on your application form if you wish to list them as a preference.
Which application forms should I complete?
There is a (pan London) common application form for all state schools (including in Scotland). You must fill in this form for the borough you live in (Merton, or your own borough if different from Merton e.g. who you pay your council tax to). The school choices you make on this application can be for any state schools either in or outside Merton. For independent schools, apply to the school directly.
If I only want my child to go to one specific state school, should I to put five other schools on the common application?
Use as many as possible to maximise your chances of being offered a preferred school on offer day.
Put the schools in the order you would like to be offered?
Should I apply online?
It is recommended by Merton. The form goes online 1 September. You can amend it online until the closing date (31st October 2016). By filling it online you'll get confirmation that it has been received, additionally you'll find out your school offer before those applying on paper. If you don't do it online, hand it in in person and get a receipt. Lost forms will be considered with late applications.
When should I apply?
31 October is the deadline, you can apply from 1 September. Selective and Faith schools may have earlier dates for their supplementary information forms (SIF’s)
My child is not a practising Catholic, should I still apply for a Catholic School such as the Ursuline?
Generally apart from Statemented children, last year places were only offered to the category for practising Catholic’s in their admissions criteria at the Ursuline. For more accurate information please check with the school.
My child has an emotional or social problem and can't travel safely. What can I do ?
If your child has a social/emotional or medical need for a particular school, you need to state this on the application form and provide professional evidence to support this.
Can we find how many children left for university from each school?
Contact the schools directly.
To apply for a school do I need to put it on the application form, for example: even if it's in Scotland?
Yes. The only way to apply for state schools in England and Scotland is through this common application form.
Do all state schools have the same admission criteria?
No, most secondary schools are now academies: look at the websites for latest admission criteria, which have changed at many establishments this year. Some require supplementary forms to be completed. Some schools do not count 6th form children as siblings for example.
What are supplementary forms?
Some schools (e.g. faith schools) will require an additional (supplementary) form that must be returned as instructed by the school. Failure to send this form as instructed will in all likelihood mean a failed application for that school.
When will the state school offers be made?
Offers come out on the 1st March 2017. A child should only get one offer, the highest preference school that has accepted you.
What if my application is late?
Your application will only be considered after all the other applications have been processed and places allocated. It is very important to meet the deadlines advertised by your borough.
What if I am not offered a school?
If you make an on time application you will receive an offer on offer day. If you do not receive an offer of a school that you listed as a preference and have been allocated a school by your local authority – this will be because none of your schools were able to offer you a place and you will be on a waiting list for all of them. In this case, you will be allocated the nearest school to your address that has a space available.
What do I do if I get an offer for a place at a state school that is not my first choice?
You will need to decide within 2 weeks if you would like to accept or decline the offer. You will remain on the waiting list for higher preference schools on your common application form and you will be informed if a place becomes available. Declining a place offered means that you are taking responsibility for educating your child or finding another school place for September.
Accepting or declining a place will have no impact on your position on other schools' waiting lists. For example if you are offered a school in position 3 on your common application form and you accept it, you will remain on the waiting list for schools 1 and 2. If you move up the waiting list at school 1 you will be offered the place whether or not you accepted school 3. If on the other hand, you decline the place at school 3 and are not offered a place at school 1 or 2 later on, you may not be able to ask for the declined place back later on.
Is there a lot of movement on waiting lists after the initial offers?
This is dependent on the school. Some schools, have a lot of movement, others don't. This can change from year to year.
What happens if I am in the process of changing address?
If you change address and the move is not completed move by 31st October, contact the borough applied to at the earliest opportunity to explain. Most boroughs should consider changing address of application until 9th December approximately 10 months prior to your child's start in September. After 9th December, at which point places will be allocated on those addresses provided. New addresses provided after the December cut off will be taken into account, but only after 1st March and the first round of allocations. This may affect you place on waiting lists.
The address must be a "permanent" address. Check Merton website for more information.
Do Catholic schools have to keep places for non-Catholics?
No, Catholic schools are at liberty to fill all their spaces with Catholic applicants.
Am I limited in the number of schools I can apply to?
You may apply for a maximum of six state schools on the common application form. You may apply individually to as many independent schools as you choose. However, please bear in mind the potential impact on the well being of your child when deciding how many selective schools to apply for. Families and children in particular might suffer a great deal of stress during each application process.
What about testing at independent schools?
Dates, times and tests vary by school. Consider how many tests it is reasonable to put your child through. At Bishop Gilpin we have seen adverse effects on children.
If a selective school writes to inform me that my child is of selective school standard, what does this mean?
It means your child may be in the top percentage of children, meaning you can apply to that school. It does not mean your child is guaranteed a place at the school. It is more likely that you will not be offered a place than you will be offered at place as a school may advise around 400 children that they are of selective ability for approx. 150 places.
How do I find out whether/where my child is on a waiting list?
Contact the school and keep checking to ensure you stay on the list.