Questions parents can ask to help with their research in selecting a school

Does your child have a particular interest that you want the school to nurture such as:

  • music
  • sport
  • languages
  • vocational studies
  • academic studies
  • Does your child have specific learning needs?
  • Does the family have particular religious beliefs or educational philosophies?
  • Are out of hours school care and vacation care important?

Location

  • Is it important that the school is close to where you live or work?
  • What transport is available?

Check the locations on Our Schools page to see which schools are in your area

School Characteristics

  • Is it important that the school is single sex or co-educational?
  • Is the size of the school important?
  • Do you want a pre-school, a primary school, a secondary school, or a combined primary and secondary school?
  • Are boarding facilities important?
  • What is the school’s educational philosophy?
  • What are the school’s values?
  • What are the facilities?
  • What does the school offer that makes it unique?
  • What is the average class size?
  • What is the school’s disciplinary code?

Curriculum

  • Does the school have a comprehensive curriculum?
  • How does the curriculum meet the needs of your child?
  • How does the school challenge and extend students of all abilities?
  • Does the school have a homework policy?
  • What is the access to computer facilities?
  • What co-curricular activities are offered such as, sport, music and camps?
  • Are any of these activities compulsory?
  • Is there an additional charge for such activities?

Assessment

  • How your child will be assessed and how is assessment reported to parents?
  • How does the school measure its performance?

Pastoral Care

  • What structures are in place to ensure a caring and nurturing environment in the school?
  • How does the school provide support for students with specific learning, language and/or cultural needs?
  • What policies and procedures are in place to ensure the safety of students such as child protection and bullying?
  • How is career advice given?

Parental Involvement

  • How does the school communicate with parents?
  • What opportunities are there for parents to be involved with the school through a parents association or volunteering?

Cost

  • What fee levels are you prepared to pay?
  • What are the arrangements for paying fees?
  • Are there additional costs for text books, uniforms, excursions and extra-curricular activities?
  • Are scholarships or bursaries available?

School Visits

  • Ask for a copy of the school’s prospectus
  • Check the school’s website. Some have a ‘virtual tour’.
  • Make an appointment to take a tour during school hours to see how teachers and students interact.
  • Ask if the school is considering making any changes that may affect your decision, such as altering teaching methods or school philosophy, or going coeducational.
  • Involve your child. Attend together school activities such as drama performances or concerts, carols nights, art exhibitions etc.
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