Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Choosing Schools For Your Kids: The Earlier The Better!

When’s the best time to start looking for schools for your children? You hear a lot of stories these days about pushy mums trying to put their children’s names down almost straight after they are born. While this might seem a little premature, it’s easy to see why some parents go down this route. The best schools are always busy, and there are no guarantees your child will get in, even if you only live next door.

So, when it comes to choosing a school for your kids, I agree that earlier is better. It gives you time to take a look at your options and plan a move if you feel it is the better choice. There is a lot to think about - and I have to admit it’s something I have been considering recently. So, I thought I would cobble together all the best advice I have seen so far.

If you have a toddler and are worried your best local schools may not offer them a place, read on. I hope you will find this advice as helpful as I have!

Schools are less unequal than you think

First of all, try not to worry too much that your little one will end up at a nightmare school. There are a hundred or so exceptional schools in the country, and few children get the chance to attend them. However, for the vast majority of the rest of them, there isn’t much to choose between them. Of course, you should always keep an eye out for poor performers, but you should also bear in mind that these are often targeted for improvement. If you plan early enough, things might have got a lot better by the time your child gets to school age.

Speak to the head

All schools success and failures are down to the quality of teaching, of course. However, the real driving force behind success is a fantastic headteacher. If there are open evenings at your local school, I suggest you go to them and try - if possible - to speak the heads. Some headteachers have big jobs on their hands, but if they inspire you enough, you can bet they are doing the same to the teachers. And, this can often make the difference between an excellent school and an average one.

Look into the future

When schools expand, it’s seen as a positive thing. It means they are ticking all the right boxes, and they have earned trust from their local authorities. So, if your local school has lots of new or used temporary classrooms, it can often be a good sign. If they have been given permission to set them up, it’s a sure sign that they will have a budget for new buildings. It might not happen for a while, but it might even have started by the time your child reaches school age.

Talk to parents

ly, make sure that you talk to parents at all the schools in your neighbourhood. You will get some vital info from them that you won’t get anywhere else. How well does the school deal with discipline, for example? Do they provide enough facilities and help for less able children? What’s the environment like - is it more academic, or is it arty and creative? These are vital things to know, as it will help you choose a school that suits your child’s personality.

Hope this has helped - and good luck with your search for a new school!

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