A Level Results Day 2018
It’s that nail-biting time of year again, with A level results due out in less than a week. But does August have to be so stressful? The University and College Union (UCU) says an ‘urgent overhaul’ of our university application process - so that students apply to university on the basis of their actual, not predicted, exam results - would make things much simpler and fairer for everyone. It would also bring us into line with the rest of the world.
COMMENTS | AUGUST 2018
GCSE Results Day 2018
Performance at GCSE is the key that unlocks entry to A level, BTec and university courses. Most sixth forms and FE colleges will have indicated the GCSE grades a student must obtain to study a particular subject at A level – it’s usually grade 4 (C) or above, but sometimes a higher grade will be stipulated. Whatever subject(s) you want to study..
COMMENTS | AUGUST 2018
Taking the Next Step: University, Disability and Special Needs
If your son or daughter has special needs or a disability (SEND), taking the next step to university can seem daunting. But, says Bernadette John, universities welcome these applications and have well-established means of easing the path.
COMMENTS | JUNE 2018
Straighten your tie
Do school uniforms really benefit children’s learning? Far from it, claim schools that are ditching uniforms altogether. Kate Hilpern reports.‘Tuck that shirt in!’ ‘That’s a detention for forgetting your tie again!’ Reprimands like this will probably sound as familiar to your offspring as it did back in your own school days.
COMMENTS | MAY 2018
How to: Get the best out of your head teacher
Good schools try to foster lasting relationships with parents, working in partnership with them. So how can you develop the best relationship with your head? Guy Canning, who has been a head teacher himself, provides the lowdown...
COMMENTS | APRIL 2018
Prep girls not equal to the beautiful game?
One of the reasons parents choose a prep over a state primary - glossy school brochures show gazelle like girls mid leap to grab a netball, flushed boys in joyful athletic tackle. You’re purchasing an almost daily focus on games, with top class coaching, weekly fixtures and match teas; the chance to learn all about comradery, winning and losing on a chilly pitch..
COMMENTS | MARCH 2018
I have two children. My son, 12, is studious, serious and academic, but also sporty and likes performing. He has just started at an independent school and loves it. My daughter, 10, is bright but scatty, lives for her social life and manages her school work on the wing – with highly variable results.
COMMENTS | FEBRUARY 2018
How to: make sure you're not ripped off by tutors
There’s a reason new tutor firms have sprung up like wildfire, and – spoiler alert – they may not all be driven by idealism. Sure, some people (and in our biased view, very often the best) who go into tutoring either had a rocky ride with the school system themselves (it’s surprising how many are dyslexic) or are natural teachers..
COMMENTS | JANUARY 2018
Parents and social media: Is it always good to share?
We all know someone who has embraced social media a bit too enthusiastically. Most of us politely press ‘like’ and move on, but who hasn’t occasionally wished for a button that expressed ‘enough already’, ‘too much information’ or, ‘your children really won’t thank you embarrassing them like this’? Janita Clamp for one.
COMMENTS | DECEMBER 2017
What’s it all about and do our children really need lessons in it? Janita Clamp investigates. I have seen mindfulness and it is mainly blue. Type ‘mindfulness’ into the Amazon book section and 21,000 titles come up (although by the time you read this it’ll probably be closer to 30,000). Almost every one has a blue cover..
COMMENTS | NOVEMBER 2017
‘Mum, the removal van is here again!’
Emma Lee-Potter has moved house 12 times in 25 years. She explores the effect that moving can have on children. I have a serious moving house habit. It dates back to my childhood, when my father was in the RAF and we moved houses (and sometimes countries) every year. It meant that I was always the new girl at school..
COMMENTS | OCTOBER 2017
Question: Our son is bright and sporty and we would like him to go to the local comprehensive. But he may not get in as it's over-subscribed and we live near, but maybe not near enough. The other local school is poor. We could try for the local independents but we would need help with the fees, for example, a scholarship.
COMMENTS | SEPTEMBER 2017
As others see us
More than 600,000 children will start primary school this week. Nothing unusual in that. Yet, when one particular little boy - his name's George - will start school, the event will be front page news all over the world. How do we know this? Last week, the people who follow such things woke up to fact that 4 year old Prince George was about to set his first polished..
COMMENTS | AUGUST 2017
A guide to children and young people's mental health – the role of education
The House of Commons Education and Health Committees report, Children and young people’s mental health — the role of education, released on 2 May 2017, is a mixed bag. The authors state: "The decision to hold an early election has meant that we have been unable to go into the depth that we would have liked in this report."
COMMENTS | MAY 2017
Scholarships and Bursaries: We've come a long, long way....
In only four years, The Good Schools Guide has transformed the approach of both schools and parents in relation to Scholarships and Bursaries. When we began, parents had no way of knowing what kind of fee assistance might be available at any individual school - or from the sector in general.
COMMENTS | FEBRUARY 2017
Hail to the Halle
One of the UK's top orchestras has announced a truly brilliant initiative. It is a genuinely liberal, educationally pioneering, project which could do more for social mobility and the spreading of happiness than any number of grammar schools. The Halle wants to open an all-through school in Stoke-on-Trent in 2020.
COMMENTS | FEBRUARY 2017
For 'Grammar Schools' read 'Fee-Paying Schools'
One criticism of grammar schools is that they take a disproportionate number of children from privileged backgrounds. A far smaller number of grammar school pupils receive the pupil premium than pupils in comprehensive schools. Whatever the reasons for this, we now learn that grammar schools are expecting to ask parents for "donations"..
COMMENTS | JANUARY 2017
The end of free education?
We’ve got used to the school newsletter imploring cash contributions: The requests for donations for various school projects; the pleas to buy something undesirable where profits will go to the school; the ever more frequent non-uniform days with their £2 levy. But last weekend’s had whole new tone.
COMMENTS | NOVEMBER 2016
Grammar schools are they really what’s needed?
It’s hard to believe that a politician “accidentally” left details about grammar school proposals on view to a long lens. But it’s about time we had an honest debate about the privileged snapping up the best school places at all types of schools. Yes, the sharp-elbowed middle class is disproportionately represented at grammar schools..
COMMENTS | SEPTEMBER 2016
Some special needs are easy to spot, others are only determined once a child has experienced considerable difficulties, frustrations or social and emotional problems.
Over the years, diagnosis of and provision for SEN have improved, but both can still be a minefield.
Identifying different kinds of special educational needs
Few children fit a condition perfectly – if they do, we tend to say they are a ‘classic’ case. Most will not be straightforward: perhaps a dyslexic with dyspraxia and a touch of ADD, or a child with ASD who also has Down’s syndrome.
Just as special needs are hard to…
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There are currently around 164 state funded grammar schools located in 36 English local authorities, with around 167,000 pupils between them. There are a further 69 grammar schools in Northern Ireland, but none in Wales or Scotland. 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.
How to find a state grammar school
Word of warning: not all selective grammar schools have 'grammar' in their…
As proud parents, we all know our children are unique. They're smarter than anyone else's, funnier, certainly more attractive, better behaved and above all bursting with the kind of talent that would leave Daniel Radcliffe, Jamie Bell and Charlotte Church standing. And for some extraordinary - though totally understandable - reason, everyone but us seems blind to our offspring's God-given artistic gifts.
The Good Schools Guide Education Consultants advise parents on everything to do with children and their education
Our service is a personal one-to-one service. You tell us what you want and we tell you how we can help. And then we do! Our education consultants are our most experienced writers. They have visited countless schools. All are parents. You will have your own personal advisor who has the benefit of the combined experience and expertise of the entire team to draw on. All our consultants work as hard for the children of their clients as they do for their own.…