Their Future In Your Hands
How do parents looking at private schools go about making a decision?
Making education choices can be a highly confusing and worrying process for the whole family, especially if there are huge school fees involved.
Sometimes relying on league tables doesn’t always work and it’s more about creating your own criteria, for example which school culture would you and your child prefer, homely, traditional, prestigious or informal?
This must be balanced with your budget, as fees vary enormously from school to school. Anywhere from £4,000 to £12,000 a year for a day preparatory school and up to £24,000 or more for boarding at a senior school, along with competition for places, means schools can be very selective.
You may want a school, but they may not choose you. Different types of schools will have different ideas about the types of pupil they are looking for and often head teachers know exactly what sort of child flourishes in the atmosphere and environment within their schools. Which is why a face-to-face interview is as important as any entry exam a child might sit. While some schools focus strongly on academics, others seek to develop different elements of a student’s make-up. Not all children are the same, which we know and accept, so we have to acknowledge that not all schools will suit all children.
The happiness of the child is the most important factor for both parents and school. Visiting the school, talking to pupils about how they feel, meeting senior staff and assessing the academic and extra-curricular life of the school all take time, but it is time well spent for every family.
Do your research well in advance. Finding the best school depends on understanding a child’s individual needs and remember it’s not just the schools you’re researching, but your child’s hopes, wishes and dreams too.