How to Choose a Prep School

Finding a local prep school

There are around 1000 private preparatory schools in the UK and so there will be one fairly close to wherever you live. School location is really important for young children and if you are looking for a day school, you will almost certainly want it to be within five miles of your home (and closer in London) because of the two ‘school runs’ each day.

Our school search engine works on geographic search and you need to enter the name of your town or city or the name of the school. When it produces a list of schools, you can click on a school name to obtain outline details.

How do you find the best prep school for your child?

Many parents want to do their own research and we refer you to our free downloadable eGuide to choosing a school which offers advice and tips about what to consider.  However, families are often understandably confused by the huge number of schools on offer and unsure where to start. This is especially the case for parents unfamiliar with the UK private school system or who have specific requirements.

We offer a bespoke advice service to guide you through the whole school choice and application process.  We will talk to you in depth about your child and your requirements and aspirations in order to recommend the best-fitting schools where your child is likely to be offered a place. There are many things to consider when choosing a prep school, and our discussions will cover every aspect of this important decision. 


Which preps have the best track record of being a feeder school for your target senior schools?

Which preps are best at teaching which subjects?

What curriculum does the school offer? How progressive is the curriculum and teaching?

Where do most leavers go? Names of schools? What percentage secure scholarships to senior school?

Sport, Music, Drama etc

What facilities does the school have for music, sport, art, DT and drama?

How much time is devoted in the school week to sport and creative activities?

Which sports are played and will your child have the chance to join a school team?

Lifestyle and Convenience

Does the school have breakfast clubs and after-school clubs?

Is there a school bus service?

If boarding, is this weekly or full and what percentage of pupils board?

Is the school an ‘all-through’ with smooth progression to senior school?


What vacancies do they have in my child’s year group?

What percentage of applicants are offered places?

Do they operate waiting lists?

How selective is the school and what are the admissions criteria?

Will your budget cover the fees?

Is it possible to apply for a scholarship or bursary?

Special Considerations

Do they take bilingual children and provide English language (EAL) support?

What modern languages are taught?

Will they take SEN children?

We are very experienced at prep school placements. Our advice is totally impartial and independent. In most cases we try to map out a pathway to senior school to cover all life stages. We will try to get you several offers to give you a choice. In the first instance, why not contact us for a free telephone consultation on +44 (0)1622 813870 or complete an Enquiry form.



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