Finding a new school for your child isn’t as daunting as it may appear at first. Luke and I have had to go through the process of changing schools several times, each for different reasons. Of course, there are many reasons why you may find yourself looking for a new school in your local area. Perhaps your child is simply ready to move up to their next school, or maybe you’ve experienced some issues that their current school hasn’t been able to adequately resolve. Whatever the reason, finding a new school for your child isn’t as difficult as you may be anticipating.
In this post, we’re going to be discussing how to find a new school for your child. Whether you’re interested in finding a new primary school or even moving on up to a secondary school, here’s how to do it in just 3 easy steps.
1 Find Out About The Schools That Operate In The Area
If you’re wondering how to find a new school for your child in the local area, it’s likely that you may already be familiar with the schools that operate in your catchment area. If this is the case, you can skip this step and move on to step 2 of this blog post.
However, if you’re moving out of your local area and looking for help on how to find a new school for your child, you’re going to want to do a bit of research. The best place to find the schools that operate in England is via the government website. This website will help you to access plenty of information about the schools that are available within your new location, as well as provide contact information and other important details.
2 Look At Your Prospective School’s Admission Criteria
Every school in England is required to provide information on their website about their admission arrangements, including how to apply for a place in the school. The admission criteria of a school determine which children are offered places; these standards are usually set by the school itself or by the local council.
Each school is different, but it’s likely that when looking for a new school for your child, the school will prioritise those who:
- Live close to the school
- Already have a sibling attending the school
- Went to a particular school beforehand
- Are from a particular religion (for faith schools)
- Has a parent that has worked at the school for 2 years or more
Some high schools and grammar schools, like these secondary schools in Leicester, request an entrance examination to be performed before admission to the senior school is granted. Other specialised schools are likely to expect your child to pass an exam and pay a registration fee before the admission process can proceed.
Whilst you’re looking at your prospective school website, you may want to take a look at the other information that all schools in England are also required to provide, including the details of their curriculum, Ofsted reports, the pupil premium, and several other important topics.
3 Once you know how to apply, request a visit to the school.
Requesting a visit to the school is an important step when looking for a new school for both the parents and the child. After you’ve read the admission criteria and you’re relatively certain you want to apply, it’s wise to first arrange a meeting with the head teacher.
This meeting is the perfect opportunity to raise any concerns and ask any questions you may have regarding your child attending the school. This is particularly useful for those who are looking for a new school due to bullying or special education needs. Arranging a meeting with the school for both you and your child also provides your child with the opportunity to look around their new school, meet their potential new teacher, and voice any concerns they may have.
If you’re expecting your child to start school at the beginning of the academic year, you will likely get all the information you need, as well as the opportunity to meet teachers etc, by attending the school’s set open days.
Now you’ve found a new school, make sure to prepare your child for the transition.
Moving schools is a big deal for children. There are new rules, new people, new teachers, new uniforms, and new environments. It’s important that you take the time to mentally prepare your child for their new school, without overwhelming them. Make sure your child knows their way to and from school. If they need to catch a bus, ensure they have their bus pass ready before they start attending school. Remind your child that there’s a lot to adjust to when finding a new school and taking each day as it comes is a great way to start gaining confidence in their new schooling environment.