How to select a primary school for your child.

(29 Posts)
Chattylovely Thu 10-Jul-14 17:54:45

1.Pray. Pray about your concerns. I believe so much in Prayer.

2.Your Child. Know your child and where he/she fits.

3.The school website. Learn more about your schools of choice.

4.Leavers Destination. Where do most of the year 6 children end up?

5.Ofsted. This is what a panel feels about the school, look at the areas for improvement section and see if you can work with it before it improves?

6.Visits. what a panel says should not be the only determinant, visit the school and have a feel yourself.

7.Talk to Parents. stand in front of the gate and talk to existing parents coming to pick their kids.

8.Meet the head. Speak to the head of school, are you free with her or him. Do you see you having a good relationship for a long time?

9.Go to state and Private. if you are considering both options, visit both and make your judgements.

10.Talk to friends. you may have friends with kids in school already, talk to them. They save you a lot of google search on information.

11.Dont join others. Mr or Mrs As child is in a private school should not be the reason you are sending your child to one.

From a parent that went through a lot making a decision.

redskybynight Thu 10-Jul-14 18:03:26

That sounds like a list for pushy London/South East schools. Lots of those are immaterial for lots of people.

The first thing and most important thing to do is to work out what schools you are likely to get into. In our case that reduced the list to one and a very rank outsider. Makes the "choice" much simpler (we had a choice of precisely 1 for juniors)

my2bundles Thu 10-Jul-14 18:07:17

Agree with above, also you cannot make a choice by looking at the future secondry where most go to after year 6. That school/schools could have changed several times over in the 7 years your child is in primary school. ofsted, pffttttt, and sure see if you like the head but keep in mind they might leave at some point.

Playfortoday Thu 10-Jul-14 18:14:41

My children go to fab school. Crap website though. Designed and used by the children themselves...

IAmAPaleontologist Thu 10-Jul-14 18:20:37

shit I didn't pray!

and my school doesn't have a website!

Did I do the wrong thing sending them to one of the best schools in the country where they ate happy and thriving?

How about you go visit the schools in your area you can realistically get to ams use your gut instincts.

tiggytape Thu 10-Jul-14 18:27:58

As redsky says, unless you are going private the process in cities especially is more likely to be:

1. Research which schools you qualify for based on address and sibling or faith priority.
2. Realise the answer is 1 school definitely and 1 school maybe (or in some parts of the country, realise the answer is 'absolutely no school whatsoever')
3. Decide whether you can live with the answer you got.
4. Decide you're happy with the school you qualify for or move.

hiccupgirl Thu 10-Jul-14 18:32:48

My selection criteria for DS starting this year was,

1. Which schools are he likely to get a place at from our address?
2. How did the school feel when looking round?
3. How will I get him to these schools and park on days I work?

Clearly forgot quite a lot of things then! Let's hope I made a good choice.

kimlo Thu 10-Jul-14 18:43:57

I just went around the local schools and fell in love with one. It doesnt have the best ofsted in the area and it doesnt get the best sats results, but a lot of that is down to factors they cant control. It does have lovely feel, everybody knows each other and its really small, and that was what suited dd1.

When I went for a show around the head teacher mentioned that they had never had a girl not get in to the local excellent catholic secondry school and I looked at her like this confused. She was 3, it had never crossed my mind to think about it, now shes in year 5 it seems more important.

My initial feeling that it was the right school for dd1 was right and shes done really well there.

IAmAPaleontologist Thu 10-Jul-14 19:07:40

Let's not forget the task of finding a school that will accept you AND a childminder with spaces who actually picks up from that school.

Would be lovely of it was as simple as visiting them all, talking to parents and signing up for your favorite wouldn't it.

BornToFolk Thu 10-Jul-14 19:14:22

It must be lovely to have a choice of school!

Pray? No.
Your child? Yes.
School website? Marginally interesting.
Leavers destination? Irrelevant, everyone goes to local catchment schools.
Ofsted? Useful when preparing for a visit.
Visits? Essential.
Talk to parents? Only if you are prepared to be reported for loitering near a school.
Meet the head? See visits.
Go to state and private? Ha ha.
Talk to friends? Only if they live in your catchment area.
Don't join others? Fair point.

