We have completed the vocational journey this year... starting with applications as long ago September 2020 for this September. I went into it with eyes wide shut! 🤣 it was an extraordinary year for auditioning and hopefully for all auditioning for 2022 it will be a bit more back to the norm. There were no open days, or school tours due to covid, so all my research was done online and through virtual tours. This forum was extremely helpful, as it gave a gateway to talk to people who have dc's currently attending vocational schools, who were happy to share knowledge and experience. My main tips would be do your research. Although RBS and Elmhurst mostly (I believe) come with MDS (which is also income assessed) Tring and Hammond only have a certain amount to give out, these two schools do preliminaries then funding finals. Tring select for funding finals, Hammond offer all those who have me the required standard for the school (who are offered a full fee paying place) an MDS final audition. Then there are other costs to feature when you are doing your research, picking up and returning for exeat weekends, additional things at weekends, uniform and other things but I found alot of information out from lovely, experienced people on here. Don't be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to, each vocational school is different in what they offer and what they look for (that's what I've read on here)
We have had a stressful but also enlightening journey with my DC, I wouldn't change it but I wasn't quite prepared for the roller coaster haha. We wanted to support our DC to try and we don't regret a minute. I've also met some lovely people and made new friends too. Go for it and see where it leads, nothing is set in stone or undoable. Good luck and always ask questions on this forum, you will get an experienced answer im sure 😊 my DC starts vocational school in September, so we are now on another new journey!