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Saturday, 27 January 2018

Choosing The Right School For Your Child

Choosing a school for your child is a big step. This is the place that they’ll make friends, learn about the world and gain the qualifications to set them up for later life. A good school on the surface may not always be right for your child. Here are some tips for helping you to make the right decision.

Make use of open days
 Open days allow you to tour the school and talk to teachers and students to get an idea of what it’s like. You’re best going to an open day during school hours – some schools will have evening events but these don’t allow you to see classes in action or speak to pupils. Make sure to ask questions during these open days to get a better feel of the environment. Both pupils and teachers are likely to be on their best behaviour during an open day, but you can still ask questions that give you clues of what a school is really like (asking teachers how long they’ve been working there could give you an idea of the staff turnover and whether it’s an enjoyable place to work).

Read performance reports
 It’s worth doing some online research when choosing a school. Ofsted reports are great for getting an overall picture of how good a school is. It could also be worth looking up a school’s grades (you may even be able to find data on predicted grades vs the grades they achieved).

Get information from pupils and their parents
 If you’re interested in a school and know someone whose child already goes there, it could be worth quizzing them to try and get some extra feedback on what the school is really like. They’re likely to be able to tell you information that you wouldn’t ever hear at an opening evening. If you don’t know any parents or pupils, you could also use social media to get extra information – there may be a Facebook page for your local area in which you can ask people for their opinion on local schools.

Consider entry requirements
 Some schools, particularly private ones, may have entry requirements. The likes of Educator’s private school guide can help you to research these requirements so that you know your kid is a fit for the school. There may be grades that need to be met, as well as location requirements and costs that need to be met, all of which you should research.

Consider the location
 Consider how far away the school is from where you currently live and how your child will get there. If it’s too far to walk but you can’t drive them to school, you may have to look into public transport links. Some schools have their own bus services, but these generally have a limited route. Some families will go so far as to move near a school so that it’s easier to travel to and so that they meet the school’s postcode entry requirements.

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