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Admission Policy

Step 1: Making An Application

1.1 Application Information


The High School of Glasgow is an independent, co-educational, non-denominational school with a Christian heritage and seeks to foster a happy and nurturing community in which each individual is enabled to develop their all-round potential from the academic to sport, the expressive arts and beyond. Our young people are encouraged to develop a sense of responsibility and to pursue excellence in all their activities and opportunities. The School ethos promotes positive relationships seeking to foster an atmosphere of mutual tolerance and support, traditional values and a concern for others.

Applications are welcomed from any parent who believes our educational provision will benefit their child and there are three principal stages for entry:

  • Kindergarten - KG1 (from 3rd birthday) KG2 – (Pre-School Year)
  • Transitus (Primary 7) (aged 11 years)
  • First Year (aged 12 years)


although children are admitted at all stages when vacancies occur.

Kindergarten (KG1 & KG2)

Applications for Kindergarten will normally take place between January and March for the following August. Applications for immediate entry can be taken at any time and offers will be subject to availability.

Junior 1 to Senior 6

Applications made through the main admission process for entry to Junior 1 through to Junior 6 (Junior School) and Transitus to Senior 6 (Senior School) may be submitted at any time up to mid-January for the following August. Applications for immediate entry can be taken at any time and offers will be subject to availability.

1.2 Bursaries

The High School of Glasgow has a Bursary Fund to enable pupils to attend the School who would not otherwise be able to do so. Bursaries are, however, only available at the Senior School, which includes Transitus (Primary 7).
Parents wishing to apply for Bursaries should complete the main Admissions Application Form, ticking the box indicating you wish to apply for a Bursary. You will then be asked to complete a confidential declaration of financial circumstances. From this declaration, the Bursary Award Committee, who are independent of the Rector, will make their assessment of the appropriate level of Bursary assistance. Bursary applicants are notified of the value of the Bursary only when a formal offer of a place is made. The School respects the confidentially of bursary families and no distinction will be made between the holders of bursary and full fee paying pupils.

A Bursary will usually continue throughout a child’s time at the Senior School, but the continuation of the Bursary is dependent on satisfactory standards of academic achievement and behaviour and continuing financial need.

1.3 Application Form and Registration Fee

If you would like to apply to the School, please complete and return the attached Application Form to Admissions, 637 Crow Road, Glasgow, G13 1PL. There is a non-refundable registration fee of £30. This fee applies to Junior 1 to Senior 6 applicants and covers the cost of processing your application, including administering and marking the Assessment.
Please note, as Kindergarten is in Local Government partnership with East Dunbartonshire Council, there is no registration fee required for Kindergarten applications.

Step 2: Visiting The School

2.1 Annual Open Day (Kindergarten and Junior School) and Annual Open Evening (Senior School)


At the Junior School, an annual Open Day normally takes place on the last Saturday in October each year, to provide prospective parents and pupils the opportunity to see around the School. Pupil guides escort visitors around classrooms and other facilities, giving parents an insight into school life. The Rector and the Headteacher of Junior School then provide an introduction and overview of the School.

At the Senior School, the annual Open Evening normally takes place on the first Monday evening in November each year, to give prospective parents and pupils an opportunity to see around the School. 3rd Year pupil guides escort visitors around classrooms and laboratories where displays and exhibits demonstrate what the School has to offer. The Rector provides a brief introduction to the school in the Assembly Hall and refreshments are available in the Refectory in the Jimmie Ireland Stand following the tour when staff are available to answer any questions.

Our Open Events are the major events in the Admissions calendar, providing parents and their child an insight into School life at the Kindergarten, Junior and Senior School. For this reason, we also encourage those who have organised individual visits earlier in the year to attend.

Parents who have applied for places and those considering doing so are all welcome to attend our Open Events with their children.

2.2 Visiting the School throughout the year

If you are interested in applying to The High School but unable to attend one of our Open Events, we would be very pleased to see you at another time and individual appointments to visit the School can be arranged throughout the year. Please contact the Admissions Manager to arrange an appointment.

Step 3: Entrance Tests and Interviews

3.1 Timing


All applicants applying for Junior 2 to Senior 4 are invited to an Entrance Test for the appropriate age group, based on dates of birth between 1 March and 28 February the following year.

The timing of your child’s Assessment will be related to your proposed date of entry, i.e. usually in the January prior to the August when entry is desired, except when there are candidates for a vacancy at another time and we will write to you again nearer the time, giving you a date and further details about the Assessment.

For KG1, applicants will be invited for an observed session of play between January and March with a start date determined by the applicant’s 3rd birthday.

For KG 2, applicants will be invited for an observed session of play in January for an August start.
Junior 1 applicants are invited to the Junior School for individual assessments from early January onwards.

Junior 2 to Junior 6 applicants are invited to sit Entrance Tests held at the Junior School and Transitus to Senior 4
applicants are invited to sit Entrance tests at the Senior School. Entrance Tests for pupils from Junior 2 to Senior 4 usually take place on the second or third Wednesday in January.

Senior 5 and Senior 6 candidates attend the Senior School for interview during the third or fourth week in February.
For candidates applying from outwith Scotland who are unable to attend the Entrance Tests at the School in January, arrangements can be made with the child’s current School for the Tests to be administered there. This is known as a Postal Examination.

In special circumstances, candidates may be able to take the Entrance Test or Assessment at another time, e.g. when an unexpected vacancy has occurred, or with a view to joining the Waiting List for a particular year group. Families moving to the Glasgow area at any time of year may wish to confirm the current position regarding vacancies at any year group.

