What parents look for when choosing a school
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.
- Academic performance
- Proximity to home
- Quality of buildings and equipment
- Pastoral care
- Other parents and pupils
- Strong discipline
- Competitive sports
- Availability of scholarships and bursaries
- Special needs provision
- Single sex (girl)
- Single sex (boy)
- 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.
The headmaster/mistress runs the school but boarding houses are usually the domain of either houseparents or, in smaller schools, the head of boarding. Whilst the housemaster/mistress oversee the house, the day-to-day running is usually under the supervision of a matron. (Article published 5th May 2008)
Each school as unique as your child? Give a great deal of thought to what sort of character you want your child to turn out to be. Do not be taken in by charming heads or their marketing genies entertaining you with Power-Point presentations and handing out videos (always taken on sunny days and always displaying the best of everything). (Article published 14th May 2008)
It's not just the financial outlay... Most people are aware that, for the vast majority of boarding schools hefty fees and extras are a given, but what about the hidden costs? The social, the emotional? (Article published 14th May 2008)
Admission to state boarding schools is open to British citizens, EU passport holders and anyone with right of residence in The UK. State boarding schools do not have the same freedom that independent schools enjoy. They must adhere to codes of practice such as those laid down for Special Educational Needs (SEN) and for admissions.
Identifying and locating grammar schools. Grammar schools are located in 36 English local authorities. Almost half of these are considered 'selective authorities' (eg Kent and Buckinghamshire), where around one in five local children are selected for grammar school entry based on ability. The others are areas such as Barnet or Kingston, with only a few grammar schools.
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