Admissions Policy

Name of Policy

Policy on Admissions (including EYFS)

Reviewed by

GDST Council

SMT LinkFionnuala Kennedy

Date of school review:

September 2023

Date of next school review

September  2024


The WHS Admissions Policy reflects the GDST Admissions Policy and should be read in conjunction with it, as well as with the Trust's Equal Opportunities Policy. Both are located on the GDST Hub information site here.

Overview of Admissions at WHS

Wimbledon High School admits girls who fulfil the academic requirements of the School and will benefit from the opportunities offered and contribute fully to the life of the school. Except for entry at 4+ where admissions are managed by Ballot, any girl between the ages of 5+ (Year 1) and 16+ (Year 12) is eligible for entry provided she meets the academic requirements of the GDST and WHS and provided that there is a vacancy. In exceptional circumstances (such as the closure of another school) girls may be admitted to the beginning of Year 13 without entrance tests.

Girls are currently admitted at 4+, 11+ and 16+. Admissions processes for the three main points of entry take place in the Autumn and Spring Terms in the year prior to proposed entry. An occasional vacancies waiting list is held for other entry points and students are tested at point of application. The selection procedures are adjusted according to the age of the applicants to ensure a balance of comfort, fairness and rigour. 

Admissions: GDST Council Policy

The admissions policy of the Council of the Girls’ Day School Trust (the “GDST”) is that:

  • The GDST is committed to equal opportunities in education. Admissions to GDST schools will adhere to the GDST’s Equal Opportunities Policy
  • The GDST is firmly committed to offering a single-sex education for girls. In our experience, students in girls’ schools are less constrained in their choice of subjects, show a greater propensity to take risks and innovate, perform better in examinations, have more opportunities to show leadership, and are less likely to conform to gender stereotypes. For these reasons, GDST parents and students choose a predominately single-sex environment over other available options
  • GDST schools are broadly selective. Places are offered to prospective pupils on the basis of their potential to thrive in the educational environment provided
  • Admission is usually dependent on achieving an acceptable standard in an assessment or examination appropriate to the age group and academic pace of the school. Such examinations and assessments are expected to be free of bias, and due consideration will be given to individual needs and prior educational experience in making any decision on the offer of a place
  • The final decision regarding admissions rests with the Head, who reserves the right to decline to offer a place on grounds other than academic potential (e.g. a pupil’s record at a previous school)
  • Within these guidelines schools may determine their own admissions policies, which will set out their individual selection criteria
  • Each GDST school sets out in its registration the age range of students it is legally allowed to make provision for. Major age range changes are subject to approval by Council. Admission will last until the student completes year 13 unless the parent contract comes to an end sooner.
  • In all circumstances, including where a receipt is required for visa purposes, a parent contract (form F7) must be fully completed and submitted to the Fees Department, together with confirmation of the deposit payment (form F30), before the pupil can join the school.

This policy shall apply to all GDST schools, save for Academies sponsored by the GDST.

Junior School Admissions Policy

Reception (4+) is the main entry point into the Junior School. Occasional places may sometimes become available in other year groups throughout the Junior School (Years 1-6).

School Starting Age (Junior School)

In the majority of cases, we believe that it is within a child’s best interests – educationally, socially and emotionally – to be educated within their usual year group, meaning that they would start school in the September following their 4th birthday. There are some exceptional instances when it may be appropriate for a child to defer their start to school, particularly if they were born prematurely and so would normally have fallen into a later year group, or if they have a diagnosed educational or medical reason, for which they would benefit starting school in the following year.

We review any requests for deferred or out of year entry into the School on a case by case basis and make a holistic judgement based upon the best interests of the child, from both an educational and pastoral perspective.

Entry at Reception (4+) – By Ballot

Entry into Reception is managed through our 4+ Ballot Process. Girls may be registered for entry at 4+ at any time from birth, until the end of September in the year preceding the prospective pupil’s entry into the School (one year prior to starting school).

The cost of registration is £150 (£200 if applying from overseas) and is non-refundable.

