Admissions Policy

Policy Statement

Caterham School welcomes pupils of all faiths, cultures, races and family backgrounds. We are happy to admit a pupil with a disability as long as both parents and school conclude that we can provide appropriately for the child's specific needs. The school seeks to ensure that disabled prospective pupils are not treated less favourably or unfairly in the admissions process and will take reasonable steps to avoid putting disabled pupils at a substantial disadvantage in matters of admission.

Caterham welcomes applications for admission from all sections of society and is non-discriminatory in line with the Equality Act (2010) and Equal Opportunities Policy. This applies to all pupils (including boarders and those in our EYFS setting and the requirements of the National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools (2011), 16), and includes inappropriate discrimination on the grounds of: gender; age; religion or belief; physical ability or disability (including HIV status); learning ability; other special educational needs or academic or sporting ability; race (including colour, nationality, ethnicity, family, cultural or linguistic background); marital status and civil partnership; sex; sexual orientation; trade union membership; part-time and fixed-term working; gender reassignment; pregnancy and maternity. These factors are taken into account in the care of our community members so that care is sensitive to different needs.

Admission is based on

  • A satisfactory report from the prospective pupil's previous school from Year 1 upwards.
  • The successful completion of entry assessments for all pupils entering Reception to Year 13.
  • The completion of a signed declaration by all parents of the prospective pupil, which informs the school of all known special educational needs of the prospective pupil concerned
  • Where applicable overseas students are required to undertake a language proficiency assessment before a place is offered. This includes a written assessment and may also include an interview in person or via electronic media
  • Completion of the entrance procedure, as set out below, for each year group of entry

Caterham School is committed to ensuring that the Admissions Register is maintained in accordance with Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006. From the beginning of the first day on which the school has agreed or been informed that the pupil will attend the school, an entry will be made in the school's Admissions Register in line with the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006.

Caterham School reserves the right to refuse entry and progress into any year from Reception to Year 13 if the school's structure, in the opinion of the relevant Headmaster and teachers, does not meet the educational, pastoral and social needs of the pupil concerned.

Parents have the right to appeal against an unsuccessful application using the school's Complaints Procedure. The way in which Caterham School deals with pupil exclusion and removal is set out in the Exclusions Policy. Therefore, this Admissions Policy should be read in conjunction with the School's Behaviour and Discipline Policy and Exclusions, Expulsion, Removal and Review Policy.

Admissions Register (for school use)

  • On taking up a place at the school an entry is made in the Admissions Register.
  • The Admissions Register is held on electronic format on the School's main database, Engage.
  • The Admissions Register is stored on the computer, copied electronically to a back up memory device.
  • The persons responsible for the administration of the Admissions Register are the Registrar and School Secretary at the Senior School and the Admissions Officer at the Preparatory School.
  • The following items are recorded in the Register:
    • Full Name
    • Gender
    • Name and address of all parents/guardians and/or carer with an indication of the parent/guardian and/or carer with whom the pupil normally resides
    • At least one telephone number at which the parent/guardian can be contacted in an emergency
    • Date of Birth
    • Date of Admission / Re-admission
    • Name and address of previous school
    • Whether the pupil is a day pupil or boarding
    • Name of Year Group on entry (eg Year 7)
  • Copies of the Admissions Register are held at the school for a minimum of 3 years
  • The Admissions Register allows for the inclusion / deletion from the register and is done in line with the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006


Admissions Procedure

Admission for boys and girls to Caterham as day pupils is usually at 11+ into the First Year (Year 7), at 13+ into the Third Year (Year 9), or at 16+ into the Lower Sixth Form (Year 12). Places occasionally become available for admission at 12+ into the Second Year (Year 8) or at 14+ into the Fourth Year (Year 10).

Admission for boys and girls as boarding pupils is at all ages from Year 7 (First Year) to Year 10 (Fourth Year) and into Year 12 (Lower Sixth Form). All international applications must be made through one of our registered agents.

Pupils are selected for entry as day pupils by competitive examination, but consideration is also given to character, and co-curricular attainments or interests. We endeavour to find out as much as possible about each child before considering an offer of a place; that is why we interview every child prior to the examination and pay close attention to their current Head Teacher's report.

Pupils are selected for entry as boarding pupils by competitive examination which may be taken at the offices of one of our registered agents, and occasionally at the offices of the British Council in the candidate's country of residence. Close attention is paid to their current Head Teacher's report, and in some cases a Skype interview or interview at Caterham may be held prior to an offer of a place being made.

