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New at this 'Choosing A School' malarkey. What should I care about?

(5 Posts)
tigana Sat 13-Sep-08 18:28:36

We live in catchment for several primary schools and ds starts next september, so need to 'apply' this winter.

What factors should I be considering and what actually matters?
Ofsted? closeness to home? school focus eg sporty/musical?

toadstool Sat 13-Sep-08 21:04:53

Where existing friends are going.
Closeness to home (much, much easier with playdates).
Ofsted if it's recent, but double-check with parents of kids who are at various stages in the school.
Safety of the site (go on your own gut instinct).
I'm not sure the school focus matters at primary level - a good spread and a good amount of space for playtime should be what matters most.
Does the school feature regularly in the local paper, e.g. school events, plays?

rubyloopy Mon 15-Sep-08 09:27:29

Message withdrawn

sunnydelight Mon 15-Sep-08 11:35:15

I have always been happy with the schools where I have liked/respected the head teacher. I would always start with the head because their ethos is what makes a school.

Butkin Mon 15-Sep-08 12:44:29

Head teacher is important in so many ways.

Proximity to sports facilities. We went with the school where DD could walk to sports ground rather than school which had to bus them.

Quality and newness of things like IT - we actually ruled out a school which had a hopeless website as it told us a lot about the head and the IT department.

Location in terms of accessibility if too far to walk. Not being able to drop off easily and huge queues to pick up are a PITA after a while.

Do you know any parents with children the various schools? If so chat to them about pros and cons and what do you think about their children? They will have spent more time at school than with parents in recent years and therefore a good indicator is their behaviour.

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