What Parents Look For When Choosing A School
Academic 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.
- Academic performance
- Proximity to home
- Quality of buildings and equipment
- Pastoral care
- Other parents and pupils
- Strong discipline
- Competitive sports
- Availability of scholarships and bursaries
- Special needs provision
- Single sex (girl)
- Single sex (boy)
- 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.
Online only - Exclusive to Subscribers** of The Good Schools Guide - 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.
Proximity to home
- 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 here data is available. We do not have data for schools outside of England.
For those new to the process of choosing a school:
For those visiting schools:
For those contemplating the admissions process:
The Good Schools Guide Advice Services Independent, impartial advice from our experienced consultants.
Tel 0203 286 6825
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
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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