What you need to know.
One of the hottest topics of conversation around primary school playgrounds and online parenting forums is private school wait lists. Many parents assume you need to apply at birth to get a place at a popular school.
While in some instances that may be the case, not all of the mother’s group gossip about private school wait lists is accurate. Sometimes there are ways of circumnavigating them.
Here are some useful things to bear in mind when it comes to wait lists.
Earlier entry points.
The longest wait lists for private schools tend to be for entry into either pre-grade 1 (depending on which state you live in this will be called Prep, Kinder or Reception) or the first year of high school. The first year of high school is usually the year level where many families move their children from the public to the private education system and thus schools experience a greater intake of students for that year than in others. If you have your heart set on a particular school for your child and there is a wait list for high school entry, it’s worth considering entering before the main intake. Accepting a place during primary school will ensure that your child has a place confirmed at the school to be able to continue into high school.
Late entry opportunities.
Many private schools experience drop offs in student numbers in later high school years through families moving out of the area or students moving schools. Keep in touch with the school regularly and you may be able to secure a place in a later year if your child misses out on one at the start of high school.
Wait lists can be deceptive.
It’s widely known that parents who shop around for schools falsely inflate wait lists. Undecided parents may place their child on the wait list at more than one school only to cancel their application before the school year starts. This can open up places at schools at quite short notice, so it pays to be informed and keep in contact with the school.
Choosing a school for your child’s secondary education is one of the most important decisions you will make for them and it is worth getting reliable information about the enrolment process. If you have found a high school you believe would best suit your child, bypass the playground and forum conversations and contact someone with reliable knowledge about the enrolment processes.