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【The Standard】Why the delay in HMC offers?

School Guide


Following the delayed release of Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference offers for admission to schools and the anxiety this provoked among parents, it might be useful to talk about the reasons for the delay, what it means and how we should react in order to ensure our children secure a satisfactory offer.


A HMC school is a school in the UK, Crown dependencies or Republic of Ireland whose headteacher belongs to the association of The Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference.


These schools are internationally recognized as being among the world’s best. To name a few, Brighton College, Cheltenham College, Eton College, Oundle School, Uppingham School and Wycombe Abbey are some familiar names.


One in four students at HMC’s 285 schools go on to attend the UK’s top 10 universities.


Why were the school offers delayed?


Although HMC schools mutually agreed to release offers for international students in early December, some offers were delayed for various reasons, provoking concern for both prospective students and their parents.


After speaking to admissions registrars at several schools, it emerged that it was taking longer than usual to assess applications due to an overwhelming increase in the number of overseas applicants, in addition to an improvement in the quality of candidates. With an increase in international applicants for UK schools, combined with a rise in the quality of applications, it is becoming harder for overseas students to secure places at HMC schools.


What can you do to increase your chances of securing a satisfactory offer?


In order to do your best to ensure you get a place at a HMC school, consider applying for a few additional schools with varying levels of academic entry criteria. It’s always good to have back-up options if you don’t get an offer from your preferred schools.


I also recommend taking the UKiset exam as early as possible to assess your ability, so you can make an informed decision about which schools to apply for. If you are applying to join Years 9, 10 or 12, this is especially important, as these year groups often fill up quickly.


If you’ve got your sights set on a highly selective school, consider applying to join from Year 7 onwards (if the school involved provides entry to those who are 11 plus), when there are generally more places available and the admission requirementsmore flexible.


Regardless of which year of entry you are applying for, be sure to plan ahead and allow plenty of time to polish your application.


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