The Ballot draw will take place in the October after registrations for that year group close. In order for their daughter to be entered into the Ballot draw parents must have:

  • registered their daughter and paid the registration fee by the stated closing date; and
  • visited the school prior to the ballot taking place for their daughter’s year of entry.

If a family wishes to register their daughter for the Reception class after the published closing date, the child will not be considered for the Ballot draw and will be added to the Occasional Vacancy enquiry list.

Reception Ballot Sibling Policy

At the date of ballot, those girls who were registered before the published closing date and who have a sibling(s) currently attending WHS, will be eligible for a sibling place and will be offered a place before any spaces are offered to those drawn in the Ballot.

Whilst highly unlikely, in the event that there are more siblings registered than places available in the Reception class, a Sibling Ballot will first be drawn, respecting the Ballot process described below, and sibling offers will be made using this drawn list. Names remaining on the drawn sibling list will be added to a sibling waiting list, which will have priority over the non-sibling drawn waiting list. The sibling waiting list will be valid as described in the waiting list arrangements below. All girls remaining on the drawn sibling waiting list after the first day of term, will be invited to transfer to the Occasional Vacancy enquiry list.

Any siblings who do not register before the closing date will not be considered for the Ballot and will be invited to register their interest on the Occasional Vacancy enquiry list.

Reception Ballot Sibling Policy for New Occasional Vacancy Pupils

The younger sisters of any girls who have gained Occasional Vacancy (OV) places for the following September would only gain automatic places in our Reception class under our Sibling Policy if the ballot for their year group had not yet been drawn. If the relevant ballot had already been drawn the younger sisters of successful OV candidates would be put on the waiting list, but if there is no movement on that list, they will have to sit OV assessments as they arise in the appropriate year, when no sibling priority is given.

Ballot Process

The Ballot will be drawn in the October prior to entry into school, from registrations received before the published closing date. The draw will be made in the presence of the Chair of Governors, the Head and the Junior School Head, the Registrar, and a representative from the School’s Auditors. The Auditor will attest that the procedure is fair and follows due process. The published results will be final.

There are 48 places available in Reception and our aim is to have a balanced spread of birth dates throughout the year group. To ensure this, the applicants are listed in birthdate order then divided into four equal groups and placed into four ballot draw boxes from which they will be drawn in turn. 

Once sibling places have been allocated, the Ballot draw will take places as follows:

  • The names of all candidates will be placed in the appropriate draw box depending on their month of birth.
  • The Chair of Governors will draw one name at a time from each draw box in turn until no more remain.
  • In the instance of twins (or multiples), when the first twin is drawn, her twin sister will be automatically added to the list alongside her and both girls will be offered places simultaneously.

Offers and Acceptance of a place

Following the Ballot draw, families will be informed as to whether they have received an offer or if their daughter has been placed on the waiting list. Families in receipt of offers must accept the place by the specified deadline by completing and returning the signed Parent Contract, alongside a non-refundable deposit payment of £1500. Should parents subsequently withdraw their acceptance, deposits will not be refunded. Deposits are held until the end of a pupil’s final term in the school and will be refunded within 12 weeks of her leaving, less any sums owing to the Trust of the school at the time.

Any offers not accepted by the specified deadline will lapse and the place will be offered to the next candidate on the waiting list.

All places offered will be subject to a positive nursery report and a positive experience at the school’s ‘Stay and Play’ morning where girls have an opportunity to spend some time at the school. Stay and Play mornings will take place in the January following the Ballot draw in October. Please note that this is not a formal assessment.

Waiting List Arrangements

The names remaining on the drawn list after offers are made will be added to a waiting list. If a place subsequently becomes available in the Reception class, the place will be offered to the next candidate on the waiting list.

Candidates may remain on the waiting list to be considered for any places that arise during the Reception year. After this, parents will be invited to transfer their daughter to our Occasional Vacancy enquiry list to be kept informed of any places in subsequent years as they arise.

