Admissions Policy

"A Jesuit school is distinguished for its academic, religious and pastoral provision, through which it encourages the fullest possible development of talents."
Jesuit School Vision Statement

Donhead Preparatory School is a Roman Catholic independent school for boys, ages 4 to 11, in the trusteeship of the Society of Jesus1.

The school exists primarily to provide a Jesuit education for children of the Catholic community. Once it has met its historical and current obligation to boys of the Catholic community, Donhead Preparatory School welcomes those who support the religious ethos of the school.

Registration and Waiting List Criteria

Inevitably, we have more boys on our registration list than we have places, and so priority in the allocation of places, in all Year groups, is given as follows:


Category 1: Boys with a sibling or other relative at Donhead (past or present)
Category 2: Boys who attend The Ursuline Preparatory School Wimbledon *
Category 3: Baptised2 and Practising3 Catholic boys
Category 4: Baptised Catholic boys
Category 5: Other applicants who accept the Catholic ethos of the School.

If more applications are received than places are available, preference will be given to Category 1 applicants and then in order as listed above – we will require a Baptism certificate4 and a signature by a priest of the parish where you practice on the application form.


1 The Society of Jesus (Jesuits) is a Religious Order of the Catholic Church founded in 1540. It has an international work in schools. The ethos and principles of Jesuit schools are set out in the document The Characteristics of Jesuit Education (1987).

2 The Oriental Rite Catholic Churches in communion with the Holy See are the Maronite and Italo-Albanian Catholic Churches; the Chaldean and Syro-Malabar Catholic Churches; the Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian, Syrian and Syro-Malankara Catholic Churches; the Melkite, Ukranian, Ruthenian and Romanian Catholic Churches; the Greek Catholic Church, the Byzantine Catholics in former Yugoslavia, the Bulgarian, Slovak and Hungarian Catholic Churches, and the Eastern Catholic Communities (Russian, Belarusian, Georgian and Albanian) without hierarchies.

3 The Catholic Church regards the liturgy as “the summit and the source of all worship and Christian life” (Code of Canon Law (1983), canon 897) and requires Catholics to "take an active part in the celebration of ... the Mass" (canon 898). For this reason, "on Sundays and other Holydays of obligation, the faithful are obliged to assist at Mass" (canon 1247) unless it is impossible to do so "for some ... grave reason." (canon 1248). Mass attendance on Sundays and Holydays includes the vigil Mass on the evening before the Sunday or Holyday.

4 And a certificate of reception into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church for boys who were baptised in other Christian churches but who have subsequently become Roman Catholics.

*  Proof of a place in the Ursuline Nursery will required before the offer of a place can be made. A copy of your offer letter should be sent to Donhead as soon as you receive it.

Reception Admissions

Children are admitted into the Reception Class in the September after their 4th birthday as full-time pupils.

Parents of summer born children (1st April to 31st August) may request that their child’s entry into the Reception Year is deferred to the following September. The school is under no obligation to agree to this request but will make its decision based on the circumstances of each case and in the best interests of the child involved. This will involve consideration of (amongst other things): (i) the parents’ views; (ii) information about the child’s academic, social and emotional development; (iii) the child’s medical history (where relevant); and (iv) whether the child has previously been educated out of the normal age group.

Parents are invited to register their interest in a Reception Class place by completing a registration form (available for completion via our 'Registration' webpage) and by paying the Registration Fee of £50. Parents should then make an appointment to view the school as soon as possible after registering, if they have not already done so.

Important Dates:

The Registration List closes on the 30th November, 22 months prior to entry (e.g. 30/11/18 for September 2020). All applications received after this date will automatically be added to our waiting list, which operates in accordance with our admissions criteria.

Places for September each year are offered on the 31st January, twenty months prior to entry (e.g. 31st January 2018 for September 2020 entry). Parents are given two weeks to accept the offer and return the Acceptance Agreement with a non-refundable Enrolment Fee of £500. If the offer of a place is subsequently withdrawn, following the receipt of an unsatisfactory Nursery school report, then the Enrolment Fee will be refunded. If a place is not accepted by February 14th, we will offer the place to a boy on our Waiting List, under the criteria listed above.

Offers are subject to:

  1. Parents having visited the school prior to offers being made.
  2. A satisfactory Nursery report which we will obtain from the Nursery setting in the Lent Term prior to entry.

Payment of the first term’s fees shall become payable on the last day of the Lent Term prior to entry. Withdrawal after this date means that the term’s fees paid will be forfeited.


Years 1 to 6 Admissions

Places may be available in other year groups from time to time and parents are advised to contact the school to ascertain the situation. Boys registered for entry in Pre-Prep 1 (Year 1) to Elements (Year 6) upwards are required to spend some time in one of the classes and complete some written and mathematical activities to ascertain their level of performance. We also request a satisfactory report from their current school.

Entry to all year groups is subject to our entry criteria listed above and waiting list places are allocated in line with it.


Please Note

The Governing Body reserves the right to alter the Admissions Policy and criteria at any time.

If you have any questions or would like to book a personal tour of the school please do not hesitate to contact us or email the PA to the Headmaster directly on