Two city schools that switched to ICSE board recently have reported an increase in the number of applications in pre-primary classes this year.
St Lawrence High School and The BSS School, two English medium schools that were under the state board, shifted to ICSE early this year.
The heads of the schools said they had been receiving requests from parents to change to ICSE.
“The number of applications have gone up this year. We are allowing applications to be sent online, downloaded or forms are being distributed from the school office,” said Father Francis Jimmy Keepuram, principal, St Lawrence High School.
The school is admitting students in kindergarten (age 4-plus) and Class I. Last year, all seats were not filled in Class I, a school official said. At The BSS School, the number of applications for nursery (age 3-plus) has already gone up by 30 per cent from last year, the school authorities said.
“Last year, the number of applications in general was low because of the pandemic. But the change of board particularly has increased the number of applicants,” said Sunita Sen, principal, The BSS School.
Admissions had been suffering because parents were not keen on the state board, a school official said. The mother of a Class VI girl who shifted to Kolkata from Mumbai last year said her daughter had got admission at The BSS School.
“I was impressed by the infrastructure and was keen on it because of the proximity to my residence. But I put her in an ICSE school because of the board,” said the mother.
The application process is open in both schools.
The pandemic had impacted admission because physical school had shut down indefinitely because of Covid. Parents were not keen on admitting their children to school in the pre-primary classes. Many of these parents were home-schooling their children.
“Students in the two other boards (ICSE/ISC and CBSE) were getting higher marks compared to our girls. That was one reason why parents wanted us to shift,” said Sen.
The school will send out its first batch of ICSE (Class X) students in 2025. The first St Lawrence batch to write ICSE will be in 2024.
St Lawrence got its affiliation letter in April and The BSS School in June. “More than 90 per cent of the parents gave it to us in writing that they wanted a change in board,” said Keepuram.