Occasional Vacancy Entry at any other Year group in the Junior School

If a vacancy arises in any other year group in the Junior School (Years 1-6), applicants may sit an entrance test, once an application has been made. Entrance assessments will take the form of age-appropriate written tests where the standard of comparison is with the appropriate cohort within the school.

Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND) Considerations

We are firmly committed to inclusivity and to giving every child the best possible start in life. Irrespective of their special educational needs or disability (SEND), we consider all children for admission to the school who have the ability and aptitude to access our academic curriculum. Pupils whose SEND needs can be met by our curriculum are welcome, provided that we have the appropriate resources and facilities to provide them with the support that they require.

Before the deposit is paid for a 4+ place (or before the point of assessment for an Occasional Vacancy), parents must disclose to the school any known or suspected circumstances relating to their child’s health, development, allergies, disabilities and/or learning difficulties. The school reserves the right to subsequently withdraw any place offered based on incomplete disclosure of known or suspected SEND circumstances. Based on such disclosures, the school will confirm whether or not it is able to fully meet the needs of the child.

Where a child’s SEND is identified, or develops, after the child has started at the school, we will endeavour to continue to support the child as long as:

  • we have the appropriate resources and facilities to provide them with the support they require, and
  • we believe it is in the best interest of the child and of the school community to remain at the school.

Where, in our judgement, either of these conditions no longer apply, we reserve the right to withdraw a place at the school. In such circumstances, we will do what we reasonably can to support parents in finding alternative schooling for their daughter. Parents have the right to appeal against an unsuccessful application using the school’s Complaints Procedure.

English as an Additional Language (EAL) applicants are subject to the same admissions procedures as other applicants, as appropriate to the chronological age of the applicant at the time of applying to WHS. Where an assessment is required for an occasional place, EAL specific issues that undermine performance will be taken into considering during the course of marking. However such EAL needs must be declared on the application form or via view the applicant's current school, in advance. Access Arrangements, such as allowing the use of a bi-lingual dictionary, are also made where applicable as requested by parents upon application to the school. This policy supports the school in meeting its duties under the Equality Act 2010.  

Senior School Admissions Policy

Transfer to the Senior School from WHS Junior School

Wimbledon High School is a high achieving school with an impressive academic record. As a through-school, we work hard to maintain a close partnership between the Junior and Senior Schools and believe wholeheartedly in the powerful benefits of a 4-18 education.

We hope and expect that all girls entering the school at age 4, will move through into our Senior School and Sixth Form and we do our very best to help all girls thrive to achieve their potential. Parents will be kept informed of their daughter’s progress throughout her time at WHS. Should progress not match up with expectations, we work with parents to implement a plan of action for improvement, usually by way of additional support.

On the basis of information gathered in Year 5 and before, parents will be informed by the Autumn Term of that year of the suitability of their daughter for entry to the Senior School. If we are confident that a girl will thrive in the academic learning environment of the Senior School, we will assure parents of her place. On rare occasion, if we feel that a pupil may not thrive in this environment, we will suggest that parents seek an alternative senior school where their daughter will flourish both academically and pastorally. We will always work with parents to ensure any move is handled with sensitivity.

In Year 6, all pupils are nevertheless required to sit the same 11+ entrance tests as all external candidates. This is in order to develop a consistent and complete benchmark for the year group, and to ensure that all entrants to Year 7 have experienced the same process.

Entry to Sixth Form from Year 11

Entry to Sixth Form from Year 11 is automatic unless the student’s GCSE performance is poor due to poor work ethic, absenteeism or failure to meet deadlines and to abide by the school’s expectations in terms of work rate and effort. Students whose performance is adversely affected by illness, bereavement or other family problems, will be treated sympathetically. Students are always considered on a case-by-case basis.

For external candidates, we require grades 7, 8 or 9 at GCSE (or equivalent) for the subjects to be studied at A Level; entrants are expected to have a minimum of eight GCSEs at grades 6 - 9 and offers will be made conditional on achieving these grades. Please note: for Sixth Form entry we require an average English Language (IELTS) score of 6.8 or above and a grade 6-9 in English Language GCSE or equivalent English qualification.

