There comes a point when every parent goes through the process to find a school for their child. It can be a tricky process – you might have a different opinion on choice of schools in relation to your child; you could be moving to a different area; or you might be taking a look at an independent, fee paying school for your child. Whatever the scenario, help is on hand to ensure you find the right school where your child is happy.
So we’ve put together some general advice that will help you not just find a college, but to find the right school.
Moving area – finding a school in a place you’re not familiar with can be quite tricky, especially given the amount of assistance given by existing primary schools to receive their pupils into the right secondary school. The best place to start 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 find out when they’re open for you to go and see. The whole process can then be broken down into a simple, enjoyable exercise for you and your little one.
Find an independent college – if you’re looking for an independent school for your child then your choices will become much narrower. Outside of major cities and towns 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 right for you. As they are fewer in number, it is likely you will need 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.
Find a school with good OFSTED evaluations – OFSTED evaluations 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 class 4 will occasionally be put in what is known as Special Measures, meaning it has outside assistance from the local authority to try and improve, and the senior management team could be replaced if they are deemed to be ineffective. Whatever the scenario, every schools’ OFSTED rating is published online and can be seen at no cost, so go and have a look to learn more and use them to help you locate a school.
Find a school your child is in disagreement with – quite often you will have a differing opinion than your child’s. This will almost certainly be the case when you come to find a school for them. They may favour a school where their friends go, or which has the best sports team, or is nearest your home, whereas these are the schools with the worst OFSTED ratings, or the worst transport links, which you (rather more sensibly!) deem less adequate.
Finding a college is often a very simple process but for some there are a few more hurdles to overcome. When there are, help is at hand from a variety of sources to make sure that you find a school that your child is happy at.