Picking the right school needn't be a hassle
We have built an incredible school selection tool. This takes the stress out of selecting the right school for your child by using your exact requirements to provide a list of the best options for you. This is then delivered to you on an easy to understand document with all options laid out, including entry requirements and individual advice tailored dependent on your needs. Have a look at our example School Selection Document to see what to expect from this service. This service costs £150 and takes between 1-3 days to complete.
For starters, why not read our 4 steps to school selection success to get some tips on how to make the whole process an enjoyable and positive one.
Or if you have a specific question that you'd like to put to one of our team, then Get in Contact and we'll schedule a free telephone consultation.
1. Involve your child
Wherever possible, involve your child from the very beginning of the school selection process. It is known that attainment at school is linked directly to student happiness and a sure-fire way of encouraging confidence and wellbeing at school is to let students be the authors of their own education.
Discussing options with students, gives them a voice and a choice in their future and encouraging debate over the benefits of each option is a great learning opportunity in itself. Depending on the student, this might be an easy topic of conversation or could require some teasing out. Have a look at our help sheet for some advice on talking to your child about their future. Also, we recommend reading this great Guardian article that offers advice to parents and children about to move schools.
To order a prospectus for the schools you are interested in applying to, use our database of all schools in the uk to send one email to all schools requesting a prospectus.
2. Put all options on the table
Have you considered every option? It is easy to miss the obvious option sometimes, and just because 'everyone is talking about how school x is the best school' doesn't mean that it's the best option. In fact, the pressure that is associated with this type of selection mentality does students no good whatsoever. It's better to have more options on the table at this point, and having up to 8 schools at this point is no bad thing.
After you have started discussing options with your child, it is time to open the net far and wide. Have you considered the local comprehensive? What about a grammar school that is closer to home? Now is the time to list your priorities in order from top to bottom (eg. music activities, friends, good science department, exam results, careers advice) and then match these priorities against each school. How does each school do? Try to cut your list down to 3 or 4 schools.
Do get in touch if you need any help with this decision making process.
If you need a little help with either of these aspects of selecting a school, use our school selection questionnaire which does the hard work for you.
3. Book into some Open Days
Put the prospectus to one side. Now you've got your reduced shortlist it's time to see how each school compares in real life. So much can be gained from having a snoop around your chosen school; from chatting informally to teachers and students; to seeing what kinds of building and resources they have: open days are often the make or break times for school selection. Sometimes the difference can be something that seems almost intangible, like the feel or the ethos of a place. Whatever it is and whatever your child is responding to with cautious excitement should be embraced. You've probably just found the right school!
4. find the route to entry
Now you've got your list in order from 1st pick don to 3rd or 4th pick its time to navigate admission. Though there are similarities in admission procedures for a lot of schools, it is worth digging into the website of each individual school as they will all have slightly different criteria and a slightly different entrance procedures and timetables.
Most involve assessments in Maths, English, Verbal and Non-Verbal reasoning, and almost all require students to attend a short interview with the headteacher. For more general advice about the 7+, 11+ and 13+ have a look at our pages devoted to these assessments.
Need help with something else? Get in contact with our School Selection team to get some free advice on how best to approach this exciting time.