Entrance Examinations

All prospective pupils (day and boarding) must complete the School's application form and pay the £100 application fee in order to be formally considered for a place at Caterham. Prospective boarders must submit their most recent school report with their application. The closing date for day applications is mid November of the year prior to entry (see website for details). We consider boarding applications throughout the year, but prospective pupils are strongly advised to apply in September/October of the year prior to entry, or as soon as their Summer Term report from the previous year is available for consideration by the Head of Boarding.

Day Pupils: Entry at 11+ and 13+:

Candidates are invited to Caterham in the January prior to entry to take our 11+ and 13+ entrance examinations. They take tests in English (comprehension and essay), Mathematics, and Verbal and Numerical Reasoning. All papers are designed to bring out the skills and potential of the candidates, whatever they may have covered in the past, and all candidates sitting the examinations are considered for an academic scholarship.

11+ and 13+ candidates are invited to Caterham for an informal interview with a member of our academic staff.

Common Entrance results at 13+
These results from Preparatory Schools are used for setting purposes.

Offers of places and scholarships are based upon performance in our examinations, interview assessment and the report from the Head Teacher of the candidate's current school. Offers are despatched in February with acceptances required in early March. Pupils joining the school will receive detailed information in May/June.

Entry at 16+ (Lower Sixth Form):

Places are offered subject to a minimum of six GCSE passes (or equivalent) at Grade A. Additionally, pupils will be expected to meet the specific subject entry requirements for their AS and A Level choices. This is a pass at grade A or B (or equivalent) depending on the subject. Applicants for Sixth Form day places who are not taking GCSE or IGCSE examinations must pass our entrance examinations.

Boarding pupils:

Arrangements for examinations for boarding applicants are made on an individual basis through the registered agent through whom they have applied. Candidates for Years 7 and 8 take two papers in English and Mathematics (non-calculator). Candidates for Years 9 and 10 take three papers in English and Mathematics (non-calculator and calculator). Candidates for Lower Sixth Form (Year 12) take papers in English and three subjects to be studied at AS Level.

Scholarships and Bursaries

About a third of our parents benefit from reduced fees, either through scholarships or bursaries.


Our aim is to ensure that Caterham School is accessible to all talented students, irrespective of parental income, and any prospective pupil is eligible to apply. Bursaries can also be offered to pupils already in the school whose families have suffered sudden and unexpected financial hardship.

However, only families with a relatively low household income are likely to receive Bursary assistance. For indicative purposes only, this means that household income per annum (before taxes and benefits) is likely to be no higher than £50,000. The award of a Bursary does not preclude pupils from holding a Scholarship award.

The granting of a Bursary is discretionary. In making its decisions, the School considers a wide range of appropriate matters including, but not limited to, parental / guardian income (from all sources), assets (including personal property) and other matters that are particular to the pupil, such as family circumstances. All Bursaries are reassessed annually by means of a newly completed form and disclosure of up to date financial circumstances.

The amount awarded is based solely upon financial circumstances. However, all Bursarial support is subject to qualifying in the Entrance Examinations and if (as is likely) the demand exceeds the number available, Bursaries will be awarded with reference to performance in the Entrance Assessments.

Parents are also required to submit comprehensive documentation in support of their applications.

In addition, some special bursaries are available. These are:-

The William Wilberforce Bursary: A Bursary worth up to 100% of School tuition fees (+ transport) awarded to an exceptional day school candidate applying for the Sixth Form. Any prospective pupil from a low income family is eligible to apply by filling in a financial circumstances form available from the Registrar, and no registration fee is required. As a guide, candidates should be confident of achieving A* and A grades in their GCSE examinations and of making a valuable contribution to life in the Sixth Form.

The Eynon Award is a means-tested award available for the children of former pupils of Caterham and Eothen Schools. This award is made on the basis of academic attainment, but the size of the award depends on the applicant's family's financial position. Awards are at the Headmaster's discretion and interested applicants must fill in a financial circumstances form, as well as demonstrating scholastic aptitude.

United Reformed Church (URC) Bursaries are available for the children of URC clergy. These can represent up to 100% of the fees. Awards are also made on the basis of academic attainment, but the size of the award depends on financial need. All applicants must fill in a financial circumstances form available from the Registrar. Awards are at the Headmaster's discretion. The award of a bursary is subject to the child successfully meeting the School's entrance criteria.

Automatic Fee Discounts

There are two automatic fee discounts available:-
~ A 20% reduction in fees for the children of Regular Forces and FCO personnel.
~ A 10% reduction in fees for the third and any subsequent child attending Caterham, claimable until the eldest leaves.


