By Dr Tracy Johnson, Headmistress of Gateways School
- Decide what you want – Would a single sex education be preferable for your child? Or perhaps the size of the school is most important? Or the sporting provision? Make a list of your priorities in order.
- Do your research – Make a list of schools that may be of interest. Check the schools website and social media pages and try to speak to parents of children who already attend the school to gather further information.
- Request a prospectus – Prospectuses are a tool used by schools with the specific purpose of promoting themselves to potential parents and will therefore contain all their main selling points. What they consider these to be could tell you a lot about their priorities as a school.
- Arrange a visit – Where possible visit during school hours on a normal day. This will allow you to really get a feel for general day to day life at the school and whether it might suit your child.
- Register your child – Independent school places aren’t always readily available. Make sure to register your child as early as possible if you want to guarantee a place.
- Enter your child for the entrance exam – Most independent secondary schools will require an entrance exam, and prep schools may require some form of assessment.
- Wait for the offer and accept it quickly!