Skip to main content

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

Hot off the press

The latest London North and London South guides from The Good Schools Guide are hot off the press. Providing essential reading for any parent with school-age children, these London editions of the UK’s only independent guide to schools contain detailed and candid reviews of leading schools, as well as vital information such as school fees, information about state schools in each borough and maps pinpointing the location of each listing.

The Good Schools Guide books



GSG Blog >    In the news >

The Good Schools Guide newsletter

The Good Schools Guide Newsletter

Educational insight in your inbox. Sign up for our popular newsletters.

Now the school and university years are over


Popular articles

Primary schools – top tips when applying. January 15th is the date for parents to submit their state primary school applications to the local authority. A great deal of agonising and soul-searching has been taking place in households across England in the run-up to the deadline but what exactly is the best way to select which schools to put down and how can you avoid the pitfalls which hinder families every year?

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. 

School fees, financial assistance, scholarships and bursaries Most private schools offer financial assistance in the forms of scholarships or bursaries for pupils who are either very able or can demonstrate the need for monetary support. I would like a private school education for my child but can’t afford it!

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.

For a limited time get one month's Good Schools Guide subscription free with any purchase of The Good Schools Guide London North and London South