Everything you thought you knew about schools (before you started looking)

In the past year I’ve learnt a lot about schools. This is in no small part to my son enrolling in the forthcoming year.

A scary prospect at the best of times, it can be a daunting process for parents, especially if you’re anything like me with limited knowledge of ‘what happens next’ in your child’s life.

Top Tips

So, here’s my top tips for parent: Go to see the schools, all of the schools. The ones parents recommend, and the ones they dont. The private ones and the close by ones. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt, it’s that your perceptions will 100% change once you’ve been shown around.

Before you look at schools, you’re like ‘I just want my son/daughter to have fun and be happy’, after looking, you’re like ‘Why doesn’t the school have enough structure!’ Before visiting schools, you think it’s important to go to the nearest for your lifestyle, after looking in the area, you realise you’ll walk 40,00 miles a morning if they get to hang out with nice kids!

Some schools have unruly classrooms, others are structured. Catholic schools seem to be exceptional, and schools near big football clubs are sometimes sponsored by them. Parents are pushy (or not) wherever you go, and the kids will smile whoever you are. That’s what I’ve taken from it anyway!

So here’s five things to ask on a tour:

  1. Do you have a breakfast club and after school club?
  2. Is this a voluntary aided school and if so what’s a typical contribution?
  3. What school trips do you take?
  4. What philosophy underpins the school?
  5. How many kids to a class?

How did it go for you? Share your thoughts here..

  • john adams

    Essential question: What teaching assistant support do teachers get? In some schools it’s been cut right back. Also need to think long and hard about a school if all the teachers / senior management team do is ramble on about league tables and the like. They clearly have no interest in the pastoral care of the kids.