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Is Good Schools Guide the perfect place to look for schools(17 Posts)
Dear mums, We are staying abroad and we will be coming to UK in 2020. My DD is currently going to a British International school here and I have started the research for Independent Secondary schools on GSG website. I am using the filters to narrow down my search and one of the criteria is that 'It should be a Good Schools Guide school'. Normally all the good schools I hear from friends and family are GSG ticked. But can you please provide your feedback if I would miss some 'good' school with this.
Plenty of very average schools in the GSG.
... and plenty of good schools not in the GSG.
I'd suggest the GSG as an extra source of information, but I wouldn't select schools based on it.
Definitely not the be all and end all. Also look at ISI reports. Consider what your dd is looking for - coed/single sex, sports, arts, music, Stem, facilities, full/weekly boarding/day, cultural mix, IB/A level, record of destinations, location?
Redsky-can you give some examples of good private schools that are not in the GSG?
Thanks for your feedback. I am indeed looking at ISI reports and applying other filters but one filter that I am also choosing is that it is a GSG school.
Is there any other website where I can find all this information at one place like what GSG gives.
How impartial is gsg though, do schools not subscribe to be included? Likewise ISI is an organisation made up of staff from independent sector.
It’s a start.
I’d begin by working out the general location of target schools then set up a lovely spreadsheet with their details - then tick off the elements you are looking for: sex(single or mixed), facilities, travel, cost, size, clubs/societies, etc and keep details of website, contacts etc.
Then you can start googling the schools - not looking at just online reviews but also dig for comments that may ring alarm bells for you.
don't schools just pay to be in the GSG ?
The detail written about the school is very much in line with the school's marketing material ime.
I'd think of it as a directory of schools rather than approved schools. useful to get a feel and a good place to start.
I can't give you any specific schools that aren't in it off the top of my head, but if you search (for example) for Manchester, there are only about 6 GSG schools. And I refuse to believe there are genuinely only 6 good schools in Manchester.
Perhaps it's better for London/SE schools.
Also GSG is never anything but gushing about the schools it lists.
I would place far more weight on ISI
I dont know - I remember reading one school entry that reported that the school had issues with bullying that they were trying to address (I knew a couple of boys there and it was true).
Id think of the location and ask on here for thoughts and recommendations.
I spent a lot of money on subs to the GSG and eventually realised they find something lovely to say about every school. If you just want to be told that you've made the right decision, then this is a must-read.
But you'll need to look elsewhere for the downsides of schools.
The entry about our nearby state school was so wildly inaccurate that I wouldn’t trust them as gospel. Not inaccurate about quality of school, it is a good school, but god help anyone who relied on their admissions advice.
The Good Schools Guide doesn’t get paid by schools. However, the selection of schools included is quite random. As pp said, some very average ones are included and some very good ones aren’t.
Do you know where you’ll be moving to? London? Another part of the coutry?
This is a government website but it will give you the list of all the independent schools in a particular area. I’d probably start with that and then look into the schools in more detail.
They are often written up by freelance financial journalists and not educational experts. The parents they interview are handpicked by the school....
The GSG will give you most of the ones you want to consider so it is a starting place. What you do have to do is recognise that it is not the ‘Bible’ and even the consultants they have are not the ‘experts” on every school. I would say it is a useful resource. Actually far more important is thinking about what really matters to you for your child. That could be something as clear cut as reasonable travelling distance from an airport or walking distance from a train station or something more difficult but very important like “I want a school where they really do know and care about the children as individuals”. That last one of course is very difficult to pin down because they almost all say they do - but there are particular schools which really do prioritise the pastoral care. Once you have decided on locations/regions and attributes it gets easier. Also, the good news is that there are many good schools where children stand a very good chance of being happy, cared for and well educated so it isn’t just a case of there only being one ‘right’ school. And please bear in mind that league tables for results should be viewed as whether the school has done well by its intake ie in context. Hope it goes well.
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