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What makes The Good Schools Guide unique? Schools cannot pay to be included and have no influence over what we write. That’s why parents value our expertise and trust us to tell the truth.


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The Good Schools Guide 22nd edition

“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 is famous for unbiased and candid reviews of state and private schools. We have visited every single school in this book, from great names to local treasures. We interview head teachers and speak to staff, pupils and parents. We scrutinise academic performance, extra-curricular activities, pastoral care and much more. Result? Fearless, frank and eminently readable reviews that are trusted by families worldwide.

Product Description:

Over 1,200 in-depth reviews of leading private and state schools, for children aged 3-18, in the UK. These cover everything you want, and need, to know about a school and you won't find this level of independent, honest detail anywhere else. Reviews are written by parents, for parents, to help you find the best school for your child.

The Good Schools Guide’s unique take on:

☑ Academic and money matters 
☑ Head teacher profiles 
☑ Pastoral care, well-being and atmosphere
☑ Extra-curricular activities, games, the arts
☑ Entrance and exit information

Price: £60.00+p&p

Special offer: free one month subscription to our website (usual price £15) when you purchase the book. Subscription will activate on purchase.

Read the latest issue of Chalk & Chat magazine



One of the best things about writing for The Good Schools Guide is that schools are all so different. On one level, that might sound obvious, but it never ceases to amaze me how schools can approach the same thing in such dramatically opposing ways and yet all (potentially) get it right. Some schools, as we explore in our regular Head to Head feature, believe in setting children in as many subjects as possible; others opt for mixed ability all the way. Even headteachers themselves are increasingly unlikely to fit a mould – another topic we cover in this spring issue. Our article on some of Britain’s less conventional headteachers includes one who believes children should choose whether or not to go to lessons and another who teaches kids how to use a shotgun.

Further highlights of this new year edition include a look at alternatives to tutoring, the best educational apps and a guide to Dorchester and surrounding areas, including the very best schools in the vicinity.

As our regular readers already know, Chalk & Chat is about so much more than education. When we set up this magazine, the idea was to examine the ups and downs of everything parenting brings. Should parents pick their children’s friends for them? What’s it really like working for one of Britain’s most family friendly employers? These are just some of the topics you can read about in this edition along with our regular features on SEN, the latest books, travel and educational dilemmas.

We hope you’ll enjoy the insight, knowledge and customary wit that comes with every issue of Chalk & Chat. Please let us know what you think and do share your thoughts on social media too, using the hashtag #chalkandchat

Kate Hilpern
Chalk & Chat


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Popular articles

A level results day 2019 The lead-up to A level results can be an anxious time for teenagers and there’s not a great deal parents can do to help beforehand apart from being there and staying positive (while keeping everything crossed). Here’s our guide to what happens on the day and what to do if your child’s grades are lower or higher than expected.

GCSE results day 2019 After all that hard work, when can you expect to get your GCSE results and how can you make sure you’re fully prepared for the big day? Results day is Thursday 22 August. The GCSE exam boards release the results to schools and colleges, where you can collect them in person, usually from 10am. You can also sign up to receive your results by email. Although schools get the results the day before, 21 August, these are strictly for headteachers and exam officers.

Getting an educational psychologist assessment. If you feel that your child is not developing/learning as they should, and strategies put in place to help by your child’s teacher/SENCo/nursery worker are not making a difference, the next step may be an educational psychologist’s (EP’s) assessment.

Finding a state grammar school Counties such as Kent or Buckinghamshire are ‘selective authorities’ and most families will have at least one grammar school close to where they live. Elsewhere, for example in Reading or Kingston-on-Thames, there are just one or two grammar schools and competition for places at these is ferocious. 

Educating the gifted child.Gifted is one of a number of issues in education that cause the blood to stir. For some, 'gifted' is an elitist concept that beggars definition; others do not see what all the fuss is about because a gifted child will always do well, won't they? Gifted children develop cognitively at a much faster rate than they develop physically, emotionally and socially, posing some interesting problems.

Inspection reports from Ofsted. As with most reports, there’s a code to decipher and a few questions to ask. The local school gets a glowing report, yet you know half the population are banned from the shopping centre. Puzzling? So just what do inspection reports tell us and have they any value? The answers are lots, and yes, if you know how to read them.

State schools - the right one? State schools exist not only in a variety of forms, but with nuances between those.  Some areas continue to have a selective system at 11; others do not. Many secondary schools – and a few primary schools – are now academies.

The Good Schools Guide 22nd edition is out now, and for a limited time get a one month free subscription with any purchase of The Good Schools Guide 22nd, or The Good Schools Guide to London.