What parents look for when choosing a school

Choosing a schoolAcademic achievement, proximity.... but forget religion.

A survey of parents by The Good Schools Guide has revealed that parents’ top criteria in choosing a school for their child is its academic performance, followed by how close the school is to their home.

But that's not all...

Also key to their decision making are less tangible criteria – the right “feeling” or a good “fit” – and parents emphasised the importance of impressions made when visiting.

 

Results of the Good Schools Guide Survey:

Rate the following school selection criteria in order of importance to you.

  1. Academic performance
  2. Proximity to home
  3. Quality of buildings and equipment
  4. Pastoral care
  5. Other parents and pupils
  6. Strong discipline
  7. Competitive sports
  8. Music
  9. Drama
  10. Co-ed
  11. Availability of scholarships and bursaries
  12. Special needs provision
  13. Religion
  14. Single sex (girl)
  15. Single sex (boy)
  16. Boarding school

98% of parents said academic performance was important or very important while 81% of parents said proximity was key in choosing a school.

 

Touchy-feely qualities parents were looking for included:

Whether the school feels right for my son when we visit it.

Is it a suitable fit for our child?  

At the end of the day the impression I got and feeling I felt about the school when visiting sealed my decision

The output - would I be happy with my children turning out like the current 6th form or with friends like the current 6th form.

Overall ethos of the school being inspirational  

The headmaster when he showed us around the school was really enthusiastic about the school and the children.

Welcoming, happy and professional atmosphere experienced during our visit to the school.

The Good Schools Guide survey of 489 parents was carried out the first week of March 2012 by educational publishers Galore Park.

 

Subscribe to the Good Schools Guide for just £3.25* a month when purchased as an annual subscription.  A one month introductory subscription costs just £9.99

Subscribers will find detailed exam results and performance information on individual school pages. Visit these 'free to view' schools. Explore results - read our independent reviews*

Invicta Grammar School, Maidstone is a state school for girls aged from 11 to 18, co-ed sixth form

Rokeby School, Kingston upon Thames is an independent school for boys aged from 4 to 13

The Queen's Church of England Primary School, Richmond is a state school for boys and girls aged from 4 to 11.

Swiss Cottage School Development & Research Centre, London is a state special school for boys and girls aged from 2 to 19

Subscribers** to The Good Schools guide can examine:

  • School performance data* for KS2, GCSE and A-level
  • Value-added data* .Does the school make a difference to all pupils or just some?
  • University information*. Details of which universities pupils go on to and what they study.
  • And, for English state schools, make sure you make the right move by examining catchment area data and seeing which schools pupils come from and which schools they move on to. 

*We indicate on a school's page where data is available. We do not have data for schools outside of England.

** An introductory one month subscription costs just £9.99 or subscribe for a whole year for just £39 - the equivalent of only £3.25 per month.


 

Read More

 

For those new to the process of choosing a school:

From Embryo To Eighteen - How To Survive The Education Highway

Mix and Match State and Private Education

Choosing A School - Thoughts For Parents

Sussing Out Independents School and Horses For Courses

Choosing A School For A Talented Child

Inspection Reports From Ofsted And Others

 

For those visiting schools:

School Open Evenings

Questions To Ask Staff When Visiting A School

Questions To Ask When Visiting A School - Academic Matters

Questions To Ask When Visiting A School - Financial Factors

Questions To Ask  When Visiting A School - Beyond the Classroom

Visiting A School - Questions For Pupils

 

For those contemplating the admissions process:

State School Admissions - How To Secure A Place

Independent School Admissions - Insider Information On Getting In!

Independent School Admissions - It's Not Just Ability To Pay 

SEN Admission To Independent School

 


 

For all:

The Good Schools Guide Advice Services Independent, impartial advice from our experienced consultants. 

Tel 0203 286 6825

email: gsgdvice@goodschoolsguide.co.uk

 


GSG 19th Edition book cover

 

 

The Good Schools Guide 19th edition is out now available from our bookshop.

Authoritative, sought-after, truthful...

"It is highly opinionated: the only guide that offers parents a genuine flavour of what a school is like." The Daily Telegraph

Click here to buy online...

The Good Schools Guide on heads:

…he turned his back on officer training and worked in a cheese factory after graduation. His patience with other cheese-makers indicated that he might make a good teacher, so he enrolled on a PGCE course at Hull…




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