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.
Despite all you’ve heard about competition for places at the secondary school you want for your child, it’s still a huge shock when your offer comes through for Unpopular Academy instead. Don’t despair - you have a legal right to appeal to any school named on your preference form. But it’s vital to have a back-up plan alongside going through the appeals process.
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 £150,000+ 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. .
The Good Schools Guide has been helping parents choose the right school for their children for more than 30 years. Here are our top tips and pitfalls to avoid on your secondary school application, which is due to land with your local authority by October 31st.
Other state school options
For a place at secondary school, you must apply through your local authority, even if it’s linked to your child’s current primary school. Normal secondary school admissions are at 11+ into year 7. Applications open on different days in each local council area - usually at the start of the autumn term of year 6, though for most grammar schools you will need to register for the entrance test during the summer term of year 5.
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