Frequently asked questions
What standard are you looking for?
We do not have any formal entry standards - applications and auditions are assessed very much on an individual basis. However in order to assist parents/teachers in deciding whether it is worth putting in an application for a child, we have put together the following very rough guideline:
From what age do you accept pupils?
We accept pupils from Year 6 (age 10) through to the Sixth Form (age 16+). New pupils can enter the school in all years except Year 11 and Year 13.
When is your intake?
Usually in September, but other arrangements can sometimes be made.
Do you have day pupils?
Yes. Around a quarter of our pupils are day pupils.
Do you have weekly boarders?
Yes. Pupils can go home most weekends, unless there are rehearsals and/or concerts.
How many pupils do you have?
We have around 180 pupils, of whom about 45% are boys and 55% are girls.
How much instrumental tuition do pupils RECEIVE?
Pupils receive a total of between two and three hours a week instrumental tuition.
Can my child learn with a teacher outside of school?
Do you ACCEPT pupils that play only one instrument?
Yes. Although most pupils play two or more (one of which may be composition), around 1 in 10 pupils play one instrument only.
How much time do pupils have to practice?
Between 3 and 6 hours a day, according to their age.
My child DOES play an instrument but their main FOCUS is COMPOSITION.
Composition is counted as an instrument at The Purcell School. We currently have 12 first study composers at the school, and 23 pupils that have one-to-one composition tuition in addition to their first instrument.
do you have a jazz department?
Yes. We currently have 16 first study jazz pupils playing instruments ranging from jazz piano to jazz bass. Jazz voice is also included.
Do you ACCEPT pupils with special educational needs?
Yes - as long as the pupil is able to cope with our demanding programme and the constraints of the layout of our buildings.
when is the next opening morning?
What are the school fees?
The school fees for academic year 2016/17 are £25,452 (day) and £32,499 (boarding). However, see below.
THe school fees are very high! do you offer any scholarships?
Yes - do not be put off by the school fees! All pupils accepted into the school are means-tested so parents pay a contribution to their fees according to their financial circumstances.
How do i go about applying for a place at the school?
To be considered for a place at the school, you must first apply for an audition. To do this you should complete the application forms, which can be found either within our prospectus or on our website, and return them to us together with a written recommendation from the instrumental teacher, a cheque for £25 (application fee) and, for overseas applicants, a DVD of a recent performance. Auditions are held at the school most Thursdays, and are generally allocated on a first come first served basis. See Auditions for further details.
when is your closing date for applications?
Applications will be considered in the order they are received, and candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible in the school year. Boarding places in particular have often been filled by the end of March. The closing date for applications for pupils who meet the eligibility criteria for support under the Department for Education (DfE) Music and Dance Scheme is the last day of The Purcell School Easter holiday. Auditions for pupils who do not meet the eligibility criteria for support under the scheme finish in March.
can i come and have a look around the school?