FAQs From Parents


We are trying to decide whether to send our children to boarding school. Can you offer any advice?

Yes, if you are a subscriber you can read (for Good Schools Guide reviewed schools) our in-depth school reviews. In the "Help &  Advice" section, subscribers will find many articles on choosing a school including “Boarding At A UK School” and “What Price Boarding?” See www.goodschoolsguide.co.uk/help-and-advice/school-types/boarding-schools for all the latest features. 

In addition The Good Schools Guide Advice Services are uniquely placed to offer parents individual tailor-made advice from our senior and most experienced editors and education consultants who, between them have visited hundreds of schools. We can advise on schools at home and overseas and on university options. The Introductory Service for schools starts from £120 with the class Good Schools Guide Advice Services, which suits most families, starting from £735. Tel 0203 286 6824 or email gsgadvice@goodschoolsguide.co.uk 


One friend has recommended one school, another a completely different one. How do I decide?

School performance dataWhat a lovely position to be in - two friends each praising different schools. It is important you choose the right school for your child, ‘one man’s meat is another man’s poison...' You may decide both, one or neither, are appropriate. We recommend you read our section on ‘Choosing A School’ found in the 'Advice & Help' sections and take a look at the additional features we offer. These include:

  • Examine how well individual schools do - not just overall performance but for a child like yours - (English schools only). See individual school pages. NB There is no data available for English Prep Schools.
  • Use 'My Schools' to compare schools or see individual school pages for performance information (some of these features are only available to subscribers).
  • 'Compare Schools' and 'Six Of The Best' allow for direct comparison between schools, in a variety of ways. They help you answer questions such as: Which school is best at chemistry and economics? Which universities do pupils go on to? How many pupils from this school get top grade GCSEs?  How many go on to study PPE?
  • For English state schools we have performance data at KS2. We also show  value-added and indicate how good a school is for children of differing abilities.
  • If you are still undecided  why not consider enlisting the help of one of our education / school consultants at The Good Schools Guide Advice Service (GSGAS). The Introductory Service starts from just £120. 


We are going to move to a new area. Is it possible for me to find out where the best performing secondary schools (state and independent) are before we decide where to settle?

Compare schools by performanceUse the Find A School search or More Search Options to locate all secondary schools in your area. (You can search by postcode or by town name and within a radius 1 mile, 5 miles etc). Entering age 11-16 will find all schools that include those ages eg 11-18, 5-19 schools (but not eg 9-13 schools as these do not encompass all your age requirements). 

Each school’s pages (England) contains analysis of examination results and value added (where applicable - see above).  For some schools, we can even tell you if it is expanding or declining.

As well as contact details, the schools' pages contain links to:

  •  A school’s own website,
  • The school's response to our SEN Survey,
  • The Ofsted/ISI report plus a graphical analysis of their OFSTED report
  • Importantly, if it’s a school we have visited and reviewed (and you are a subscriber), you can read our detailed account of the school – warts and all!

Use GSG interactive to rank schools either by performance in school subjects or via the subjects they go on to study at university.

Subscribers can compare English schools' performance at KS2, GCSE and A level via the 'Compare Schools feature' in My Schools.  NB There is no data for independent prep schools as they are not obliged to publish any results 


Can I see which schools I am in catchment for?

Schools in my catchment area


Yes, use GSG Interactive on the home page. Simply enter your postcode and any additional information you wish to include. The maps will indicate the schools that you may be in catchment for. 

The individual school pages show where pupils in previous years have come from at any particular English state school. The hotter the dot the more pupils from a particular area. Catchment Area information is not available for Scottish, Welsh or Independent schools. 

Expect to pay a premium for a house within the School Catchment Areas of good or popular state schools.


Can The Good Schools Guide help me secure a place for my child in a particular school?

We cannot physically reserve a place in a school for you but we can certainly help with the process. On this website, we have extensive articles on choosing schools; including what to look for, what questions to ask when visiting schools and how to prepare your child for interviews. If you wish to receive expert, individual, tailor-made help/advice from our senior editors, schools and education consultants, we strongly recommend using The Good Schools Guide Advice Service.


