Press and Awards

Top Headteachers and Private Education Advisory debate how to detoxify competitive school entrance exams

 

Record numbers of applications for selective schools present tough challenges for families

 

Amid concerns for the increasingly competitive school entry places, Enjoy Education, an award-winning schools advisory and private tutoring company in central London, invited parents to hear from three top Headteachers from the prep, London day, and boarding school sectors. This year, the leading schools in London saw as many as 1,000 children competing for 150 places at 11+ entry. Latymer Upper School, in Hammersmith, has seen more than double the number of children sitting their 11+ exam compared to ten years ago.

In response to the popular demand for places, schools have been required to develop continually their intricate entry requirements, leaving many parents feeling overwhelmed by the choice and complexity. As the autumn deadlines for 11+ and 13+ admissions are fast-approaching, parents face increasing pressure to familiarise themselves with the updated processes when looking for the right school for their child.

rtyc-1Mrs Vivienne Durham, Director of Schools Advisory at Enjoy Education and formerly the award-winning Headmistress of Francis Holland School, Regent’s Park, hosted the keynote speakers Adam Pettitt (Highgate School), Dr Katy Ricks (Sevenoaks School) and Ben Thomas (Thomas’s Battersea). The event, in the heart of Knightsbridge, offered families essential advice and guidance to support them through this significant milestone in their child’s education.

Apprehensions were expressed regarding the rigorous selection process of pre-tests, exams and interviews. Many parents were concerned about finding a healthy balance in order to prepare, but not overwhelm, their child when applying for oversubscribed schools. Schools are equally concerned to minimise the increasing levels of anxiety surrounding school entrance exams. Mr Pettitt expressed his intentions to ‘detoxify’ the 11+ and advised parents to ‘retain perspective’. Mr Thomas echoed this sentiment and advised parents to look for a nurturing environment that would meet the needs and interests of their children now and not to ‘chase the brand’ of a school. Dr Ricks reassured parents that their children will rtyc-2be happy if they ‘go with their gut instinct’ when selecting a senior school.

The event also brought to light the wider issue of children enjoying a well-rounded education. Mr Thomas shared ten top tips to ensure that children would feel both ‘empowered and fulfilled’, highlighting the importance of family routines such as reading together, having regular family meals where all children are heard and planning simple weekend outings. All those attending found that successful preparation goes beyond practising exam technique.

-ends-

Notes to the Editor:

  1. Enjoy Education offers a complete schools advisory service to share unbiased information and advice for parents looking for the best schools for their children.
    Enjoy Education was founded in 2006 by Oxford graduate, Ms Kate Shand. Winners of the Education Investor Award in 2013 and 2015, featured in the Spears 500 and recommended by the Good Schools Guide, 2016 marks their ten-year anniversary.

  2. All profits from the Demystifying the 11+, Pre-Tests and 13+ Entrance Exams event went to Chance UK, an award-winning early intervention children’s charity that organises mentoring for 5 – 11-year-olds with challenging behaviour.

How can I increase my chances of getting into Oxford?

Ask the experts: Applying to Oxbridge next year? Is there anything you can do in advance to improve your...
Read more

I just want to say thank you for helping me getting in touch with the tutors and for supporting me throughout the exam period. It has helped me immensely and I’m very grateful. I have really enjoyed the Sociology online tuition classes!

Leah, Student

School Admissions at 7-plus

Choosing a prep school and gaining successful entry can be stressful for any family, particularly in London where competition...
Read more

Do we need to map out our unborn son’s education?

Securing a place for a child at a good local primary school, can be one of the biggest concerns...
Read more

We missed the deadline for secondary school applications, what are our options?

As any parent can attest, applying for a secondary school place - especially when you have a particular school...
Read more

Kristina has been amazing with Ashley and has been valuable in helping her with exam technique and structuring her answers. Kristina has been wonderful, supportive and so helpful to Ashley. She is instilling much needed confidence.

Linda, Parent

An undeniably wondrous experience from start to finish with Enjoy Education. As Americans not knowing anything about the UK school process or curriculum, Esme & Vivienne thoughtfully brought us up the learning curve quickly...Not only that, but doors we thought closed were miraculously opened, giving our children opportunities we never thought possible on such short notice. My wife and I wholeheartedly applaud the overall effort of Enjoy Education and would 100% recommend their services to anyone in need of consultation.

David, Parent. Our schools advisory team supported his family's move to the UK from America.

I’m moving house – will my daughter miss out on a primary school place?

Applying to primary school can be a daunting time for any parent, especially with the growing pressure on places...
Read more

Relocate Awards 2017 Shortlist

We are delighted to be shortlisted for the award in 'Excellence in Family Support' at the 2017 Relocate Awards. ...
Read more

The girls are really enjoying the classes with Lucinda. They start and finish the classes with huge smiles on their faces. I am delighted!

Nancy, Mother of two

Enjoying Life

Former Headteacher of Francis Holland School Regent’s Park, Vivienne Durham, reflects on looking at education from the other side...
Read more

Engaged Kids in Politics

The long school holidays can be very stressful when you are trying to juggle a busy home life with...
Read more
One to One Tuition
Enjoy Homeschooling
Relocation Support
Become an Enjoy Tutor

Award-Winning