The first step in the 13+ entry process is for a parent to register their son when he is in Year 5 (the academic year of his tenth birthday) online. To find out when you are able to apply for your son to join the School at 13+ entry and to view the registration timeline, please use the personalised registration age checker.
To get a sense of what being a pupil at Westminster School is like, parents are encouraged to bring their son to visit the School when he is in Year 5. Every year there are three 13+ Open Days and there are also regular tours of the School each term in groups of no more than five families. For more information about our Open Days and to arrange a 13+ visit, please enquire online.
- While a candidate is in Year 6 we decide whether to offer him a place. To help the School make a decision, boys first take a pre-interview test in Mathematics, English and Reasoning, at their prep schools during October or November. These tests are online and no special preparation is necessary. Raw scores are adjusted to take account of a boy’s date of birth so that younger candidates are not disadvantaged.
- Westminster School uses the Independent Schools Examinations Board (ISEB) Common Pre-Tests. For more information about these tests, please refer to the ISEB website.
- In addition, the School attaches great importance to the report received from a candidate’s present school. Report requests for all pupils sitting the pre-interview tests are sent to schools in November of Year 6.
- Boys who attend primary schools that finish at the end of Year 6 should be registered for 11+ entry to Westminster Under School. The system described above is for boys who can remain at their prep schools until they are 13.
InterviewsIn mid-December of Year 6, the School contacts the parents of those candidates who have performed well in the ISEB Common Pre-Tests, to invite their son for an interview. The interview stage comprises further tests in Mathematics and English (40 minutes each) in early January, followed by a separate interview scheduled in January / February.
Offer of a place
After the interviews and further tests, the School carefully considers all the information gathered before deciding whether to offer an unconditional place. The decision to offer a boy an unconditional place means that it is believed he will be able comfortably to achieve the standard required for entry to the School when he is 13, while also enjoying a broad and varied education.
An unconditional offer is made on the expectation of continued good conduct and academic progress at his existing prep school, including an unreserved reference of support from his school in March of Year 8. The School’s intention at this point in the process is to ensure that Westminster is the right fit for a boy, so that when he starts at the School, in addition to his academic work he can take full advantage of all the extra-curricular activities that make school life richer and as rewarding as possible.
The waiting list
If a boy is not offered an immediate unconditional place, his name may be put on the waiting list. From time to time the admissions team will ask head teachers to send an update on the progress of boys on the waiting list and, when spaces become available, the School can promote boys to the offer of a place. A boy who is on the waiting list may be promoted to an unconditional place at any time up to the end of June in Year 8.
Boarding or day?
The decision about whether to apply for a boarding or day place does not need to be made at the time of 13+ registration; in fact, sometimes a choice is made in a boy’s final year at prep school. Also, provided that a place is available, it is entirely possible for a boy to switch to boarding having started at Westminster as a day boy and vice versa. To arrange a visit to a boarding House, please email the Registrar. Every June the School hosts a Boarder Taster Evening for boys in Year 7 who hold offers of places. The School does not take international boarders for 13+ entry. Find out more about boarding at Westminster School.
It is not customary for the parents of candidates who are applying for day places to meet Housemasters during the application process. We also prefer parents not to express a preference for a particular day house unless there is a strong family connection. All Houses have equally high standards of pastoral care and in allocating day boys and girls to Houses we try to ensure that each house has among its members a similar cross-section of talents and backgrounds.
Scholarships and Bursaries
We do offer a range of scholarships and bursaries at Westminster. For further information about scholarships and bursaries and how to apply, please refer to the Scholarships and Bursaries.
Special Educational Needs
Westminster School has a well-established tradition of identifying and nurturing academic potential in pupils with special educational needs, including dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADD and ASD. If your son has been identified as having a specific learning difficulty, please contact Mrs Kathryn Ireland, our Head of Learning Development, to enquire. Extra time and / or use of a word processor in our 13+ entrance examinations will only be granted if the criteria used for public examinations are met. Our Study Skills Department will require:
- An up-to-date report from an educational psychologist, or other relevant medical specialist.
- A letter from the candidate’s current school confirming their normal way of working.
The Governing Body of Westminster School recognises its responsibility under the Disability Discrimination Act (1995), which prevents discrimination against disabled people in their access to education. Westminster School’s Policy on Admissions is available in full on our Policies and Reports page.