Admissions Policy

Date: 21/04/2020

IB World School Admissions Policy 2020-21

1.      Introduction

St Clare’s, Oxford is a co-educational independent boarding and day school for students aged between 14 and 19 years.

Admission is based on review of recent school reports, performance at interview and applicants are required to sit placement tests.  St Clare’s accepts students of a wide range of abilities, the overriding criteria for admission being the intellectual capacity and linguistic ability to access the full IB, Pre-IB or Middle School Programme curriculum.  

This policy and its procedures have been authorised by the Governors of St Clare’s, Oxford.

This policy is for guidance and will be adapted by the school from time to time as circumstances require.

2.      Policy and procedures

Throughout the admissions procedure the St Clare’s policy is to ensure the best interests of the student educationally. To this end:

All prospective students must complete the application process which usually requires a personal visit by the student and their family to St Clare’s. However, in the current situation with COVID-19, a Skype interview, completion of our on-line placement tests and a virtual tour may be suggested instead of a personal visit.

Once an application is in process, St Clare’s may contact the student’s current school for a confidential reference.

The school reserves the right to refuse admission to candidates whom it considers will not benefit from the educational programme on offer.

3.      Entry to Middle School Programme (Year 10), Pre-IB (Year 11) and IB1 (Year 12)

Admission to the school is subject to the application process and the availability of places in the appropriate year group.

All students are usually required to attend an interview with a senior member of staff before being admitted.

Owing to the diverse range of nationalities in the St Clare’s community, there is no specific (I)GCSE requirement for direct entry to IB1.

Copies of school reports for the previous two years must also be presented. The reports must show consistently favourable progress academically, behaviourally and in terms of effort.

IB Diploma Pre-IB and MSP applicants all sit on-line placement tests in Mathematics and English. The Mathematics test has four sections and takes 60 minutes in total. The English test consists of a comprehension paper that involves analysing text and a short essay and  will be taken by applicants who are native or non-native English speakers. The English test lasts 90 minutes. These tests are not an entrance examination. Different tests are used for entry into each year-group.

The school may admit students directly into IB2 (Year 13) provided that they have a proven academic level and their subject choices and examination boards coincide with the programme offered by St Clare’s. Students need to have successfully completed the first year of the IB Diploma course elsewhere.

In order to successfully cope with the academic and social demands of St Clare’s Oxford, students must be fluent English communicators in all aspects – oral, listening comprehension and written work. All these are assessed at interview.

 4.      Sibling policy

The School welcomes applications from siblings but each sibling’s application is considered on its own merits and each is subject to the same application process as all other students. In cases where two or more siblings are enrolled on IB courses at the same time, the School awards a 10% discount on the fees for one of the siblings.

5.      Equal Treatment

St Clare’s is a proudly liberal, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic environment. Factors which will not be taken into account in assessment of a student for admission are: the candidate’s ethnicity, race, nationality or ethnic or national origin, religious faith, sexual orientation, marital status or sexual orientation of parents or socio-economic group.

6.      Scholarships and Bursaries

St Clare’s offers a number of academic scholarships and bursaries for the IB diploma. The maximum award is for full tuition fees (day students) or full tuition and residential fees (residential students). A larger number of smaller awards will be made and may include some awards of more than 50% of total fees. Scholarships are awarded to students of strong academic ability, while bursaries may be awarded to students who would benefit from and make a considerable contribution to school life. Discretionary scholarships and bursaries may also be available for exceptional students applying to enter the college in Year 10.

All awards run for the two years of the course, although renewal for the second year is subject to satisfactory performance and conduct.

Music Scholarships may also be offered to cover the costs of music tuition for students who have scored either a merit or distinction in either Grade 7 or Grade 8 in a practical examination with one of the following boards: ABRSM, LCM, RSL or TCL. All music scholarships are offered subject to sufficient funds being available. 

We welcome applications from students from both the UK and overseas. There are two scholarship days per year, in November for local applicants and in February for overseas applicants. It is a requirement that all shortlisted applicants attend the appropriate scholarship day.

7.      Disability and Special Educational Needs​

St Clare’s has limited facilities for the disabled but will do all that is reasonable to comply with its legal and moral responsibilities under the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001, the Disability and Discrimination Act 2005, the Equality Act 2010 and the Children and Families Act 2014 in order to accommodate the needs of candidates who have disabilities for which, with reasonable adjustments, the School can cater.

Parents of a student who has any disability or sp​ecial educational needs must provide the Admissions Registrar with full written details when registering for admission and at least one week before attending an interview, taster day or Admissions visit. A Disability Needs Assessment Form is available from the Head of Admissions.

This information is required so that, in the case of any child with particular needs, the school can assess those needs and endeavour to make sure that facilities can be provided adequately for those needs throughout the admissions process (including at interview, any attendance at the school and during the admissions visit as appropriate).

The school will consult with parents and their medical advisers about the adjustments which can reasonably be made for the child, subject to the School’s Accessibility Plan and usual routines and budget constraints, both during the admission process and later as a student.

Where the school agrees to support the provision of additional services, such as the use of extra staff or auxiliary aids, parents or guardians will be charged for these at a level that reasonably reflects the cost to the school of providing the service or facility.

Special arrangements as are deemed reasonable and necessary will be made available for pupils with special educational needs during the Admissions visit as long as parents provide reasonable notice, and the School has been provided with a copy of an Educational Psychologist’s report or medical report (prepared within the last two years), which must include a recommendation for such special arrangements.

8.      Offer of a place

We are normally able to tell the applicant and their parents our final decision on their application at the end of the Admissions visit. If the interview is satisfactory we will offer the applicant a place at St Clare’s and this will be confirmed by email in an official offer letter that includes an Acceptance Form.

Acceptance of the offer

Parents wishing to accept the offer must complete the Acceptance Form within the deadline given in the offer letter and return by email. When parents accept the offer of a place at St Clare’s they will need to pay an Enrolment Deposit of £2,500.  Accepted places are subject to the School’s Terms and Conditions for IB and Pre-IB Courses which can be found at

Joining and pre-arrival information

Instructions on how to access the joining and pre-arrival information are included in the offer letter.

Any admissions enquiries or requests for further information about the application procedure should be directed to Chris Osbourn, Admissions Registrar – ​

9.      Complaints

Details of the School’s complaints procedure are available on the School website and can be sent to parents and applicants upon request.

Most recent review / amendment

VPA September 2020

Last seen by the Board of Governors Education Committee 10 October 2019