Choosing the right school for your child can seem like a momentous decision and one we don’t want to get wrong. There are likely many factors that will go into the decision, including your child’s individual needs and personality. There are many options to consider, which can be both a good and a bad thing! It’s important to know what to look for in a school to give your child the best start to their education. If you’re weighing up the choices, here are some tips from a prep school in Middlesex to give you a helping hand.
Make a list
Jot down the must-have and nice-to-have features you want in your child’s school and use this to measure schools against when you visit them. This can help you focus during a school tour and inform any questions you might want to ask school staff. Having a checklist to refer to will stop you feeling overwhelmed and help you think about things rationally rather than emotionally.
Take a look at reports
Have a look on each school’s website for results of Ofsted reports and tests children at the school have undertaken. This will give you a good idea of how children progress at the school generally. It’s a good idea not to base your decision solely on test and inspection reports though, as they can never tell the full story of how happy children are at a school.
Ask other parents
If you want to get a variety of viewpoints before making a decision, look for local online community groups and forums, such as Facebook groups, where you can ask other parents what they think of certain schools. Be prepared that you’ll likely get lots of differing opinions, but by doing this you might realise which aspects of a school are most important to you based on your reaction to other parents’ viewpoints.
Trust your intuition
Once you’ve gathered all the information and opinions you need, try whittling your list of options down to two or three. Then, ask yourself what your gut is telling you – imagine the future and think about which school you can see your child attending and being happy at. When you visit schools and see the environment, you’ll probably get a good feeling about certain ones. Trust this feeling if there’s nothing else separating one school from another.
It’s worth bearing in mind that, if things don’t work out as you’d hoped, there’s always the option of moving your child to a different school – choosing a school isn’t necessarily an irreversible decision.