• “Kids at Home”: What happens to school applications during COVID-19?

    With the lockdown and school closures still in place and showing no signs of change, how the coronavirus will affect ongoing school applications and long term education planning is a real concern for parents.

    Simon Northcote-Green, Director of Consulting, gives a few helpful hints so that parents feel in control of the future of their children. Simon is the ex-Deputy Head of Dulwich College, also having served as a Boarding Housemaster prior to his appointment as Deputy Master and a driving force behind a very vibrant and progressive English department. He has also held teaching positions at Philips Academy, Andover and Malborough College.

    Firstly, no entrance examination for primary or secondary school has been officially cancelled or moved as of April 2020. It is important to bear in mind that technically nothing has changed when it comes to deadlines and protocol. As a result, we encourage parents to look toward the next milestone and proceed based on the current timing.

    No matter what happens in the coming weeks or months, families are encouraged to be prepared. This includes working as asked to be the children’s current schools, completing assignments on time and asking questions where needed. Regular reading is also key. Preparation for exams including the 16+ in October and the 11+ in January should also resume as needed. If parents need help understanding how to prepare, or what their child might need help with, our team can always advise on a diagnostic assessment, an appropriate reading list or one to one online tuition.

    Proceeding virtually is also not out of the question. Lately, many schools who are working with children out of the normal application time frame (applying for an occasional place) have been able to continue the selection process by offering remote assessments which are sat in exam conditions at home and scanned back. Interviews are also conducted via Skype.

    An important step of school selection which is hard to navigate is the visit. A school visit is arguably the turning point in the application process, as it gives the family a real life feel for the environment that you may not be able to picture online. However, schools have been able to use video conferencing platforms to provide virtual tours of their campuses. Holland Park Education can also set up one to one video meetings with heads of department, sports coaches, art teachers and other team members who you can meet and direct questions as you would on an in-person tour. This in-person tour is important, but a virtual experience might be an extra step to help inform your list before doors are reopened.

    So how can we help?

    • Bespoke advice and opinions on school options
    • Online tutoring for entrance assessments
    • Diagnostic testing and academic strategy planning
    • Mock interview prep
    • Questionnaire edits and feedback

    Holland Park Education is here to support you one-to-one. Simon is available for a discussion over the phone or via Skype in order to discuss your own unique needs and answer questions. Please email kate.f@hollandparkeducation.com or call 0207 034 0800 to arrange a free initial consultation.

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