The admissions process

Initial visit

We strongly recommend a visit to Copthorne Prep School to experience all that we offer. We hold open mornings on a termly basis. Our senior pupils act as unscripted guides and all members of teaching staff are available to answer any queries that you might have along with our Headmaster, Deputy Head, governors and parent representatives.

Aside from our Copthorne Café, serving refreshments, our music scholars perform side by side with our LAMDA students throughout the morning. Our art scholars may be seen working on their latest pieces and a selection of our many sports are show cased in the sports hall or on the playing fields. We aim to offer our open morning visitors a real sense of what makes Copthorne Prep School so special.

We are also delighted to welcome prospective parents at any time. To arrange an individual visit, please contact the Registrar, Mrs Kathryn Billingham-West on 01342 712311 or via email.


Following your visit(s) and if you feel that Copthorne Prep is the right school for your child, the next stage in the admissions process is to complete and return our Registration Form together with a non-refundable fee of £100 per child, which may be paid via cheque (made payable to Copthorne School Trust Ltd) or on line (Natwest Bank: Sort Code 60-06-20, Account Number 31370322) using your surname as a reference.

Upon receipt, your form and payment will be acknowledged by letter and the registrar will remain in touch with you to guide you through the admissions process.

For a place in our Nursery, we recommend that you register your child by the age of 18 months and for entry into Reception by the age of three. Children entering into year 3 in the Prep School should be registered with us by the beginning of year 2.

Taster sessions

Once registered, we will invite your child to attend either a taster session or a full taster day, depending upon their age. Children will spend their time within their appropriate age group and experience a ‘typical’ morning or day at Copthorne Prep.

Full details of the taster day, including timings and any necessities to bring, will be confirmed with you via email beforehand.

As part of the taster experience, we do assess the children either informally or formally depending upon the age of the child. We do not formally assess children joining us in the nursery or starting reception, however informal observations will be carried out during the taster session (usually a morning which lasts about three hours). Children joining the school during their reception year upwards will be invited to spend a full day at Copthorne, with their peer group, during which some assessment work will be carried out in reading, writing, spelling and mathematics. This will help us gauge the levels they are currently working at. We will also request a report from their current school or nursery.

Formal offer

Subject to the availability of places, a satisfactory taster day assessment and report from your child’s school or nursery, a place will be formally offered by letter. This will be accompanied by a set of terms and conditions and an acceptance form, known as the parent contract. At this time, we will also request a deposit of £500 which is refundable when your child leaves us, assuming that a full term’s notice has been given. If parents wish to accept the offer of a place, the completed parent contract should be returned to the Registrar along with the deposit.


Our contact details

Copthorne Preparatory School
Effingham Lane
West Sussex
RH10 3HR

Office:  01342 712311

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