Selecting a School: Priorities and Goals

The start of a new year is a time when we often reassess our priorities and goals. However for families with children who will be starting school this year the priorities and goals foremost in their minds may focus upon selecting the right school. The deadline for applications is 15th January and parents/carers need to apply for at least 3 schools and they must order these by preference.
Families may have already visited several schools that they are interested in and have a good idea of their choices. The latest OFSTED report will be available online and can also help in the decision making process. 
However here is our top 10 list of considerations:

  1. Location: how far is it away from where you live?
  2. Travelling: how will you travel to and from the school?
  3. Welcoming: Does the school feel welcoming? Is there an open door policy?
  4. Class sizes and staff ratios: It is useful to make comparisons between schools.
  5. Transition arrangements: Does the school have procedures in place that will ease your child into school?
  6. Morning and after school care: Are there breakfast clubs and after school clubs available? These can prove invaluable for working parents.
  7. Policies: Has the school got policies in place covering issues such as bullying and inclusion?
  8. Parent views: Are there parent surveys available to read? If not ask around, parents can have a unique perspective.
  9. Atmosphere: If you visited the school did you feel it was a happy, relaxed, busy environment?
  10. Vision and Values: Above all remember that education is a partnership between schools and families so does the school feel like a good fit with your family?