Scholarships are assessed with a view to encouraging pupils. The breadth and depth of the awards can vary each year depending on the quality of applicants. All 11+ and 13+ day pupil candidates are automatically considered for Academic Scholarships but specific application forms are required for other scholarships.

  • Scholarships are available to registered candidates and are all based on assessment. In the event of there being no outstanding candidates for a particular award the money may be allocated to another category.
  • The awards are made without regard to parental income and are usually worth a percentage of the school fees but may also be a fixed amount.
  • Scholarships awarded at 11+ and 13+ will remain until the pupil reaches the end of the Fifth Year provided they maintain the expected standards (detailed in the School's Conditions of Scholarships and Awards ).
  • Academic scholarships awarded at 11+ and 13+ will continue into the Sixth Form provided the pupil's GCSE performance meets the standards expected of a scholar (detailed in the Conditions of Scholarships and Awards).
  • Candidates in receipt of a specific scholarship award, eg Art, Drama, Music, Sport must play an active part in these areas throughout their school life to retain their award.
  • Even if a bursary is awarded as a percentage of the annual fee, a scholarship may also be given.
  • A pupil who pays reduced fees because of a bursary may also be awarded an honorary scholarship, which can be implemented if future family income were to increase.
  • There is no set number of scholarship awards but a sum equivalent to ten full fees may be given each year.

Academic Scholarships

These are awarded at 11+, 13+ and 16+ and can represent up to 50% of the fees.

At 11+ and 13+: All external candidates who have registered, and those pupils progressing from Caterham Preparatory School, are automatically considered for an Academic Scholarship. The scholarships are awarded solely on the basis of our entrance examinations, interviews and Head Teacher reports.
At 16+: Candidates applying for Academic Scholarships are required to sit a general paper and two other papers in subjects of their choice that they will be studying at A Level. Examinations and interviews take place in the November preceding entry the following academic year. These scholarships are available to all external candidates, and to internal candidates not already holding an award. Candidates must still satisfy the standard entry requirement for Sixth Form of at least 6 Grade As at GCSE.

In addition to Academic Scholarships, awards may be made for specific subjects, e.g. Science.

All Rounder Scholarships

These are awarded at 11+ and 13+ and can represent up to 25% of the fees. These scholarships are awarded to candidates who are academically sound and achieve scholarship standard in two of the following subjects: Art, Drama, Music or Sport. They should be a genuine 'all-rounder' with real evidence of potential leadership.

Art Scholarships
These are awarded at 11+, 13+ and 16+ and can represent up to 25% of the fees. Candidates wishing to be considered for a scholarship will initially be asked to submit a portfolio of their work for assessment by the Director of Art & Design. The portfolio should reflect the breadth and depth of personal interest and may include paintings, prints, drawings and photographs of three-dimensional work. Portfolios will be returned. Successful candidates will be invited to attend a scholarship interview and to undertake a still life drawing. Sketchbooks and a selection of the work from the portfolio should be made available at the interview. Scholars entering at 13 will be expected to select Art as one of their GCSE choices. Scholarship entering at 16 will be expected to select Art as one of their A Level choices. All scholars are expected to present one significant piece of artwork to the School before they leave.

Drama Scholarships

These are awarded as individual scholarships at 16+ and can represent up to 25% of the fees. They are also offered as a component of the All Rounder Scholarship at 11+ and 13+. Candidates who have applied for a Drama Scholarship will be required to perform two contrasting monologues, and to present a portfolio of their experience and achievements in drama. Drama Scholars are expected to play leading roles in the School's drama activities, and to be involved in all the productions and workshops that are offered for their year group.

Music Scholarships & Awards

Music Scholarships are awarded at 11+, 13+ and 16+ and can represent up to 25% of the fees. In addition, up to four exhibitions may be offered, each to the value of free instrumental music tuition on one or more instruments in school. These awards are made on the basis of musical potential as well as actual achievement. As a guide we would expect students to have achieved Grade 4 or above aged 11+; Grade 5 or above at 13+ and Grade 7/8 at 16+ on their principal instrument. Auditions take place early in the Spring Term during which candidates are required to perform one substantial piece (or two shorter pieces) on their principal instrument, and one piece on a second instrument (if studied). There are also sight-reading, aural tests and an informal viva voce with members of the Music department.

All Music award holders are expected to be ambassadors for the music department. They are expected to follow a course of individual instrument/vocal tuition in their chosen instrument(s), to perform regularly both as soloists and members of the School's ensembles and/or sing in the School choir.

