Admissions Policy

Admissions Policy

Policy Statement

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 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.


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.