Selecting a School
Day or Boarding?
you want your child to attend a school in your area as a day pupil
or a school further afield as a boarder. About 85% of children are
day pupils .Most boarding schools also have day places so children
can convert to boarding later, if they wish.
An increasing number
of schools offer weekly boarding, where the pupil comes home at
Co-ed or single sex?
major decision is whether you wish your child to be educated at a
single sex school or a co-educational school.
year starts in September but it is advisable to start looking at
least a year in advance, as place can be filled upto six months in
advance. Most schools have Open Days in October. Think about when to
introduce your child to a school. Most prep schools do not accept
pupils in the final year. Senior schools are not keen to accept
students halfway through a two year course i.e. year 11 (GCSE) or
year 13 (A level).
Schools usually interview prospective
students and will ask for a report from your child's current school.
Those children that they are considering, will need to sit an
entrance exam, testing their levels of Literacy and Numeracy.Older
children will be subjected to a broader exam also testing languages
Ask for a
copy of the school prospectus. Once you have identified a school or
schools which interest you, you should contact them for a prospectus
(you can do this by e-mail) and/or visit their website.
schools you are considering. Most schools have open days for
prospective parents, but try also to make an appointment to visit on
a normal working day and speak to the principal or a senior staff
Class sizes - schools vary: in most
prep schools, classes will be between 15-20, but in some senior day
schools they may be as big as 30.
League tables - this of course is
an important factor, but one of many when choosing the right school
for your child.
Curriculum - is it broad and
Examinations - exam performance
reflects schools' academic policies and a high-flying school might
not suit your child's needs.
Admission - many junior schools
admit pupils on a first-come-first-served basis, so early
application is advised. Most senior schools set some form of
Discipline - is discipline stricter
or more relaxed than you would expect? It is importunate to choose
one where your child feel comfortable and motivated.
Location - good air, road and rail
Facilities - choose those schools
with the best facilities appropriate to your child's interests.
i.e. sports, music, drama, art.
Recommendation- what is good for
one child is not necessarily good for the next. A good
recommendation from friends or family is always useful, but bear in
mind that schools change over time.
School fees- these should be
detailed on the schools websites. Specialist fees planning companies
are available to help plan finances. see School Fees Planning