Deadline Extended for 2021 Applicants

13 January 2021

Following the announcement last week to place England back into national lockdown, schools in England will be closed for at least the next 6 weeks with similar restrictions in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

As in many walks of life, this decision has had an impact on Arkwright’s application process; especially on the aptitude exam which is due to take place in schools on Wednesday 3 February 2021.

Given the current climate this is unfortunately no longer possible and in order to maintain the integrity of our rigorous process, the Executive team at The Smallpeice Trust have decided to make the following amendments to the application process in 2021:

1. In order to allow teachers additional time to support their students, the application deadlines will be amended as follows:

a.      Monday 1 February 2021 at 4PM for students
b.      Monday 8 February 2021 at 4PM for teachers

2. The aptitude exam will be moved back to Tuesday 16 March 2021 to allow schools to get back into a relatively normal routine following the lockdown

The interviews will continue to be run online as previously advised but will again be moved back to between 26 April – 10 May 2021.

Whilst interviews will not take more than 30 minutes to complete, we appreciate that they will now fall within school time for many applicants however, this is important to allow adequate preparation time for students ahead of their interview.

If lockdowns across the UK continue past the February half term then we will have no option but to cancel the aptitude exam entirely and move straight onto the interview stage for applicants; in this scenario the application scores of students will be used to determine those going through to the interview stage at the end of April. We will write to all partnered school teachers and student applicants if this is the case.

We must stress that we do not wish to remove the exam from the selection process entirely but if the decision to extend lockdown is taken then it is assumed that this will be relatively late, and we wish to minimise the impact of any future Government decisions.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch via email at