Find the right school

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Find the right school

How do I find the right school for my child?

Finding the right school for your child is not an easy task. It helps to begin by thinking about your child’s talents and interests, his or her social and emotional confidence, learning style and teaching needs. Visit as many schools as possible and make copious notes so that you can compare them later.

All schools are inspected regularly by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted). Ofsted’s aim is to help improve the quality and standards of education and childcare through independent inspection. You can check the latest report on ant school by visiting Ofsted’s website, www.ofsted.gov.uk.

The main boroughs we deal with are Bexley, Bromley and Kent.

All schools produce their own brochures. Many schools have their own websites which are also a valuable source of information — our ‘Fact File’ section has links to southeast London schools’ websites and attainment tables. To help you research which schools are right for your child all libraries and one-stop shops offer free access to the internet with staff on hand to help. To find your local library or one-stop shop contact your Council Customer Services.

Begin by thinking about your child’s needs in terms of:

  • talents and interests
  • social and emotional confidence
  • learning styles and teaching needs

Visit and talk to the schools you are interested in. Visit as many schools as possible and make notes so you can compare thoughts later. Discuss and think about the following:

  • Does your child have a statement of special educational needs or do they have particular needs that a specific school could address?
  • If your child has special needs, do you feel the school is confident about meeting them?
  • Is there any special expertise or support among the staff?
  • Location: what will the journey to school be like? Will you be able to get your child to school easily?
  • Does the school have any special facilities that interest your child?
  • How are parents and carers encouraged to become involved with the school?
  • Are there any lunchtime or after school clubs to inspire your child’s learning?
  • How will your application measure-up against the school’s admission criteria?
  • What are your realistic chances of a place?
  • Is the school improving year-by-year?
  • What significant changes have taken place in the last couple of years?
  • Will your child be safe and respected? Ask about anti-bullying policies, site security etc.
  • If English is not your first language, is information from the school accessible to you?
  • What are your child’s views?
  • What are the parents or carers of your child’s friends thinking of doing?
  • Try to think of your child as you’d like them to be as they grow up. Will the school still meet their needs?
  • Is the school welcoming?
  • Will your child be able to make new friends who live in your neighbourhood?

All schools are inspected regularly by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted). Ofsted’s main aim is to help imrove the quality and standards of education and childcare through independent inspection. You can check the latest report on any school by asking the school for a copy or by visiting the Ofsted website www.ofsted.gov.uk/reports

Parents and carers are strongly encouraged to contact schools directly to arrange a visit and see what each school has to offer before completing the common application form and listing preferences.