One of the most difficult stages of parenting is finding the best school possible for your child. It is a decision that will greatly impact their well-being, skillset, and future employability, so it is not to be taken lightly.
While there are a number of personal factors to be taken into account, this daunting process can be made easier with five easy-to-implement tips (and a bonus tip) to help narrow your search:
How much independence does it give your child?
While this is not often a factor thought about by parents, the well-being and future success of your child’s career depends largely on their ability to handle independence.
It is not an easy realisation to make. After all, your maternal instincts will do everything in their power to protect your child from harm and keep them close.
Sadly, overly cosseting parenting can have a negative effect on your offspring.
Instead, opting for a high-quality boarding school can increase your child’s independence and teach them valuable life lessons along the way.
Aim for diversity
It is also imperative that you look for a school boasting healthy levels of diversity. This is because your child will benefit greatly from being around teachers and fellow pupils from a variety of different backgrounds. It will prevent them from developing a narrow or warped worldview and stave off an unwanted entitlement complex.
On a more light-hearted note, diversity is interesting. It will keep your child stimulated and having fun as they learn about different walks of life.
High average grades do not equal better teaching standards
A controversial statistic of any school is their average grades. Headteachers will often boast about a high average as if this is the only measure of quality, rounded education. Sadly, it is not. While high average grades do suggest the overall level of teaching is high, these results can be obsessed over for the betterment of the school rather than the pupils. Get to know the teaching staff, the curriculum, and the general atmosphere instead.
If the children don’t look happy, or the curriculum is skewed towards grades rather than valuable teaching, then the school may not be the best fit for your child. While top grades are of course, important, it doesn’t necessarily equate to a rounded intelligence or skill set.
Look for a wide range of school clubs and societies
One way of choosing between schools is the quality of their societies and clubs. If your child is sporty and there isn’t a large physical education department, the school likely isn’t the right fit for your child, no matter how high the grades. Indeed, you can often tell a lot about a school’s merits or problems from the state of its after-school clubs, societies, or social groups.
Does the school undergo frequent quality reviews?
It is imperative for you to learn whether the schools that you have enlisted undergo frequent quality reviews. Ideally, they should be seeking guidance from educational consulting providers to bring about improvements in their academic programs. To stay ahead of the curve, schools should not have the same curriculum for more than 10 years. Times change, the world evolves, and therefore academic curricula should also change so that the students can be in sync with current affairs. Reviewing all school practices at regular intervals and replacing outdated ones with more relevant approaches can ensure that the educational institution remains responsive to the needs of the present time. Schools that opt for timely quality reviews enhance their educational offerings and provide students with the necessary skills and knowledge to shape their future. As a parent, it is, therefore, your responsibility to ascertain whether the chosen schools ever engage in this practice.
Bonus tip: Are they happy there?
Perhaps the most crucial question of all. If your child is miserable at a particular school, they are unlikely to perform at their best level or enjoy a rounded, enjoyable childhood.
While no pupil loves school, there’s a clear difference between this and a bad relationship with a teacher, an inadequate support network, or consistent bullying.
Take your child along to the open days and make sure they get a good feel for the school before enrolling there.