Admissions Tests for Entry into the Senior School (External Applications)

Assessments are carried out in controlled conditions for entry at 11+ and 16+. Places are offered on the basis of rank order following a range of assessments.

Due to Covid-related restrictions, it may be that 'emergency measures' will need to be put into place should we be unable to assess candidates, and these will be outlined as necessary.

Occasional Vacancy Entrance into the Senior School

If a vacancy arises in any year group between the “normal” points of entry listed above, applicants may sit an entrance test. This will take the form of written tests where the standard of comparison is with the appropriate cohort within the school.


Except at 4+ entry through the Ballot draw, the School does not have a sibling policy. However, if two candidates are equal in all other ways, preference will be given to the sister of a girl already in the school.

Ethnic balance

The written papers determine those who qualify for entry at all entry points, except for 4+. The ethnic background of applicants (those who accept places) is recorded for monitoring purposes. Our aim is to, where possible, have a school which reflects the diversity of our local area.

Transfer from other GDST schools

Applicants from other GDST schools will be treated in the same way as all other applicants and will be required to sit the same tests and interviews.

The examinations

All examinations are set in English and are designed to be culturally neutral or accessible to applicants from different cultures. We aim to give girls from all educational backgrounds and experiences the chance to shine in the assessment process. We use assessed group tasks, alongside written assessment tasks, to help us maximize access to all pupils regardless of their school experience to date.

If the candidate has a specific learning difficulty (certified by an Educational Psychologist) and meets the JCQ requirements for the award of extra time in public exams, she will be allowed the appropriate amount of extra time in her written entrance tests. Other adjustments will also be made as per their Educational Psychologist Report recommendations.

Overseas candidates

Applicants from overseas are required to sit our entrance papers under supervised conditions either under an appropriate body (such as the British Council) or their current school. The same standard of ability is applied whatever the previous system under which the candidate has been educated.

Bursaries and Scholarships

WHS follows the GDST policy in awarding and allocating bursaries and scholarships.  The GDST policy is as follows:

The GDST is committed to:

  1. Broadening access to the brightest but most financially disadvantaged girls
  2. Attracting the most talented girls (academic, music, sport)
  3. Giving Heads flexibility in the allocation of scholarships and financial assistance


Bursaries are awarded by the GDST, following application by parents and assessment of financial need.

The GDST offers bursaries to provide a life-changing opportunity for bright but financially disadvantaged girls who would otherwise never have a chance of receiving an independent education. Bursaries are not intended to give a helping hand to parents who are in the market for independent education but struggling slightly with fees.

  • Schools will target an amount equal to 5% of gross fee income except where the school community is funding a bursary in another way.  
  • The minimum bursary award for new entrants is 50% effective from September 2012.
  • Bursaries will continue to be available only in the Senior school and are generally awarded in Years 7 and 12 only.
  • Bursaries are awarded in rank order of performance in entrance examinations (subject to the discretion of Heads where exam performance may not reflect a girl’s true potential)
  • Schools should seek out the most deserving bursary candidates – especially those in more affluent areas – and target making most of the awards at 90-100% of fees
  • Schools will provide appropriate support to girls in receipt of bursaries of 95% or more, e.g. incidental expenses including lunches, uniforms, curriculum trips and travel to and from school.


Scholarships are a form of discount offered by GDST schools to attract the very best girls (academic, sport, music) irrespective of their means. The achievements of these girls do much to enhance the life and reputation of the school.

  • Every school may allocate up to 2% of fee income on scholarships and financial assistance
  • Within that limit, the number and value of scholarships is within the discretion of Heads
  • Scholarships may be awarded at any amount up to 50% of fees (GSA/HMC limit)
  • Heads can provide emergency assistance from within their 2% Scholarship allocation to families suffering unexpected financial hardship.


  • Existing Bursary and Scholarship allocations will be taken into account in terms of the new allocations that the school can afford to make
  • The School will be responsible for managing its own budget for total bursaries and scholarships expenditure throughout the life of the award.​