Following the completion of the January Entrance Test application period, admissions can still be submitted. However, active consideration will be dependent upon vacancies and our Admissions and selection procedure.

3.2 Entrance Test Information.

We are not able to offer copies of past test papers. We shall, however, send an Outline Syllabus, to all Senior School applicants, with information about topics covered in the English and Maths papers.

3.3 Support For Learning/Medical Requirements.

The High School operates an Accessibility Policy and the organisation of Entrance Tests/Assessments may be adapted to ensure that pupils with a disability are not disadvantaged unfairly. For this purpose, the parents of all applicants will be asked to complete a Personal Information Form, indicating any requirements which the School should take into account when assessing the child prior to their assessment. For example, a child with an identified learning difficulty may receive a dispensation of extra time for each written paper, or a child with a physical difficulty may require special arrangements.

3.4 Guidelines For Entrance Test Assessment.

For entry to Kindergarten 1 and Kindergarten 2

Please note, there is no formal assessment but you will be invited for an observed session of play lasting approximately 45 minutes.
Normally up to 40 places are allocated in Kindergarten.

For entry to Junior 1

Applicants will be invited to attend the Junior School for an assessment of each child’s readiness to benefit from our educational provision. This assessment will be an observed session of play lasting approximately 45 minutes. Entry to Junior 1 is dependent on the number of pupils moving from the previous session’s Kindergarten, to a maximum number of 48 pupils.

For entry to Junior 2 - Junior 6

Applicants will be assessed on performance in tests of language and numeracy, and on the report of academic progress, social skills and participation/aptitude in expressive arts activities requested from each candidate’s current primary school. There is a maximum of 48 pupils in any age group.

For entry to Transitus and 1st Year

The Assessment consists of papers in English and Maths and tests of potential in reasoning; in addition, a report on academic progress, social skills and participation/aptitude in expressive arts and extra-curricular activities requested from each candidate’s current school is also taken into consideration. As the final stage of assessment, those pupils who perform well in these assessments (see Admissions Policy Criteria for Selection) are invited back the following week with their parent(s) for interview; each candidate has a 1:1 interview with a member of the Senior Leadership Team - including the Rector. Normally up to 32 places are allocated at Transitus and 12-16 places at 1st Year. The maximum number of pupils is normally 88 in Transitus and 100 in 1st Year.

For entry to 2nd to 4th Year

The Assessment consists of papers in English and Maths and tests of potential and reasoning; in addition, a report on academic progress, social skills and participation/aptitude in expressive arts and extra-curricular activities requested from each candidate’s current school is also taken into consideration. Applicants are also asked to nominate two subjects they wish to study at National 5, and the assessment includes a short interview with the relevant Heads of Departments for each subject, as well as interviews with the Rector and another member of the Senior Leadership Team. There is normally a maximum of 100 pupils in each year group. It is usually possible to admit extra pupils in Senior 3, normally to a maximum of 104.

For entry to 5th and 6th Years

The Assessment consists of interviews with the Rector and a member of the Senior Leadership Team, evidence of the candidate’s performance at their current school on the national qualifications courses being studied and, where it exists, information on attainment in SQA exams. In addition, a report on academic progress, social skills and participation in expressive arts and extra-curricular activities requested from each candidate’s current school is also taken into consideration. For an overseas candidate who is not a native English speaker, the Assessment also includes an English paper. It is usually possible to admit extra pupils at these age groups, normally to a maximum of 104 in 5th Year and between 100 and 104 in 6th Year.

Step 4: Selection and Results

4.1 Criteria for Selection


The High School selects pupils on the grounds of ability and aptitude. The Assessment is based on performance in Entrance Tests, interview and information on academic progress, social skills and participation/aptitude in expressive arts and extra-curricular activities. A report is requested from each candidate’s current school.
Where the School is over-subscribed at any age group, performance in all aspects of the above Assessment is taken into account. At Transitus and First Year entry, only those who perform well in the written Entrance Tests are invited for subsequent interview. When we assess performance, we do so primarily by referring to the scores of the peer group being assessed and to the number of places available, but we also have regard to benchmark scoring for previous assessment exercises.

As a family school, particular consideration will be given to siblings of brothers and sisters currently attending the School if they are of the academic standard to perform satisfactorily in the Entrance Assessment and benefit from the School’s educational provision. Likewise, consideration will be given to the children of families who have existing or previous connections with the School.

The School can offer reasonable assistance to pupils who have additional support needs and there are Support for Learning Teachers at the Junior and Senior Schools. However, candidates need to be of the academic standard which will allow them to benefit from the School’s educational provision.

4.2 Notification of Results/Confirmation of Entry

Kindergarten entry offers will be made initially between February and March. For candidates applying after the formal Admissions Period, entry offers will be made as soon as reasonably possible dependant on availability.
For applicants at Junior 1 to Senior 4, results are sent by mail on the second Thursday in February according to the agreement between the majority of Glasgow independent schools. Those who have performed well but have not been successful in gaining places may be offered a waiting list place. Acceptance of places and waiting list places is required by the Thursday fourteen days later. The Head Teacher (Junior School) or The Senior Leadership (Senior School) can be consulted if further explanation of the School’s decision is desired.

For 5th and 6th Year, applicants will be informed of results as soon as is reasonably possible once all known candidates have been interviewed. Where possible we would aim to inform candidates of results before the end of the Spring Term.

Further information

To find out more about applying for a place, please contact:
Ms Carol McDougall, Admissions Manager,
637 Crow Road,
Anniesland,
Glasgow,
G13 1PL
0141 954 9628
e-mail admissions@hsog.co.uk

Please note: This Admissions Policy is regularly monitored and reviewed and may be subject to change.