Choosing a school for your child is a huge responsibility for parents and requires a lot of research. The right school can make all the difference to your child’s academic success and future career prospects, so it is important to take your time and be as thorough as possible.
There are many factors to take into consideration when choosing a school for your child. You will need to consider your travel arrangements, research school inspection results and check out the school facilities. This research can take a long time, especially if you have several schools in mind, so it is best to start your school search as early as possible.
Here are some helpful tips from an independent girls’ school in Surrey to help you choose the right school for your child…
Talk as a family
First of all, it is important to sit down as a family and discuss your child’s interests and academic strengths, and then talk about possible school options. You can then decide whether these school’s cultures, values, and teaching methods suit your child and your family. It might be worth making a list of the things that are most important to you and your child in your school hunt. For example, is your child musical and if so, do your chosen schools provide private music lessons? Alternatively, if your child is athletic, you may wish to look into what sports clubs are available. Once you know what you and your child want from a school, your search will become a lot easier.
Research and reviews
There may be several schools that you and your child are interested in, so take your time to do your research and read plenty of online reviews. Once you have established a shortlist, you can then start to investigate school league tables and Ofsted reports. It can also be helpful to view school websites because they will showcase the facilities available, as well as the individual school values. Don’t forget that one of the best ways to learn about a school is by talking to other parents about their experiences and listening out for personal recommendations.
When searching for the right school, be sure to look into the practical aspects, such as your travel arrangements. For example, if you plan to drive to the school you may wish to look at your route options, travel times, and whether there is sufficient parking available nearby. Alternatively, are there any local bus services that go to the school or a dedicated school bus? You could also look into traveling with friends or neighbors who attend the same school.
The best way to choose the right school for your child is to visit a few different ones to give you a good comparison. Try to arrange your visits during a school day. This will give you a better insight to daily life at the school, instead of empty classrooms on an open evening. When visiting prospective schools it is important to consider how welcoming they feel and how happy and engaged the children are in their classrooms. You should also inspect the school grounds to assess if they are clean and safe.