Abingdon welcomes pupils from overseas and we have boys at the School from almost every continent. Those who join us from overseas enjoy our excellent full-boarding facilities, which are available from our Third Year. We do have a Prep School for boys between the ages of 4 and 13 but this does not offer any boarding facilities.
Overseas entry is usually into our Third and Fourth Years and to the Sixth Form. Overseas pupil’s age on entry in September:
- Third Year – between 13 and 14 years
- Fourth Year – between 14 and 15 years
- Sixth Form – between 16 and 17 years
In order to cope with the high academic and social demands of the School, pupils must be competent English users and candidates whose first language is not English are required to take the School’s English tests as well as the age appropriate entrance examinations. Tuition in English as an Additional Language (EAL) is offered at the School at parents’ own expense.
The entry process
A registration form must be completed before an application for a place can be considered. Following registration, candidates will be notified about the entrance examination and interview. After the interview we will write to inform you whether or not a place is being offered.
All boys who want to be considered for entry to Abingdon must fill out a registration form and return the completed form, photograph and non-refundable registration fee of £150 to Abingdon School. Once the registration form has been received our admissions department will acknowledge receipt of the registration, arrange a visit to Abingdon and provide details of the entrance examination.
The £150 registration fee should be paid by cheque, from a UK bank, and made out to Abingdon School or by bank transfer (contact firstname.lastname@example.org for bank details) clearly stating the boy’s name as a reference.
If your son is offered, and takes up, a place at Abingdon, then one term’s fees are required as an acceptance fee to secure the place. This acceptance fee will be returned when the boy completes his education at Abingdon.
The current fees per term can be found on the fees page.
- Sixth Form entry:
Registration forms should be received by the November before the September in which a boy wishes to start at Abingdon although late applications may be considered. Candidates for the entry points will be dealt with on an ad hoc basis. The Director of Admissions will sometimes advise late applicants to submit copies of school reports prior to registration. Entrance examinations may be taken from the November preceding the September of entry. View the sixth form prospectus online or download the PDF version.
- Third and Fourth Year entry:
Registration forms should be received by the end of December before the September in which a boy wishes to start at Abingdon although late applications maybe considered. Candidates for the entry points will be dealt with on an ad hoc basis. Examinations take place in the early spring preceding the September entry.
For all entry points, there are no set dates for overseas students to take the entrance examination as we organise the examination and interview for when a prospective candidate is able to visit the School. However there is an annual examination for entry into the Sixth Form, in the spring of each year, for those overseas candidates who are already studying in the UK and are therefore able to attend the examination. If candidates are unable to visit Abingdon to take the entrance examination then it can be taken at the candidate’s nearest British Council Offices or at a location authorised by Abingdon School (see Entrance Examination details below).
The earliest that sixth form places can be accepted or declined is 1 December in the year preceding entry.
The entrance examination consists of:
- English essay
- English grammar (not taken if English is the first language *)
- Verbal reasoning
- For entry into the Third and Fourth Years a mathematics exam is also taken.
- For entry into the Sixth Form additional papers are taken in the candidate’s subject choices.
* Candidates whose first language is not English are required to take the School’s English tests as well as the age appropriate entrance examinations.
It is preferred that candidates sit the entrance exam at Abingdon, during term time, when they can also have a tour of the School and be interviewed. If candidates are unable to visit Abingdon to take the entrance examination then it can be taken at the candidate’s nearest British Council Offices or at a location authorised by Abingdon School. Parents or guardians of the candidate are responsible for making all of the arrangements with the British Council or authorised location to sit the papers. Parents or guardians must provide the Registry at Abingdon with the contact details of the person who will be assisting with this process. Abingdon will arrange for the exam papers to be sent to the British Council Offices or location authorised by Abingdon School.
An interview is part of the process for all candidates. Where the candidate cannot get to Abingdon the interview will be conducted via video link, e.g. Skype.
Following the interview, the Head will write to the candidate to inform them of Abingdon’s decision regarding the offer of a place. This is usually within two weeks of the date of the interview. If you wish to accept the place, an acceptance fee of one term’s fees will be required to secure the place. The acceptance fee is returned when the boy completes his education at Abingdon.
Every overseas pupil must have a guardian appointed by his parents as a condition of entry into the School. A pupil may have more than one guardian. It is very important for the welfare of the pupil that the guardian is actively interested in the pupil’s education and welfare and lives close enough for the pupil to visit at half terms.
You can find a list of accredited guardians on the AEGIS (the Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students) website.
The provision of guardianship is monitored by the boarding housemasters as well as by the parents who employ the guardian. In certain circumstances a housemaster may call into question the suitability of a particular guardian and would hope that the parents would take the necessary action in the best interests of his or her child. The School will under no circumstances recommend or arrange guardianship on behalf of the parents. Responsibility for the welfare of pupils while in the care of their guardians, and while travelling to and from them, rests solely with the parents and not with the School.
In 2009 the UK instated changes to the visa system for certain groups of migrants entering the UK. As part of these changes, children who are citizens of countries outside the European Economic Area and who are studying, or wish to study, at schools in the UK for a period of more than 6 months (away from parents), will need to follow a new points-based system. Further information may be obtained from the UK Government visas and Home Office websites.