Friday 18 September 2020


Whether your child is about to begin school for the first time or you’re looking for the best secondary school for your child, this is an important time in your life and it’s common to feel some anxiety around the decision. 

It’s vital however that as a parent, you make the best decision for your child without passing on any of the concerns to your child.

Do your research and weigh up the options alone. Once you have narrowed down the choices, then you can begin to involve your child. This is especially true for small children about to embark on their education. 

For older children, it’sdifferent because they will be very aware of the choices and of their friend’s plans. These factors may influence an older child’s preference. Listen to your older child, be aware of their concerns and desires for their future education. It’s important that they feel part of the process.

Choosing the right primary school

Choosing a primary school can be tricky but If you start early, you’ll be more informed of the process and in a better position to secure a place at the sort of school you prefer. Begin enquiries as soon as possible

Don’t discount schools based on what you may have heard – always check for yourself. The reality of a school may be very different than what one person says about it.

 Most schools run open mornings or set aside days when tours are available for prospective parentsYou can bring your child along with you in general and it’s a good idea to include them because their opinions can sometimes be surprising.

What to look for during a visit to a primary school

It can be overwhelming but it’s important to look out for certain things when you visit a new school.

• Do the children appear to be happy and stimulated?
• Are the staff friendly and approachable?
• Are the children confident and friendly?
• What facilities are available in the play area?
• Is the building pleasant with a well implemented security system?
• Is there an after-school club or breakfast club?
• What extra-curricular activities are available?
• Check how infants are introduced to the school, do they attend full days? Or only half days?

Your instincts will play a large part in your decision, as will your child’s reaction to the environment. This junior school in Kent advocates a secure yet friendly environment for their pupils so that children can learn in the most relaxed atmosphere.

Choosing a secondary school

Many older children will have strong views on which secondary school they attend. It’s normal for them to be keen to attend the same school as their friends. But is the school suitable for them and will it play to their strengths?.

 A very academic child might benefit from attending a school which has a strong arts and sports leaning but will they be happy? A non-academic child might benefit from the push they’ll get from a school with a strong academic background but is that what they really need?.

 Make sure you speak to your child at length and take them along for open days and talks. Your child is a person in their own right and should have some say in the decision.

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