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  • The English Education

Connecting parents with the right information to support UK school applications

This article was first published in the AEGIS newsletter – June 2022

All the great work done by AEGIS accredited consultants can only happen when a child has been confirmed as being accepted as a boarding pupil at their chosen school. But, prior to approaching a reputable guardianship company, how do parents make the all-important initial decision - which school is right for my child?

Many parents do so in conjunction with educational consultancies and agents. For such companies, the most vital first step is to better understand the child’s academic profile – not always an easy task when the only available information is presented by means of recent school reports which, to be blunt, sometimes offer little useful information about how the child’s current academic standing matches that expected of schools in the UK.

When an educational consultant or agent contacts a prospective school with information on an international applicant, Registrars and admissions teams first and foremost need to know whether the child will thrive within their community, with the academic fit being the key element. It is only then that the school will move to registration, formal assessment and interview and, as agents are only too aware, there is no one entrance examination used by every school. Schools are now assessing earlier and are starting to look closely at online and adaptive technologies to glean the information they require about an applicant. Old fashioned, ‘tailor-made’ paper assessments rarely have a place in this dynamic and rapidly evolving area.

With all the above in mind, assessment expert, Alastair Montgomery, and former Headmaster, Jimmy Beale, put their heads together in 2020 to create the APT (Academic Profiling Test).

The APT was designed to provide a comprehensive assessment of a student’s academic skills, using the highest quality teacher-written test questions and adaptive technology. It is an evaluative measure used to demonstrate performance to future schools or monitor academic progress; candidates can be tested from 6 to 16 years old and the assessment tests academic potential by looking at core cognitive skills in English, maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal processing, comparing performance against UK national standards.

Two years on, the APT is being used by some of the world’s leading educational school search placement consultants and agents. School admissions teams comment on the quality of the academic information given to them when an initial approach is made, and agents talk of how useful the objective data is when leading the parents towards making the best decisions for school choices – APTs information has been described as “gold dust”.

An essential element of the APT is the post-assessment feedback session and the APT team requires that any such session is delivered by a consultant who understands the results and is well-placed to interpret the data in the right way. Training is offered by APT to ensure that the integrity of the assessment is maintained – the APT is an assessment tool and is not a pass / fail test and it cannot be prepared for, or ‘beaten’.

In an interesting indication of the way that admissions and assessment is heading, several independent boarding schools have been working with the team at the APT to establish how the data and assessment can be adapted to create bespoke systems to aid their own admissions systems. There is little doubt that adaptive and online technologies are now recognised as being the way forward and agents and consultancies might well consider getting ahead of the game as the new academic year and admissions cycle kicks off.

If any schools, educational consultancies, agents or guardianships would like to know more about the APT, please contact


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