Picking a School

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There comes a point when every parent goes through the process to discover a school for their child. It can be a difficult process – you might have a different opinion on choice of schools in relation to your kid; you may be moving to a different area; or you might be taking a look at an independent, fee paying school for your child. Whatever the situation, help is on hand to ensure you find the ideal school where your child is happy.

So we’ve put together some general ideas that will help you not just find a school, but to find the appropriate school.

Moving area – locating a school in an area you’re unfamiliar with can be quite tricky, especially given the amount of assistance given by existing primary schools to get their pupils into the right secondary school. The best place to begin is by creating a listing of schools in the area you are going to, you can do a postcode search here. As soon as you have your list, contact them and see when they’re available for you to go and see. The entire process can then be broken down into an easy, enjoyable exercise for you and your little one.

Find an independent school – if you are searching for an independent school for your kid then your options will become much narrower. Beyond major towns and cities there are often only a small number of independent, fee paying schools to pick from and you might already know what these are. Independent schools will always have open days or open evenings where you can call in and take a look around to see if it is ideal for you. As they are fewer in number, it’s likely you’ll want to use the school’s transport service to get your child to and from school each day, so check where this stops and picks up in relation to your dwelling.

Locate a school with great OFSTED evaluations – OFSTED ratings work on a numbered rating from 1 to 4, with 1 being the best (Outstanding) and 4 being the worst (Needs improvement). A school in category 4 will occasionally be put in what is called Special Measures, meaning it’s external assistance from the local authority to try to improve, and the senior management team could be replaced if they are deemed to be ineffective. Whatever the scenario, every schools’ OFSTED score is published online and can be seen for free, so always go and have a look to learn more and use them to help you find a school.

Find a school your child is in disagreement with – quite often you’ll have a differing opinion than your child’s. This will almost certainly be the case when you come to discover a school for them. They may favour a college where their friends go, or which has the best sports team, or is nearest your home, whereas those are the schools with the worst OFSTED evaluations, or the worst transportation links, which you (rather more sensibly!)

When there are, help is at hand from many different sources to make sure you find a school that your child is happy at.

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