Admissions Procedures

Braeside is a privately-owned independent school currently for pupils from 2½ to 16. These procedures apply to candidates applying to join the School at any point. Prospective parents are always welcome to contact the Admissions Registrar to check the availability of places and discuss their application in more detail.

We are now welcoming boys into Lower Kindergarten, Upper Kindergarten and Reception for the first time. In September 2022 the Reception boys (and girls) will move to Year 1, Kindergarten boys (and girls) to Reception and a new cohort of mixed Kindergarten children recruited.  This model will be followed year after year until the school is fully co-educational.

The admissions procedures differ depending on the age of your child. However, the process usually begins with a visit to the school, either on one of our Open Events or on a pre-arranged personal tour.

We expect our pupils to stay with us until they complete their GCSEs at age 16 and would not normally accept children where it is known that they intend to leave at an earlier age.


Parents are invited to tour the School and meet with the Headmistress and/or Head of Juniors/Deputy Head to discuss their child/ren.


In order to secure a place on our waiting list parents will need to complete the Online Registration Form which requires a non-refundable deposit payment of £50.

A place on the waiting list does not guarantee admission. The School must feel reasonably sure that it will be able to educate and develop the prospective pupil to the best of her potential and in line with the general standards achieved by the pupil’s peers.

Entry into the Early Years (Lower Kindergarten, Upper Kindergarten & Reception) – children aged 2½ (rising 3) to 5

At all points of entry in the Early Years, the School sets its own tests as appropriate through extensive informal observations that take place by one or more members of staff during an extended Taster Session.

We are looking to admit boys and girls who:

  • Are able to interact appropriately with children of a similar age and adults
  • Display a level of behaviour that meets the school’s high expectations
  • Are able to listen to directions and follow instructions
  • Are able to concentrate on set activities
  • Are able to use the toilet independently, and are dry at the point of entry
  • Are able to use language appropriate to their age.

Children must be 3 in the term in which they start school (rising 3) to join Lower Kindergarten.

In all cases there will be a discussion with the parents by the Headmistress to establish that the School is right for the child.

Children are able to start at different points in the academic year in Lower Kindergarten, Upper Kindergarten and Reception.

  • A taster session will be organised in school as part of the admissions process prior to offering a place.
  • Parents will normally be required to have registered with the school prior to the Taster Sessions.
  • A formal offer will normally be sent to parents at least seven months prior to the intended start date
  • The Acceptance Form must be signed and returned to the School Office by two weeks after the formal offer date, after which point if not returned the offer will lapse and a new offer will be sent to the next child on our list.

School experience sessions are used for staff to observe the children in school and to help the children to acclimatise to their new surroundings. A school experience session will be arranged during the half term before the accepted start date.

Children in Lower Kindergarten start with a minimum of three half-day sessions. Children in Upper Kindergarten start with a minimum of five half-day sessions. Families are able to increase their sessions at the start of each term and children are encouraged to attend full time mornings and afternoons by the Summer Term before they start in Reception. Children in Reception attend full time.

Entry into Years 1 to 6 – children aged 5 to 10

At all points of entry from Year 1 to Year 6, the School sets its own tests as appropriate through informal classroom observations and formal academic assessments. The School is looking for pupils who show potential as well as those who are academically able.

We will only admit a child who:

  • Has met the academic criteria
  • Shows the capacity to engage with the learning
  • Is able to interact productively with children of a similar age
  • Does not display a level of behaviour deemed to disrupt the education of the other pupils.

In all cases there will be a general interview to explore the candidate’s interests, attitude to school, personal qualities, ability to contribute to the school community, support available at home and any relevant connection with the School.

  • Children will be invited to spend a long morning in school at a mutually convenient time.
  • The morning will include formal academic assessments in English, Maths and Non-Verbal Reasoning, with additional informal classroom observations.
  • Offers will be sent if children successfully pass our entrance criteria.
  • Acceptances should be returned within two weeks of receipt of the offer.

Entry into Years 7 to 9 – children aged 11 to 14

Entry into the Seniors from Year 7 upwards is by formal Entrance Examination, with papers in Mathematics, English and Non-Verbal Reasoning.

The following procedures are applied:

  • A tour of the school for the family
  • Interview for the parents with the Headmistress to explore the support available at home and any relevant connection with the School
  • Interview for the pupil with the Headmistress to explore the candidate’s interests, attitude to school, personal qualities, ability to contribute to the school community
  • Entrance Examination with papers in Mathematics and English.
  • Confidential report from the previous school and copies of previous school reports.

The School does not normally accept new pupils into Years 10 or 11.

We will only admit a child who:

  • Has met the academic criteria
  • Shows the capacity to engage with the learning
  • Is able to interact productively with children of a similar age
  • Does not display a level of behaviour deemed to disrupt the education of the other pupils.

Additional Factors

The School is oversubscribed in certain areas.  If we need to decide between two or more candidates who meet our admission requirements, after all appropriate allowances and special consideration has been given, we may give preference to:

  • A child who already has a sibling in the school or whose parent is a former pupil here
  • A child whose parent is a current member of our staff
  • A child with a particular skill, talent or aptitude
  • A child who will stay at the School until age 16.

We recognise that a candidate’s performance may be affected by particular circumstances, eg:

  • If she is unwell when taking tests or has had a lengthy absence from her school
  • If there are particular family circumstances such as a recent bereavement
  • If there is a relevant educational history, for example education outside the British system
  • If the applicant has a disability or specific learning difficulties
  • If English is not the candidate’s first language.

In any of these cases, we may request further information such as a medical certificate, educational psychologist’s report or any family history as we consider necessary to make a fair assessment.

The School will not normally accept children with challenging behaviour or who have been required to leave another nursery, school or college due to unacceptable levels of behaviour.


We aim to give the siblings of current pupils at Braeside priority when considering children applying to join the school from outside. However, admission is not necessarily automatic and siblings are still subject to the school’s admissions procedures when applying for all year groups.

The deadline by which time siblings must be registered to join Braeside each September is the start of the preceding October. We will not be able guarantee siblings priority consideration if applications are made after this time as the process will have started for those who have already registered to enter the school from outside.

Character References

Families applying for a place in Kindergarten or Reception whose children are currently attending a nursery will be asked to provide the most recent nursery profile report.

At all other points of entry the candidate’s current school will be asked to provide a written reference as to the candidate’s academic ability, attitude and behaviour, involvement in the School Community, talents and interest, and any other special circumstances such as special educational needs, or a disability. The reference may also include the results of tests taken at the school.


Parents must, as soon as possible, disclose any particular known or suspected circumstances relating to their child’s health, allergies, disabilities or learning difficulties.

Scholarships at 11+ (Year 7)

Several part-scholarships may be awarded as a result of the examination and interview process. These may be awarded for ability in Art, Drama, Music and Sport as well as for higher academic ability.

Essex County Council Early Years Grant

Braeside School currently participates in Essex County Council’s Early Years Development Plan, under which all pupils in the term after they are three years of age until the term in which they are five are eligible to receive a reduction on fees, as authorised by the Essex County Council Grants Office, who refund the money to the School. The School administers the scheme on behalf of its families.

Find out more at our next Open Event, held in March and October. Click on the button below to register your interest.