How Prep Schools Work in the UK
The education system in the United Kingdom is more complex than many people realise, that is until they begin looking for a school for their child. It’s not only a case of identifying the right school but also the right type of school. There are many state and private options and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Which type is most suitable for your child will depend entirely on your child’s personality and the conditions under which they perform best academically. There is no right or wrong way when it comes to organising your child’s education. Every step and each decision should be something you decide with their input. Children who are happier generally perform better academically.
Among the many options available are prep schools. Prep Schools are private institutions and entry is dependent on a fee and/or the passing of an entrance exam. Traditionally, prep schools have been seen as something only available to the rich and elite, but this is rapidly changing. Prep Schools are now more affordable than ever and are worth considering when planning your child’s education. Below is a quick guide to how prep schools in the UK operate.
What Is a Prep School?
Prep, or preparatory, schools take their name from their traditional role in preparing students for The Common Entrance Exam, which is the standard entrance exam for a number of private secondary education institutions. Prep Schools still serve this purpose, but they are also increasingly being used as a route into a good state secondary school. Traditionally, prep schools have been single sex institutions and this is still true for many prep schools. An increasing number, however, are wholly or partly co-ed. Some are day schools that pupils attend every weekday while others are boarding schools that provide the students with lodgings for the duration of the academic year.
There are also pre-prep schools, which prepare younger children for prep school, such as King’s Court; one of the best independent pre prep schools in Portsmouth.
The Benefits of Prep Schools
Generally, prep schools have smaller class sizes than traditional schools and studies have consistently found that smaller classes benefit children’s learning. Many prep schools have more modern facilities than state schools owing to their direct funding from tuition fees.
The entry requirements for prep schools vary and some are more demanding than others. However, this isn’t necessarily an accurate indicator of the school’s quality. Entrance to a prep school is dependent on an interview and, in some cases, an exam as well.
Is A Prep School Right for My Child?
One advantage of prep schools is the different setups available; day schools are best suited to children who are uneasy being a long way from home, but boarding schools are a great option for any children who are more adventurous and who might benefit from immersion in their environment.
Prep Schools are becoming more affordable than ever and many observers are predicting that a post-benefit economic downturn could lead to more vacancies in prep schools, thus further opening the doors to new students.