Wealthy parents create unprecedented demand for private school places

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There has been unprecedented demand for private schools, partly led by a growing number of international students who seek to study in some of the best schools in the country, reports the Telegraph.

The narrowing of catchment areas has exacerbated the problem as parents seek the best schools, which has seen schools receiving multiple applications by parents. In some cases, families are paying up to £1,600 for a single place, which their child may never take up.

A report by the Times Educational Supplement (TES) said parents hedging their bets is hindering schools' planning for the next academic year because many parents find themselves with several offers.

The rising number of applications as more wealthy parents accept offers that they will not take is also causing problems for other families who are left waiting.

Under current rules, parents aren't prevented from applying to multiple schools at once. However, schools are placing strict, non-refundable clauses on payments to deter the practice. But this hasn't stopped wealthier parents from hedging their bets.

However, as the number of applications increases, some schools are already looking at increasing entrance exams to whittle down applicants because number of applications over the past five years has rising by 71 per cent, from roughly 700 for 1,200.

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