How do you find out if a school is caring? I have the league tables and the Value Added and the prospectus' etc but if you have no access to other parents to talk to (and to be fair even if you know some you cant talk to them all) how do you find out of the pastoral care is good?
Try: Searching on here in advanced search using the school name and see what people have said previously about them.
Asking some specific questions of the schools you are looking at, eg: How does the school settle new children in? How do they identify when a child is struggling to settle or to get on socially and what tactics do they adopt when this happens? How do they organise seating plans, select children for group work/PE teams etc (ie to ensure all children are fairly included, non sporty types are not always picked for teams last)? What support is provided for children with SEN, how are they integrated etc? How do they address friendship issues? What warning signs do they look for to identify pastoral issues? How do they deal with bullying? How many children have been asked to leave/expelled because of bullying in last 2 years? How many children left the school in the last year and why did they go?
Run a mile from any school that claims that they do not have any bullying.