Sports Scholarships

These are awarded at 11+, 13+ and 16+ and can represent up to 25% of the fees. Candidates are expected to show exceptional promise in at least one sport and have an established record of achievement in one of Caterham School's major sports at their current school, and at club/county level. Candidates will be required to take part in drills and game situations to show evidence of their positional and tactical awareness as well as skill, agility and fitness level. Records of achievement and school recommendations will be taken into consideration.

All Sports Scholars are expected to be fully committed to the School's annual sports programme. They are expected to make themselves available for matches and fixtures as and when required. The award is guaranteed until the end of the Fifth Year, at which time continuation into the Sixth Form will be dependent on whether the pupil has performed regularly in the first team of one of the School's major sports, and is likely to continue to do so throughout his/her Sixth Form career.

Boarding / International Scholarships

Boarding scholarships, which can be worth up to 25% of the boarding element of the fees, are awarded to pupils who are judged to have the potential to make a significant contribution to the boarding community. If applicable at 16+, arrangements can be made for Academic Scholarship assessments to take place overseas. Please contact the Registrar for details.

Science Scholarships

These are awarded at 16+ and can represent up to 25% of the fees. Candidates are expected to show exceptional promise in at least two subjects (chosen from Biology, Physics, Chemistry or Maths) and have an established record of achievement in the subjects at their current school. The Head of Science will interview candidates. All Science Scholars are expected to be fully committed to the School's curricular and co-curricular science activities.

Offer of a Place and Deposits

If, in due course, a place is offered by way of a formal letter from the School, the deposit will be payable when parents accept the offer. Details of deposits are set out in the Fees List as varied from time to time. The deposit will be repaid by means of a credit without interest to the final payment of fees or other sums due to the School after the pupil leaves the School. Until credited, it will form part of the general funds of the School.

Progression through the School

First Year

The offer of a place in the Senior School will be made based on the recommendation of the Head of the Preparatory School who must be satisfied that the pupil will be able to cope with the pace and rigour of academic life in the Senior School. If the Head of the Preparatory School has any concerns about a pupil's progression into the Senior School, he will meet with parents as soon as possible in the pupil's School career and in any case no later than the end of Year 5.

It is assumed that a pupil in Year 6 of Caterham Preparatory School will continue into the Senior School (and parents must in every case give a term's notice if that is not the pupil's and their intention).

All pupils progressing to the Senior School must also have demonstrated a willingness and ability to contribute positively to the life of the School, and an ability to benefit from the educational opportunities on offer.

Sixth Form

It is assumed that a pupil will continue into the Sixth Form (and parents must in every case give a term's notice if that is not the pupil's and their intention). All pupils progressing to the Sixth Form must also have demonstrated good work habits, a willingness and ability to contribute positively to the life of the School, and have been able to satisfy the Sixth Form GCSE entry requirements (currently six B grades).

Caterham Preparatory School

Admissions Procedure

Admission and entry to Caterham Preparatory School is subject to the availability of a place and the prospective pupil satisfying the academic admission requirements necessary for entry to the School. With regards to admission for disabled pupils, reference should also be made to the Caterham School Disability Policy. The School also operates an Equal Opportunities Policy.


Prospective pupils will be considered as candidates for admission and entry to the School when the Registration Form has been completed and returned to the School and the non-refundable registration fee has been paid. All prospective parents are offered an appointment to meet the Head of the Preparatory School/ or Deputy and to receive a tour of the School. Registrations are considered in the order that they are received however priority is given to siblings of existing pupils.

An Admissions Register is kept by the Prep School Registrar of all registrations received by the School for the current academic year and also future academic years.


All prospective pupils (excluding entry to the Nursery Year) are assessed for entry in accordance with the admission requirements of the School and the criteria relevant to the particular Year Group for which the registration is being made. In evaluating the completed assessments, the Head will be seeking evidence to support the view that the prospective pupil will be able to develop and prosper in the academic and social environment of the School.

There is currently no formal assessment for children entering the Nursery. Therefore, pupils are offered a conditional place on the Nursery Class List and we contact parents again regarding pupils' registration in the September prior to the year of entry, once we are in a position to process the paperwork for the following Academic Year. A formal offer letter will be sent at that time pending notification by parents should the pupil have any specific learning difficulties, so that we can ascertain in conjunction with the parents as to whether Caterham Prep School is the appropriate School for their child. Pupil's progress will be monitored carefully throughout the Nursery Year and therefore progression into the Reception Year is not necessarily guaranteed. It is taken into account that assessment at such an early age can be difficult in particular as children develop at different rates throughout their early school days. If it is discovered that a pupil is finding it difficult to cope with the curriculum, discussion with the pupil's parents are entered into in order to advise alternative future schooling arrangements.

