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Top tips for choosing a school for your child
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Top tips for choosing a school for your child

Top tips for choosing a school for your child

TOP TIPS FOR CHOOSING A SCHOOL FOR YOUR CHILD

 It’s a big moment when your child starts school, and deciding which one to send them to can be tough. You probably know how important getting the right environment for them is to their future success, but when there are so many options available it’s not an easy choice to make. You need to take into account your child’s individual personality and needs, along with practicalities such as travelling to school. Here a prep school in Surrey offers some tips on how to identify the right school for your child so you can watch them thrive educationally, socially and emotionally. 

 Make a checklist

TOP TIPS FOR CHOOSING A SCHOOL FOR YOUR CHILD
Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

One of the first things to do when considering which schools to apply to is create a checklist of all the things that are important to you and your child in a school. This will help you weed out ones that don’t match your criteria when doing initial research, and it might also form the basis of questions to ask schools later on. 

 Visit the schools

 Once you’ve got your list of potential schools, pay them a visit during school hours, preferably with your child, so you can both get a feel for the environment. If you can, talk to some of the staff about their teaching methods and the values they instil in children, and get the answers to any remaining questions you have after your initial research. See if you can also meet with other parents to discuss things such as levels of parental involvement at the school and how happy their children are there. 

 Check results and reports

 Of course looking at SATs results and Ofsted reports won’t give you the full picture about how suitable a school is for your child, but they’ll provide a good benchmark for you to measure each potential school against; you might also find they make the difference between choosing one school over another. It’s a good idea to look at the data over a long term period to see whether scores have risen or declined over the years and how the school has been managed over time, rather than focusing only on short term results.

 Consider the practicalities

 Whether a school meets the day to day needs of your family will be an important factor in your decision. You’ll want to consider how you’ll make the journey to and from school each morning and afternoon, and how that fits in with your lifestyle; for example, you might want to be able to walk your child to school and not have to use the car (or you might not even have a car). Find out what the wraparound care is like at the school if you’ll need to take advantage of breakfast club or after school club for your child, and make sure that also meets your long term needs. 

Support for additional needs

If your child has additional support needs, speak to the headteacher or Special Educational Needs Coordinator at each school to assess how they approach providing this individual support. This will be crucial to your child thriving both educationally and emotionally. 

Look at schools’ values

Each school usually has a set of values they promote in pupils and which govern their processes and policies. If you can find a school whose ethos aligns closely with your family’s personal values, it’s more likely your child (and you) will feel comfortable there.

Listen to your gut

If you’re finding it hard to decide between two or more schools, the deciding factor might be what your gut is telling you. Sometimes you just have a feeling about a particular place; ask your child if they feel that way about any of the schools they’ve visited. If there’s not much to separate schools, the best option might be to go with your gut and trust your (and your child’s) own intuition. 

Featured image:Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

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