I contacted you by email but didn't get a response.

We always reply to customer emails that we receive (as long as they are not abusive, spam or infected). If you have not received a response within 5 days, please do get back to us. Sadly we are not immune from emails going astray or being eaten by spam filters, for no apparent reason (though we do check spam on a daily basis). You can also phone us during office hours: +44 (0)203 286 6824


I need help finding suitable text books and revision guides - can you help?

Yes we have an online book store selling key text books, revision guides, past papers (for common entrance and common scholarship), study skills books and so much more. It is well worth an explore. 


Several articles are for subscribers only; how much does it cost to subscribe?

There are two levels of subscription:

  1. Introductory  £9.99 for one month.
  2. Annual Subscription for £39 which is the equivalent of just £3.25 per month.


What is the difference between registering and subscribing?

Registration is free, and necessary if you wish to post comments on the site, store schools in My School or receive our newsletter but registration does not enable you to see subscriber only content. Subscriptions giving full access to the site cost £9.99 for one month or £39 for one year (£3.25 per month).


I would like to post a comment on the site. How do I do that?

To post a comment you must:

  1. Be a registered user (free) or subscriber to The Good Schools Guide. 
  2. Once logged in, use 'Find A School' to locate the school of interest. On the school's page you will see a 'comments tab' with further information.  

It may be a day or so before the comment appears. All comments are viewed by a moderator before being posted. We welcome questions and contributions to our daily discussions and the community aspects of our site too. 


I posted a comment on your site but it hasn't been published, why not?

All comments are viewed by a moderator so it may be some time before a comment is published. We reserve the right not to publish comments.

The following are a few points that you might like to bear in mind, especially if you want your comment to escape our scissors.

Insult. We won't publish mere insult, particularly when it is directed at an individual. If you want to say something really tough about a school, see asked section on "fair comment" below.

Saccharine. Nor will we publish glutinous and unsubstantiated praise. Schools can do this for themselves.

Children. Please don't say anything which could lead to the identification of your children in the school that you are talking about.

Serious Allegations. This comment page is not the place for allegations that should involve the police. We will always be happy to help in such circumstances: please contact us at editor@goodschoolsguide.co.uk telephone +44 (0)203 286 6824 or otherwise as described under "contact us".

Fair Comment. You can expect a school to take a fair degree of commonplace criticism. You can call a school dilapidated, rowdy, ugly, evil smelling or anything similar without worrying that we might cut the comment for fear of offending the school (which it probably will). But if you want to say something which will hit the school hard, such as stories of bullying, unresolved bad teaching, bad management, drugs/alcohol or any of the other common vices, you will need to consider carefully what you want to say, so that it may be seen to be "fair comment".

There are three elements to fair comment. Firstly it must be fair. Secondly it must be comment. Thirdly it must concerned something that you can have personal knowledge.


Does this site use cookies? Why is it necessary?

We use cookies on this site for four purposes:

  1. to protect ourselves against automated raids on our data. For this reason, we only permit access to users who allow cookies
  2. to identify registered users, to make their logging-in easier and to maintain them as logged-in throughout their visit to our site
  3. to track visitors' use of our site so that we can better understand what use they make of it
  4. to keep track of visitors from partner sites so that we can know where our subscribers come from

We will not under any circumstance (unless required to do so by law) share cookie data with any other party. We will not under any circumstances use spy-ware or other intrusive programs.


Do you send personal information to other companies?

We will not (unless with your express permission, or as required to do so by law) reveal your data to anyone else, or share it, or sell it. 

My question is not listed here, who can I contact for help?

Please contact office@goodschoolsguide.co.uk  We always answer emails as speedily as possible; if you have not received a response within 5 days, please do get back to us (sooner for urgent enquiries). Sadly we are not immune from emails going astray or being eaten by spam filters, for no apparent reasons (though we do check spam). 

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