We understand how important it is to have piece of mind when sending your child to be educated abroad and the Admissions Team are highly experienced in guiding families through the admissions process.
International pupils come to Leweston both for the duration of their studies and for one year courses. Pupils can join the School from Year 4 (age 8) to Year 12 (age 16). For pupils coming with the aim of going to a British university we recommend starting as soon as possible. However, if your child is coming to improve their English for 12 months, any year is equally suitable, although the lower school gives a wider breath of subject choice.
For the benefit of all students, the school has a policy to maintain a good balance of British and International students in both classes and boarding houses so availability changes throughout the academic year. It is therefore advisable to apply early to stand the best chance of success.
THE APPLICATION PROCESS
Whilst families are always welcome to visit we recognise this is not always possible so we are happy to arrange online meetings with the Headmaster or Director of Boarding. We will ask all applicants for their most recent school report and a reference from their current Head. Pupils can then either provide a copy of their UKISET test or complete our own English and Maths test. We will then arrange for a Skype interview with a senior member of staff, usually the Director of International Students or Deputy Head for those who have English as their first language. Our Head visits Mexico, China and Hong Kong frequently so face to face interviews and family visits may be possible at this time.
ENGLISH LEVEL REQUIREMENTS
For entry into Sixth Form, your child would normally be expected to offer one of the following qualifications at pass level or above – GSCE English, IGCSE English as a second language, IELTS band 5.5 or any other equivalent EAL qualification. The standard entry requirement for all students entering Sixth Form is 6 GCSEs (or equivalent) at grade 5 or above with grade 7 or above in the subjects your child wishes to pursue at A Level or Pre-U.
For pupils looking to enter lower down the school we are looking for evidence that your child has the potential to achieve Grade 5 or above at English GCSE (or equivalent). This is evaluated by our admissions testing.
OFFER AND ACCEPTANCE OF A PLACE
A decision to offer a place will be made by the Head and Deputy Head after assessment. To accept the offer we ask you to pay a deposit and sign the parent contract which guarantees the place. A New Pupil Pack will then be sent to you ahead of your child’s start date.
CHILD VISA ROUTE
If your child has a UK passport they will not require a visa to study in the UK. All other students will need to a visa to enter the country and study here. Leweston is a registered Student and Child Student Sponsor, licensed by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) to issue Student and Child Student visas.
From 5 October 2020, the Student route will replace the Tier 4 route. The Student route, which falls under the UK’s new points-based immigration system, improves on the previous Tier 4 route making for a more streamlined experience for both sponsoring institutions and students. Visas that have been issued through the Tier 4 route are still valid.
Once an international student accepts their offer we will apply for a reference number called a confirmation of acceptance for studies or CAS. The CAS number is required for the pupil’s visa application. As soon as the CAS number is received it is shared with the you or your agent to enable you to make an application for the visa. You must ensure that your child has a valid visa before they start at Leweston and that their passport is valid for the duration of their study at the school. More information is available on the UK Visas website.
All students entering the UK for more than than 6 months will receive a Biometric Residence Permit or BRP. This is usually sent direct to the school and will be held on the student’s file for the duration of their study, or the visa expiry date. At the beginning of the Autumn Term the school arranges for Dorset Police to meet all of the new international students in order to issue a Certificate of Registration.
The Admissions Team will liaise will students and their families throughout this process.
If you have questions about joining from overseas visit our Knowledge Base, a library of frequently asked questions which can tell you more about the admissions process as well as life at the school.