Contact us 0800 368 7694 or +44 203 286 6824 or [email protected]
Q: OK so I am going to contact you about possibly taking up your service. What info do you need from me?
A: We need:
- your contact details
- your child’s name and yours
- his/her/their date(s) of birth
- a brief outline of what concerns you eg if you want help finding a school whereabouts are you wanting to look? eg west London, the Midlands, within an hour of an airport etc.
- what matters most to you in terms of their education eg sports, a special educational need, good academics
Q: Who are the education consultants? What is their background?
A: Our education consultants are our most experienced writers. All are parents. Most have a professional background in education and/or a great range of educational and schools experience. You can see all our consultants by clicking on this link. Who We Are.
Q: How soon will it be before the consultant contacts me?
A: Your initial telephone call or email will be answered by our administrator. She will take basic details from you including credit card details. She then allocates to you the consultant best suited to help you and forwards your contact details to the consultant. Normally, you will hear from the consultant within minutes but always within 24 hours. Only when you and your consultant agree that the service will proceed do we deduct your fee from your card and we always notify you when this happens.
Q: I would like my husband/wife to take part in any conversation I have, is it possible to speak to an consultant during the evening or at a weekend?
A: All our consultants like to be as helpful and flexible as possible and we can always fit in with your timetable or take part in Skype or conference calls.
Q: Can I meet with the consultant?
A: Of course! This is usually possible and, depending on where you and your consultant are, our consultants are happy to travel to meet you subject to prior arrangement. Travel costs outside London will only be charged if a consultant needs to travel more than 30 minutes to meet you.
Q: Do the consultants only recommend independent schools?
A: Certainly not! In fact, if you are only interested in state schools that’s fine! We have a special state school service – see: State School Service
Q: Do the consultants only recommend schools in The Good Schools Guide?
A: No – although we do find that these are generally the ones people want. However, in some areas of the country or to meet specific requirements, we may well recommend you to consider schools that are not – or not yet – in The Guide.
Q: I want to buy/rent a house according to where good schools are; can you help?
A: Absolutely! This is something we do all the time. However, you do need to realise that if a school is heavily oversubscribed, even living next door won’t absolutely guarantee you a place.
Q: Are consultants able to recommend schools in different areas?
A: We have knowledgeable consultants all over the country and we can advise you on schools everywhere. However, with over 37,000 schools in the country, we cannot visit all schools. We try to visit all the good schools but we rely on you to tell us of any we miss. Our consultants can draw on the knowledge of the whole UK team as well as on the unique bank of data and other information amassed by The Good Schools Guide. So – yes, we can advise on good schools everywhere.
Q: Can The Good Schools Guide use its influence to get my child a place at a school?
A: We cannot make a school find an empty bed if they simply don’t have one. However, schools we know well and who trust us are sometimes happy to talk to us when parents have had a curt refusal. We can never guarantee to get a place for a child at a particular school. And neither – whatever they may say – can anyone else!
Q: Does The Good Schools Guide take commission from schools they recommend?
A: Absolutely not. And this is what makes us different from most ‘agents’ who have individual financial arrangements with schools. These people send their clients’ children to a small range of schools – not necessarily according to the clients’ requirements – and earn money from schools for doing it. Our advice is entirely independent and based only on what you tell us you want for your children.
Q: I think I will go for your Classic School Search. What can I expect for this?
A: Firstly, you will discuss what you want to find with your education consultant and you and she will decide how best to proceed and on what timetable. Each advice client is different and their needs are entirely individual so we never set an exact formula but, in general, the Classic School Search encompasses around seven and a half hours consultation and research. It is usually best suited to UK based families who are familiar with UK education. Your consultant has access to the unique Good Schools Guide resources – data, inside information and contacts – and can, if necessary, draw on the knowledge and expertise of the entire team. Occasionally, the work loads exceeds seven and a half hours (most consultants are pretty flexible on this). You will then be charged an additional £120 per hour but only after we have checked with you that you accept this.
Q: I’m not sure whether to be a Classic School Search client or a Premier School Consultancy client. My main problem is that I am being relocated with only a few weeks’ notice.
A: In cases like this, we do usually recommend that you become a Premier client. This means you will be allocated one of our most experienced consultants and that she will put aside other work to concentrate on assisting you. This is particularly important if your move is only a school term or less away.
Q: Is the fee per family or per child?
A: The fee is per family but it principally relates to the time it will take to help you effectively. Therefore, if you have two children and want them to go to the same school and neither of them have any particular needs, then the Classic School Search fee should cover all the work. If, however, you have five children, two with particular requirements, then the Classic will not cover all the time it will take to achieve what is needed. You will probably be advised either to opt for the Premier Service and maybe with additional hours to cover the extra work. However, in the vast majority of cases, no additional fee is charged after the initial fee. NB All fees are inclusive of VAT.
Q: How long, then, do I get for the Premier School Consultancy?
A: The Premier Service is entirely flexible. It aims to meet whatever your needs might be and it is staffed by our most experienced consultants. It covers up to two full days’ work – whether consultative, research, meetings, visiting, negotiating – on your behalf. Travel expenses are extra. Additional days are charged at £500 each; extra hours at £120. With sufficient notice, consultants can fly out to where you are, assess your children and so on, although this will usually be as part of our Global Advice Service.
Q: Does my consultant check whether my shortlisted schools actually have places available?
A: This is the kind of thing you and your consultant sort out between you. In general, schools prefer to hear from parents rather than consultants or agents but, if you want the consultant to enquire on your behalf, be sure to make that clear.
Q: What if I am not happy with the schools my consultant recommends?
A: This has scarcely ever happened but, if you are not happy, tell us. We take immense pride in giving our clients exactly what they want and our many thousands of happy clients – who often become our friends – are testament to this. However, we are always honest with our clients. If you are fixed on only one school or a few schools which your consultant knows will not find places for you, she will tell you!
Q: Can the consultant assess my child?
A: We offer this service to all our clients and it is a useful diagnostic tool for you and for us to help decide which schools to suggest or whether remedial or language work will be needed before a school place is likely. Tell our administrator if you want an assessment and read about our assessment here.
Q: What if I just want data and statistics?
A: The Good Schools Guide has the most comprehensive collection of educational data to be found anywhere in the UK. We can provide data on whatever you want, presented in any format to suit your needs. See our Data Service.
Q: Can I speak to someone about a particular school?
A: We will always try to find you an consultant who knows personally a particular school in which you are interested. If it is a school in The Good Schools Guide this should always be possible. However, with over 37,000 schools in the country, we can’t always find someone for every school. All our consultants visit schools regularly but they can’t visit all the schools. So we may find you an consultant who has recently visited some of the schools you are interested in but, possibly, not all.
Q Is what I tell my consultant confidential?
A: Your consultant will never disclose confidential matters unless there is a clear risk of harm to you or to a child in which case she is obliged to discuss breaking confidentiality with you.