As part of the entrance assessment procedure, with the prior permission of the prospective pupil's parents a letter is sent to the Head Teacher at the child's current school to request a confidential pupil report.

Offer of a Place and Deposit

An offer of a place at the School will be made by way of a formal offer letter from the Head of the Preparatory School to the prospective parents, which may be subject to such conditions as specified in the letter. Accompanying the offer letter will be two copies of the Acceptance Form together with the current edition of the Caterham School Terms and Conditions. In order to accept the place, the Acceptance Form must be completed and signed (signatures are required from each of those with parental responsibility). One copy of the Form must be returned to the Head together with the deposit cheque, the other copy of the Acceptance Form, together with the Terms and Conditions are to be retained by the prospective parents for their information. Direct Debit Forms for the payment of School Fees will also accompany the formal offer letter.

Details of the deposit and the notice requirements are set out in the Acceptance Form and Terms and Conditions and may be increased by the School from time to time. The deposit will be refundable and will be repaid by means of a credit without interest to the final payment of fees or other sum due to the School after the pupil has left. Until credited, the deposit will form part of the general funds of the School.

Acceptance of a Place

A place is reserved for a prospective pupil when the Acceptance Form has been completed and returned to the School together with the required deposit payment.

A formal letter is sent from the Head of the Preparatory School to the prospective parent acknowledging receipt of the Acceptance Form and deposit payment and confirming that the place has been reserved.

After the Acceptance Form has been returned, prospective parents who cancel their acceptance of a place less than a term prior to the date on which the pupil was due to join the School, will be liable for the payment of a term's fees (less the deposit held) to the School.

Offer of a start date is subject to IAPS agreement criteria whereby parents of new pupils are required to have discharged all obligations at their existing School.

In the Summer Term prior to the pupil taking up their place at the start of the next Academic Year, the new Pre-Prep pupils are invited to attend the School for an afternoon in order to meet their new Form Teacher, the Teaching Assistant and also their new class mates, thus starting the induction process.

For the September intake of pupils, prospective parents will be invited to attend an Information Evening which is specifically for parents of new children entering the School and the provision of an opportunity for new parents to meet the School staff.

A School Induction Pack and Information Book will be available to new parents providing general information, curriculum information, a parents' guide to reading skills and information regarding the curriculum and preparation for entry to the Early Years (Nursery and Reception).

There is a School Uniform Shop on site and the School also operates a Second Hand Uniform facility.

Caterham Preparatory School

Early Years Foundation Stage

Admissions Procedure


  • New pupils are admitted to Nursery in the September after their third birthday.
  • At present there is no formal assessment for entry to Nursery Class.
  • Children are registered on a first come first served basis.
  • The Head of Pre-Prep does not see children until their afternoon visit in June prior to starting in September. First observations are recorded on this visit.
  • The progress of each child is monitored closely during Nursery Year through incidental and focused observations, systematic 'tracking' and focus group assessments linking with the Surrey Early Years Profile.
  • Natural progression to Reception is not necessarily guaranteed, although great care is taken in making a judgement at this early age.


  • Pupils are admitted to Reception in September after their fourth birthday.
  • In October prior to this the Head of Pre-Prep and the Nursery Form Teacher initially assess all children registered on the Reception Year Class List. Should offered places not be accepted or a place become available within the current Nursery Class for the Reception Year, children on the Waiting List are assessed during the course of the academic year. The Reception Class List assessment takes place in groups of 5, as part of the afternoon Nursery session. The parents are able to stay with their children but are encouraged to go and have a cup of tea. Some parents prefer to leave their child on their own. Those children assessed from the Waiting List are invited to join the current Nursery Class as part of the morning session
  • A place is not offered until assessment has taken place.
  • Great care is taken to make the child feel at home in an unfamiliar situation.
  • During the assessment visit the Head of Pre-Prep or the Nursery Form Teacher ask the child to complete several appropriate tasks.
  • Activities include counting, sorting, puzzles, colouring.
  • The children take part in a story time at the end of the session.
  • Careful observation by the Head of Pre-Prep of the child's social and communication skills is also taken into consideration during this time. Much is gained from talking to the child.
  • Range of vocabulary, awareness of rhyme, ability to listen and carry out instructions and concentration span are noted.
  • The children are encouraged to join in with a range of activities and careful observation of their behaviour and ability to interact with their peers is made.
  • Head of Pre-Prep makes notes and recommends offering or refusing a place. If there is a doubt then discussions take place with the Preparatory Head.

Reviewed January 2013

Tracy Kirnig - Deputy Head
Howard Tuckett – Head of the Preparatory School