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Operation Application : Streamline your application strategy for success

Updated: Oct 28, 2022

The admissions process may appear to be straightforward, yet it has a LOT of moving parts and needs to be planned and actively managed.

Very commonly, parents tell us they have heard nothing from the school for months after submitting an application.

This is a common scenario:

I submitted my application months ago. Just today, I called to enquire and was told that because my child's photo was missing, my application was not processed. All assessments have been completed and my child will be waiting for the next round.

This was not managed by us and it could equally be a missing school report, teacher reference, etc

A less common scenario (one that was under our management):

A child was declined, a result that came as a surprise. The parents were devastated. On investigation, it transpired that she had wandered into the wrong assessment room and sat the entrance exam for a year higher. Once this administrative blooper was uncovered, the school was very accommodating and we were eventually able to secure an offer.

It is extremely common that a child is sitting (or swimming!) in a waitpool. A parent may not know the internal process by which children are selected and also may not be the most objective in evaluating the fit between their child and their intended school.

Waiting can be excruciating but waiting is only sensible IF there is a reasonable chance that an offer will come within a reasonable timeframe.

A Plan B is almost always sensible.


Your child's CV/Resumé

Think of a school application as a CV. It has ONE job - to generate an interview. In the case of a school application, we prefer to refer to it as an ' assessment'. Not all schools invite all applicants so your application must be:

  • accurate

  • complete

Accurate This seems obvious. Most forms are quite straightforward, yet actually reveal a wealth of information to the trained eye of the Admissions Manager. Data points must match and make sense.

  • What is your child's first/second/third language REALLY?

  • Does the current school make sense for the intended school?

  • Why didn't you apply earlier?

  • Why have you not applied for the sibling(s)?

Complete​ It is important to provide schools with ALL that they ask for but ONLY what they ask for. Do NOT send in additional certificates/reference letters but do send what they need.

Almost all schools nowadays ask for a confidential teacher reference too.

Assuming your application has done its job, your child will be invited for an age-appropriate assessment.

When your child attend the assessment, you will receive one of three outcomes:

  • Accepted/Offer

  • Waitlisted/

  • Declined

Either of the first two outcomes are acceptable. An offer should be accepted (unless you genuinely have more than one) and a waitlist situation must be followed up regularly and the likelihood of receiving an offer evaluated. Mindlessly waiting is - quite simply - dangerous.

A rejection is often a redirection
Wrong Way
A rejection is almost always a redirection.

A rejection should be investigated, especially if more than one such outcome. Applying to a school where your child was previously rejected may be sensible or it is most likely a redirection. Multiple repeat applications to the same school are likely to result in the same repeat outcome, unless the cause of the rejection is identified and addressed.


Is this you ? Consider an Application Strategy Review:

  • Not sure if you need a full support service

  • Researched many schools, visited some and applied

  • Child has attended assessments and is currently on waitlists/in waitpools

  • Not sure what to do next.​

Let our experts review your current situation and recommend next steps :

  • analysis of parent questionnaire

  • 1 x meeting with parents up to 90 minutes

  • review of child's school reports

  • Age appropriate assessment (optional) - CAT4 test for age 7+

  • review of application history (all applications previously submitted; status checked with the school)

  • recommended next steps/actions


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