At this time of the year when there are so much fabulous new energy doing rounds, it’s tempting to want to harness that energy and change the direction of our lives towards better, more successful living. Those considerations are also more relevant these days to the kind of schools that we’re considering for our young people, and thankfully in the United Kingdom, we’re blessed with a school system that allows for just about all interests, talents, learning levels and more.
Now, when it comes to choosing the right school for your young people, we know that it is probably going to be one of the singular most important decisions that you’re going to make. More than ever, early childhood learning and development has been earmarked as one of the biggest deciding factors in how your children will be able to absorb more advanced learning, later on, so it’s worth thinking about and thinking about thoroughly. Preparing for school is exciting and challenging all at the same time, but never fear, we’re here to help.
Before you even start the search for your child or children, first establish what your ‘catchment’ area is, that is the area under which your address falls and will determine which schools and facilities are available to you. At least, that’s if you intend on sending your children to a government school, if you’re intending on sending them to a public school well then you have whatever choices you’d like. Whatever you do, don’t be a catchment area cheat, this isn’t fair and only increases strain on schools.
Once you know the schools that are available in your area, you can start examining their performance tables, facilities that offer sporting and other extracurricular activities. If you have a child with special needs, then this needs to be taken into account as well.
Equally, if you have gifted children that require specific learning and development, then discuss this with your local school council too.
Grammar schools, independent schools, public schools, religious-based schools and homeschooling all offer unique attributes which may be perfect for your child or not, so it is important to get as much groundwork done before it’s admissions time.
It’s important to remember that in the United Kingdom, standards between schools can differ quite a lot and while we all want the very best for our children, forking out potentially thousands of pounds a year for a public school may not be feasible, or in some cases – even necessary. This is where speaking with an education advisor that can perform the right assessments on your children to determine their learning level and establish any special needs can be very useful indeed.
Remember that while these formative years are important, they don’t have to be set in stone and if your child is enrolled in a school or facility that isn’t working for them, the time to make that change is earlier, not later. As always, seeking the right advice from your local council, schools trust and friends will help you make a quality and informed decision.
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