Education News Unleashed

Choosing A School: How Do Teachers Pick One For Their Own Child?

As the head of Eleanor Palmer primary school in north London, I understand the importance of choosing the right school for your child. From my personal experience and observations, I can offer some advice to parents who are in the midst of this fundamental decision.

Firstly, I cannot stress enough the significance of visiting the school during the daytime. While open evenings can be helpful, they do not show the school running under its typical routine. It is crucial to see a school functioning normally to get a genuine sense of what it is like. Arrange appointments to visit with your child and look closely at what is happening around you. Take note of the atmosphere and the student and teacher relationships. Are the children engaged and learning? Do they seem happy and safe? What is your gut feeling about the place? I highly recommend going on a school tour during the day.

At Walker technology college in Newcastle, where Mike Collier is the head, we believe that parents need to look beyond exam results. Our objective is for our students to reach their full potential. Therefore, it is vital to look at the progress students are making as well as their achievements. Drill deeper into the data and learn about how far pupils are achieving their expected progress. The website, Ofsted reports, and data dashboard are all dependable sources to find this information.

As a vice-principal of Skinners Academy in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Matt Tompkins knows that a school’s ethos is crucial to consider when making a decision. Look beyond results and probe into the school’s culture. Attend open days and observe student behavior. How do they talk to their teachers and interact with one another? Look for signs of respect, warmth, and genuine relationships. A school’s ethos will be much more long-lasting than any head, teacher, or pupil will be.

Ian Donegan, the deputy head of Sacred Heart high school in Hammersmith, London, understands the influence of word of mouth. Still, he argues that it should not be the sole basis for making a decision. Rather, visit the school during an open session with your child and evaluate the school as a team. Scrutinize student interaction with their teachers and one another. Look for signs of enjoyment and pride. Do students seem proud of their school? Are they proud to wear its uniform? These details could be the making or breaking point of a school for your child.

In summary, all these experts agree that the best approach when choosing a school for your child is to do your research, visit during the day, and understand the school’s culture and ethos. Trust your instincts, look beyond exam results, and observe student behavior in their daily routine. These tips will help you make an informed decision and ensure that your child thrives in their academic environment.

As a parent of four children aged between seven and 14, I firmly believe that all parents should choose their local comprehensive school as the first option for their children’s education. However, it is essential to look beyond the media headlines and understand the school’s reputation. The school’s headteacher plays a crucial role in providing quality education to children; hence, it is essential to evaluate the headteacher’s approachability and genuineness. If the parents can trust the headteacher, they can rest assured that their children are in a good school.

Additionally, I place immense value on schools that offer the Duke of Edinburgh scheme. This prestigious scheme demands teachers to go the extra mile in providing an excellent education to their students. Schools that participate in this scheme showcase their belief in providing their students with holistic education. Therefore, as parents, we should consider this aspect of a school’s curriculum while making a decision for our children’s education.