How to find the right school
Perhaps one of the most emotionally taxing parts of finding a new school is being sure you’ve chosen the one that will meet all your child’s learning, personal, social, and developmental needs.
While it’s a challenging process for local parents, it’s no surprise that attempting to do this while still in your home country is even more difficult.
At William Clarence, it’s our mission to work alongside you and your child to find them a school placement that will ensure they excel in their UK education. As a starting point, our education services experts have outlined some helpful step-by-step advice below:
1. Consider your location
Choosing a school for your child will largely come down to where you will be living upon your arrival to the UK, as well as your own working circumstances. Are you able to take your child to school in the morning? If so, you’ll want to consider schools on your commuter route. If your working hours make this impossible, however, you might want to consider looking at a school within safe and easy walking or cycling distance for your child. Alternatively, you could look into whether there are direct transport links to the school, such as a bus arranged by the school itself, or easy public transport links.
2. Research schools in your chosen area
Once you have considered your location, you’ll be able to narrow down your school search to a smaller number. This is where school websites will come in handy, offering you a first impression of the school, as well as being a window into daily life at their establishment. On these websites, ensure you can find the following:
Inspection reports, such as Ofsted and the ISC
The school syllabus and education services they supply
Policies - behaviour, anti-bullying, inclusion, SEN, pupil premium, etc
Whether they have space available for your child
Our team of experts here at William Clarence will also be able to look into this with you.
3. Arrange to visit the schools you’ve chosen
Once you’ve had a look through the school websites and decided on the ones you like, it’s time to arrange some visits when you are in the country. Many schools will have designated open days throughout the year; however, they should also be open to individual visits.
The schools that are most accommodating to you in the process of arranging a visit will be the ones to escalate to the top of your list.
4. When you visit the schools, ask yourself the following questions:
- What are your first impressions of the school? Are the staff welcoming and helpful? Does it seem to be a nice place to learn at first glance?
- Do the pupils in lessons seem happy and engaged?
- Is the school clean and tidy?
- Do they have a healthy dinner menu/range of food options?
- Are their facilities and equipment of a good standard?
- Do they offer a good variety of extra-curricular activities?
- Does the school supply the education services your child needs to thrive?
Most importantly, watch for your child’s reactions as you tour the school, and ask them how they feel about it during and after the visit - they’ll be the one studying there, after all!
5. Review yours and your child’s thoughts on the schools you’ve seen, and make your decision with the help of William Clarence specialists
In fact, our team will be with you at every step of your application process; from helping you to find schools in your prefered location and arranging school tours, all the way to helping your child prepare for the entrance process, whether that’s an interview or an exam. To learn more about this and our personalised, child-centric school placement service, get in touch with our team today.