Cottesmore School


Admissions Policy

Admissions Policy


  1. Cottesmore School (“the School”) is a coeducational independent day and full boarding school in West Sussex, for pupils aged between 4 and 13.
  1. The Headmaster of the Prep School is responsible for admissions and the operation of this policy.
  1. The aims of this policy are:

(i)                 To set selection criteria and procedures that are fair to applicants.

(ii)                To identify applicants whose academic and other abilities appear to match the ethos and standards of the School and whose personal qualities suggest they have the potential to contribute sufficiently to the school community and benefit from the many opportunities that are offered here.

Reviewed by Compliance Officer, January 2021

Review due December 2021

Special Education Needs and Disability

  1. The School has limited facilities for the disabled but will do all that is reasonable to comply with its legal and moral responsibilities under the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 in order to accommodate the needs of applicants who have disabilities for which, with reasonable adjustments, the School can cater adequately.
  1. Parents or guardians of an applicant who has any disability or special educational needs should provide the Headmaster with full written details when applying for admission and any additional information at least one week before attending a pupil ‘taster day’ or entrance examination at the School.
  1. The School needs this information so that, in the case of any applicant with particular needs, we can assess those needs and make sure the School can provide adequately for them throughout the admission process (including at interview, on attendance at the School as appropriate).
  1. The School will consult with parents or guardians about the adjustments which can reasonably be made for the applicant both during the admission process and later as a pupil.

Entry Points

  1. Within the Pre-prep pupils are accepted at any point subject to places.
  1. The usual entry points are at Year 4 (8+); although, if places are available, pupils may be accepted at other points.
  1. For the purposes of entry applicants' ages are calculated according to UK custom.
  1. Occasionally, an applicant may have fallen behind in his/her education due to illness, time spent abroad, etc. In such a case, the School may offer a place in a year lower than the applicant's age would normally imply. Occasionally, the School may also offer an outstanding applicant a place in a year ahead of his/her chronological age group. Parents or guardians will be consulted before such an offer is made, but the decision as to the appropriate year for the applicant, taking into account all the relevant circumstances, is a matter for the Headmaster, whose decision is final.

Admissions Timetable

  1. Three Open Mornings are held each year (one each term). However, prospective parents or guardians are encouraged to contact the School’s Registrar to arrange a personalised visit. During such a visit to the School, the Headmaster will meet with the parents and prospective pupil(s), before touring the classrooms and extensive facilities.
  1. Parents or guardians wishing to apply for a place in the Prep School must complete a Registration Form and pay the appropriate Registration Fee. This entitles the prospective pupil to a taster day, when he/she will join a suitable class for a ‘normal day’.
  1. If the applicant has any special educational needs or disability parents or guardians must notify the School and provide full written details, including a copy of all reports prepared by an Educational Psychologist where available.
  1. Permission will be sought from the prospective parents prior to any contact with the applicant’s current school. Only when this has been received will the Headmaster write to request a reference.
  1. Letters offering places will normally be sent out the year prior to entry, but a verbal offer may be given more quickly. Parents or guardians will be asked to accept the offer and pay the securing fee within about two weeks. If no response to an offer has been received within the time specified in the offer, the School will assume that the offer has been declined and the place may be offered to another applicant.
  1. Letters will also be sent out to those parents or guardians whose applicant has not gained a place and to those whose name has been placed on the waiting list.


  1. The preconditions for admission are that:

(i)               The applicant is of the appropriate age and sufficient maturity.

(ii)              The School is able to provide adequately for any special educational needs (if any) the applicant may have.

(iii)             The School, having made reasonable adjustment, has the capacity to cope with any disability the applicant may have.

(iv)             The present school reports satisfactory attitudes and conduct on the part of parents or guardians and the applicant (if applicable).

(v)              Fees (if applicable) at the present school have been paid.

  1. In all other entry years (Years 4-8), prospective pupils are interviewed, if possible, by the Headmaster and the past 3 terms’ school reports are requested.
  1. The academic criteria for selection Cottesmore School are:

(i)                Satisfactory level of literacy and numeracy skills.

(ii)               A positive recommendation from the Head of the applicant's present school.

(iii)              A satisfactory performance during the applicants’ visit (if possible).

  1. Factors which will not be taken into account in the assessment of a pupil for admission are: the applicant's skin colour, race, nationality or ethnic or national origin, religious faith or socio-economic group.
  1. Admissions Record: a confidential form of Admissions Record will be completed for each applicant.


Contact us

For all admissions enquiries, please email [email protected]