Pray? No.
Your child? Yes.
School website? Marginally interesting.
Leavers destination? Irrelevant, everyone goes to local catchment schools.
Ofsted? Useful when preparing for a visit.
Visits? Essential.
Talk to parents? Only if you are prepared to be reported for loitering near a school.
Meet the head? See visits.
Go to state and private? Ha ha.
Talk to friends? Only if they live in your catchment area.
Don't join others? Fair point.

Pray? No.
Your child? Yes.
School website? Marginally interesting.
Leavers destination? Irrelevant, everyone goes to local catchment schools.
Ofsted? Useful when preparing for a visit.
Visits? Essential.
Talk to parents? Only if you are prepared to be reported for loitering near a school.
Meet the head? See visits.
Go to state and private? Ha ha.
Talk to friends? Only if they live in your catchment area.
Don't join others? Fair point.

TheFirstOfHerName Thu 10-Jul-14 20:42:05

*1. Research which schools you qualify for based on address and sibling or faith priority.
2. Realise the answer is 1 school*

^^Yes, this! We were very fortunate in that there were two schools where DS1 met the admissions criteria. We visited both and then chose the one we liked more.

JabberJabberJay Thu 10-Jul-14 20:56:16

In the state sector you do not 'select' a school for your child. You simply express your preferences.

And has has been pointed out above, many parents realistically have limited options.

My DC1 ended up with no local Reception place last year. All 4 of our choices (which, incidentally were our 4 closest schools) were filled with children further up the admissions criteria than us. DC now attends a state primary 5 miles away.

'Selecting' a school? Ha ha, good one OP.

bucketofbathtoys Thu 10-Jul-14 22:06:07

Tiggy - very accurate grin We managed to qualify for 1 definite option which was our second favourite and 1 hopeful option which was first preference. We won the lottery but are surrounded by people who didn't. We are not in London.

Madcatgirl Thu 10-Jul-14 22:07:04

Where I am it goes like this. Put down six closest schools and hope you get one.

ReallyTired Fri 11-Jul-14 14:06:16

Madcatgirl ditto except we only put down 4 schools.

Chattylovely Sun 01-Mar-15 07:17:28

Thanks all for your contribution. The list composed is what I personally went through and can assist others who were in my position. I didn't get the private my heart so desired but got a good state which I am still assessing. So far, DS is happy there I am happy too but I wouldn't say 100percent......yet.

Dimplesandall Sun 01-Mar-15 12:09:42

All true except:

1) God no grin
2) surprisingly better fit for dc than we could ever have known

Dimplesandall Sun 01-Mar-15 12:12:19

And imho, no such thing as 100% fit. Kids change, heads/teachers leave, life changes... As for private b state? We turned down a private as got dc into one of the best states in the country. So not a simple choice, dependent on actual school involved.

NynaevesSister Sun 01-Mar-15 14:32:07

When we were at the playground if I saw children in the uniform of the school we wanted I very politely asked the parent what they thought of the school. Was very helpful in deciding which to put down as first choice - we were lucky that they put on a bulge year so had a choice of two local schools.

Chattylovely Sun 01-Mar-15 14:47:11

@ Dimples, I would have felt better for a start if he got into the prv schools I wanted. Glad he got where he is now as I can see a lot of improvement I just don't feel it's enough.
@ Nynae.. that's a good idea.

Notcontent Mon 02-Mar-15 11:50:59

I hate it when people go on about choice...

The sad thing is that most people don't get a proper choice when it comes to schools.

I am in London. There is a massive shortage of school places. Where I live there are very few private schools and you have to have your child's name on the waiting list from birth. My dd's school is good - but I was just lucky I got a place there and not at one of the other two local schools which are less than good. I don't think dd's school is perfect for her but there is nothing I can do about it.

Undecidedhousemove Tue 03-Mar-15 11:37:32

Agree, choice often false or depends on ability to exercise it. We go state but drive past 3 schools before we get to dds. This costs us £1,000s on petrol/extra childcare but worth it, we feel, for such a great school. And probably half the cost of a private school.

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