Browse frequently asked questions about the admissions process at ASL.

Application process

When should I apply?

We accept applications one year prior to the date of entry. The application form and application fee are due 15 January; the supporting documents should be submitted by 31 January.  Families who miss the initial deadline and would like to be considered for the wait pool should complete their applications by 15 March. 

How can I apply?

Families begin the application process by completing a pre-application to create an account in our system. You will then log in to our admissions portal where you can complete your application, pay the fee, and upload the required documents. If you are unable to apply online, please call the admissions office for further instructions.

The application fee may be paid by check or credit card in pounds sterling or US dollars. Families applying for financial aid are exempt from the application fee.

What is the minimum age?

Applicants for K1 must turn four years old by 31 August and applicants for K2 must turn five by 31 August.

How can we arrange to see the School?

The school offers a number of Open House days during the year which are listed on the website. For families who reside outside London, the admissions office accepts appointments for small group tours, organized by grades of interest, on most Monday and Friday mornings. More information is available on the visit page of the website. Please note that appointments in January and February are very limited so please book early. Telephone the admissions office, +44 (0)20 7449 1221, or email us to arrange an appointment.

What is the wait pool?

There are times when we do not have enough spaces to accommodate all qualified applicants. Qualified applicants will be offered a place in the wait pool and will be considered for admission if a space becomes available. When offering places to students in the wait pool, the admissions committee considers a number of elements. Preference is given to siblings, and other factors such as class composition are also taken into account.

If a place does not become available during the course of the academic year, the student’s application must be updated by the regular timelines to be considered for the following academic year. Parents should arrange for current school reports, teacher recommendations and standardized testing (as appropriate) to be submitted. Students are asked to complete a new applicant questionnaire.

ASL program

What curriculum does the School offer?

ASL offers an American curriculum. Our oldest students may elect to take Advanced Placement (AP) courses in a wide range of subjects, and they will also take the SATs in Grade 11 and/or Grade 12. We do not offer the IB program or UK examinations.

Does ASL offer Advanced Placement (AP) courses?

ASL has an extensive AP program in the High School, offering courses in more than 20 subjects. Over 80 percent of all high school students take at least one exam; the average is three exams per student.

Where do ASL teachers come from?

Our teachers come from a wide range of schools in the US and around the world, and represent fourteen different nationalities. Approximately 65 percent hold US citizenship and the average tenure is nine years.

Does ASL have after-school sports and activities?

Both the Lower and Middle schools have extensive after-school programs; High School students can participate in a variety of after-school clubs. Students in Grade 7 and above can try out for sports teams that compete against other schools.

What are the school hours? What is your vacation schedule?

School begins for students in Grades 1-12 at 8:05 am and ends at 2:55 pm for students in Grade 1-4 and 3:05 pm for students in Grades 5-12. Students in K1 and K2 arrive at 8:20 am and are dismissed at 2:30 pm. On Wednesdays, students are dismissed one hour earlier. Broadly speaking, we follow an American vacation schedule.

ASL community

Who attends ASL?

Students from more than 70 countries attend ASL. Approximately 70 percent of our students hold a USA passport and 60 percents of our students hold a non-US passport. Over 40 percent of our students hold citizenship from more than one country.

How many students attend ASL?

We have approximately 1,350 students in the Lower (K1-Grade 4), Middle (Grades 5-8) and High (Grades 9-12) schools.

What is the average length of stay?

The average time a student attends ASL is about five years, but some students attend only for a semester and others are at ASL for years. Approximately 15 percent of our students leave at the end of each school year, and at the start of school each year, we welcome approximately 300 new students.

How does the School help with the transition of new students?

Because we welcome hundreds of new families every year, the administration, faculty, parents and students at ASL put a great deal of time, planning and thought into the ways we can help families to become a part of our community. The Parent Community Association holds sessions that allow new families to meet each other and to connect with existing ASL families; these sessions also introduce families to London life and explain how parents can become involved at school. Our guidance counselors and teachers prepare transition activities and events for new students and create opportunities for new and returning students to talk about their initial experiences at the School, from their anxieties and expectations, to the things that surprised them.

At the beginning of the academic year, each division holds grade-based orientations that help new students become acquainted with their teachers and the school building. But arguably our greatest "transition team" is our student body, who naturally reach out to make new students feel welcome. Within only a week or two, new arrivals begin to feel like seasoned veterans.

Where do ASL families live?

About 60 percent of our students live in northwest London in areas such as St. John’s Wood (40 percent), Belsize Park, Swiss Cottage, Hampstead, West Hampstead, Queens Park, Golders Green and Hampstead Garden Suburb. About 20 percent of our families live west of the School in neighborhoods such as Maida Vale, Notting Hill, Kensington and Holland Park. Families also live in Highgate, Marylebone, Chelsea, South Kensington and Knightsbridge.

We provide busing to all these areas. We have families living in other areas of London as well; if you are interested in living in a particular area and would like to know if we bus there, please contact the admissions office.

Does ASL provide busing?

We provide busing for families living in certain areas of central, north and west London. The busing is door-to-door and accommodates all of our Lower and Middle school after-school activities and most of our High School after-school activities.

Financial aid

Does ASL provide financial aid?

ASL believes that students who meet the school’s admissions requirements should have the opportunity to attend the School and participate in its extracurricular activities regardless of their family’s ability to pay the full cost of the programs. Financial aid is available for tuition and for additional fees noted above, including the SLD program and trips. Click here for financial aid FAQs.

Age eligibility

Applicants for K1 must turn four years old by 31 August and applicants for K2 must turn five by 31 August. We require all students to be fully toilet trained in order to begin school. Please click here for a chart comparing grade levels and ages across US, IB and UK curriculums.

Does ASL have a wait list or wait pool?

Each admissions season, we have more qualified applicants than spaces available. To accommodate such applicants, we create a wait pool and offer families the chance to "wait" for an opening. The pool is distinct from a list in that candidates are neither ranked nor ordered; all candidates are reconsidered for each new space as it arises regardless of when they entered the pool. We contact families immediately if a place becomes available to them and request that families do not call or send additional letters since movement in the pool cannot be accelerated or influenced.

If a decision letter does not specifically offer placement in the wait pool, we regret that the candidate is not eligible to "wait" and must reapply for the next academic year.