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How to choose a secondary school

If you are one of hundreds of parents across Manchester and Cheshire choosing a secondary school for your child, you’ll know it can be a tough decision.

Nowadays, it’s not just a case of proximity. Although how near you live to the school gates is often an admissions criteria important to consider. With organised open days and glossy brochures aplenty, how do parents see the real picture?

  1. Visit the school. After presentations, wander round talking to teachers and pupils. Is there a relaxed, happy atmosphere? How do students interact with teachers? Pop into different classrooms to get a ‘feel’ for the learning environment.
  2. Listen to the grapevine. Parental talk at the school gate is often enlightening. While no school is perfect, speak to other parents whose children already attend there. Chatting at the school gates can be an eye-opener.
  3. Keep an open mind. Ofsted reports don’t always reflect the true picture. If you want statistics, far better to look through league tables. Focus on value-added stats and expected progress figures rather than A*-C percentages. Academic success is undoubtedly important. So do remember that any year’s results depend on that particular year’s cohort. Hence why it’s not ideal to determine a school’s worth on whether its grades have improved by a percentage!
  4. What’s extra? Schools are not exam factories. Check out extra-curricular clubs and opportunities beyond the classroom. What after-school facilities are there?
Finally, always ask: will my child fit in, and be happy there? Hope that’s helped…

By the way, if a place at your chosen school depends on an entrance exam, chat to 121 Home Tutors today. We’ve expert tutors ready to help…

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