Skip to main content

Contact us 0800 368 7694 (UK) or +44 203 286 6824 or [email protected]

In order to meet the needs of increasing numbers of enquirers who are interested in the state sector only, The Good Schools Guide Education Consultants has a service with its own expert in state school education – Elizabeth Coatman. You can read about Elizabeth here. This service will advise and support parents who are committed to state sector education only.

What does the service consist of? 

All GSGEC services aim to be as flexible as possible to meet whatever educational needs parents and children have. In order to keep the fees as low as possible, the new State School Service offers parents a choice of one telephone consultation and three pre-agreed packages:

State School Advice Call

We offer two tiers of advice service telephone call with Elizabeth Coatman – our specialist state education expert.

  • Up to 45 minutes’ call with Elizabeth – fee £75.
  • Up to 60 minutes’ call with Elizabeth – fee £160, includes up to 2 hours’ preparation

45 minute call

This call could cover, eg:

  • basic questions about state education
  • weighing up state v independent schooling
  • admissions arrangements for state schools in general
  • how to go about researching schools

60 minute call

This call could cover, eg:

  • suggestions of areas/towns that would meet a client’s specifications, eg areas of London; within commuting distance of London; availability of grammar schools
  • discussion of up to 4 schools named by a client
  • schools with specific specialisms, eg IB, bilingual
  • detailed explanation of several issues related to state schools.

NB Neither of these services can make recommendations of specific schools.

We suggest that when booking this call with our administrator, clients should outline their concerns so that we can advise whether a 45 or 60 minutes’ call would be most helpful and to ensure that Elizabeth can be well-prepared in advance for the consultation. The price recommended will take into consideration the amount of research required beforehand.


Having spoken to Elizabeth, clients may well want to upgrade to one of our State School Service packages – see below. Upgrading will mean you would not be charged separately for the introductory phone call, which would now be included in the package.

State School Service Packages

All packages to include if required:

  • initial talk of up to 60 minutes with Elizabeth Coatman or assistant
  • research into likely schools
  • available places
  • catchment areas
  • admissions criteria
  • written report(s) by email
  • follow up talk

We offer two versions of the State Schools Service:

A) Outside London and B) London

A) Outside London

Our packages start from £225 which covers up to 4 hours’ consultation / research and advice on state secondaries OR primaries in one area. Our packages then increase in price depending on the complexity of the request and the number of hours involved.  

B) London

London State School Service 

Our packages start at £300 which covers up to 4 hours’ consultation / research and advice on state secondaries OR primaries in one local authority. This price of the package will increase depending on the complexity of the request and number of hours involved.

Further assistance

In exceptional cases, if the geographical area clients are considering is exceptionally large or has an exceptionally high number of possible schools, which makes research considerably more time-consuming than is normal, clients will be advised that additional hours charged at £40 per hour may be necessary. This will always be estimated – and clients alerted – before any fee is charged.

In order to make the most efficient use of the time allowed for each of our packages, our administrator, Shari Lord, will run through a brief questionnaire with each client before connecting them with the consultant. If clients want school options in and out of London they will be charged at London rates.

The consultant for The SSS is Elizabeth Coatman – The Good Schools Guide Education Consultants expert on all matters to do with state education. Elizabeth is supported by the entire team of consultants, in particular, our experts on school appeals.

NB This service is not likely to be able to help with enquiries about children with Special Educational Needs unless they are very straightforward.

NB2 This service only deals with state education. No questions regarding the independent sector will be dealt with under this service.

Contact us at: [email protected] or 0800 368 7694 (UK) or +44 203 286 6824 from overseas to speak to our administrator.

Your child – nothing matters more

Most popular Good Schools Guide articles

  • Choosing a school - thoughts for parents

    What do you want for your child? State school or fee-paying? Day or boarding school? Single sex or co-education? It helps to have a game plan, even if you change it at a later date. What do you want from the school? Undoubtedly you want to find a great school, one that's ideal for your child, with great teaching and possibly good facilities to match.

  • State boarding schools

    If you think your child would benefit from a boarding school education, but are put off by the high fees and consequent limited social mix of a typical independent boarding school, you may find that a state boarding school is the answer. Read more... State grammar schools 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. Grammar schools are located in 36…

  • Mix and match state and private education

    All those scary newspaper statistics about the long-term costs of keeping your child in nappies and birthday presents pale into insignificance when set beside the £250,000+ you’ll need to educate a child privately from nursery to university. But paying for a private education from finger painting to Freshers’ Week is not an option for most families. .

  • A guide to state schools

    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. Most secondary schools – and quite a few primary schools – are now academies. Plenty of these are part of large academy chains such as Harris Federation, E-Act or ARK. Other schools are free schools, set up by local groups, often with a faith designation. These are all state schools, funded by the government, but academies and free schools are not overseen by local authorities. Controversially, they are permitted to employ unqualified teachers,…

  • Catchment area cheat

    School catchment area frenzy is gripping the nation as anxious parents lie, cheat, and even change their religion to get their offspring into the right school. And as the cost of living continues to soar and many independent school fees remain out of reach for the majority, there’s no sign of the trend slowing down, with hordes of parents willing to do almost anything to get their children into the state school of their choice.

Subscribe for instant access to in-depth reviews:

30,000 Independent, state and special schools in our parent-friendly interactive directory
 Instant access to in-depth UK school reviews
 Honest, opinionated and fearless independent reviews of over 1,000 schools
 Independent tutor company reviews

Try before you buy - The Charter School Southwark

The Good Schools Guide subscription

GSG Blog >

The Good Schools Guide newsletter

The Good Schools Guide Newsletter

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

The Good Schools Guide manifesto for parents