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Choosing a school.

(13 Posts)
schoolsuk Tue 13-Nov-12 15:18:59

In my opinion, the best way to choose a school is to check out the league tables. Obviously, a school which features in the top 5 has got to be better than a school which features in the bottom 5. Google 'school league tables/ performance tables'.

exoticfruits Tue 13-Nov-12 19:22:05

You can if you like-I wouldn't!
It makes the school laugh sometimes-I know ones who have a really good year and come top so that parents want a place-the school knows perfectly well that they next year are nothing like!
They can be an excellent school but if they have lots of special needs they can be well down the league table. They can be dreadful on many counts and be top.
Nothing beats a visit on a normal, working day.
Only use the league table as a very rough guide-the same as the Ofsted.
I would abolish league tables-they are responsible for a lot of ills in education. (I have boosted for SATs and I know!)

BooksandaCuppa Tue 13-Nov-12 19:48:46

And you would end up never choosing a small school, because their results (if smaller than 12 per cohort in a primary) are not allowed to appear in the league tables.

Around here we have many such schools which don't appear in the league tables. They are more highly sought after than the larger ones, though, usually.

DitaVonCheese Wed 14-Nov-12 10:42:18

I know this is in primary schools but my secondary school was all about exam results. So they spoonfed us our education and taught us how to pass exams. Extra-curricular stuff was considered completely unimportant. We all had great results, none of us were independent thinkers. Crap school imo!

redskyatnight Wed 14-Nov-12 10:47:26

Absolutely. I'm sure the quality of the school is precisely why the primary school in leafy suburb where the children all have professional middle class educated parents and lots are tutored have much better results than DS's school with a high proportion of children on FSM and with SEN. hmm

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Wed 14-Nov-12 11:25:39

Go and have a look, a chat and see how you feel. Ofsted is a rough guide to say boxes are ticked and forms completed. Doesn't necessarily mean an outstanding school is the right school for your child, although clearly it might be.

butisthismyname Wed 14-Nov-12 11:28:03

Agree that the league tables may show the level of teaching and maybe the level of the children attending, but I had to laugh when dd's teacher begged me not to take her out of her current school until she'd taken her year two SATs as she will be 'bringing them up'. She can leave any time after that though hmm

PastSellByDate Wed 14-Nov-12 13:51:09

Hi schoolsuk:

I think that league tables are a guide, but it's probably best to look over several years data as an indicator and really read those OFSTED reports. Try and get a sense of whether your neighbours with children think well of the school - often that's the best guide.

tiggytape Wed 14-Nov-12 14:59:14

What if they're only top of the league table because the teaching is so awful that a huge number of parents pay private tutors to get their kids through the exams (or even the Year 6 SATS!)?

tiggytape Wed 14-Nov-12 15:03:21

I should explain that DS's primary was much higher in the league tables than it should have been because, from Year 3 11+ tuition became very common which meant that children could do brilliantly in the Year 6 SATS without it being down to the school at all.
There were great teachers but also some not so great ones, it relied on having a small and easy intake and lots of parents who felt their children were lagging either tutored their children at home to catch up or paid for specialist tutors to make up for any worries about what was happening at school (maths especially was an area where most of the class seemed to have had a tutor in one year group or another).

I wouldn't rely on league table results alone at all.

mrz Wed 14-Nov-12 15:03:55

League tables and Ofsted are only part of the picture ... visit the schools and talk to parents of pupils

worldgonecrazy Wed 14-Nov-12 15:04:18

I'd look at the secondary school that it feeds into and look at what sort of young adults that school is turning out into the world. Exam results are important, but so is a work ethic, politeness, confidence and ambition.

mrz Wed 14-Nov-12 15:56:40

The problem with taking secondary schools into consideration is that lots of things can change in the 7 years your child is a primary school pupil

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