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Article published 23rd March 2012

Academic achievement, proximity.... but forget religion.

A survey of parents by The Good Schools Guide has revealed that parents’ top criteria in choosing a school for their child is its academic performance, followed by how close the school is to their home.

But that's not all...

Also key to their decision making are less tangible criteria – the right “feeling” or a good “fit” – and parents emphasised the importance of impressions made when visiting.

Results of the Good Schools Guide Survey:

Rate the following school selection criteria in order of importance to you.

  1. Academic performance
  2. Proximity to home
  3. Quality of buildings and equipment
  4. Pastoral care
  5. Other parents and pupils
  6. Strong discipline
  7. Competitive sports
  8. Music
  9. Drama
  10. Co-ed
  11. Availability of scholarships and bursaries
  12. Special needs provision
  13. Religion
  14. Single sex (girl)
  15. Single sex (boy)
  16. Boarding school

98% of parents said academic performance was important or very important while 81% of parents said proximity was key in choosing a school.

Touchy-feely qualities parents were looking for included:

Whether the school feels right for my son when we visit it.

Is it a suitable fit for our child?  

At the end of the day the impression I got and feeling I felt about the school when visiting sealed my decision

The output - would I be happy with my children turning out like the current 6th form or with friends like the current 6th form.

Overall ethos of the school being inspirational  

The headmaster when he showed us around the school was really enthusiastic about the school and the children.

Welcoming, happy and professional atmosphere experienced during our visit to the school.

The Good Schools Guide survey of 489 parents was carried out the first week of March 2012 by educational publishers Galore Park.

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