Why is education a priceless investment?
PUBLISHED: 17:21 09 October 2014 | UPDATED: 17:21 09 October 2014
Whether you invest time, or money too, in your child's education it is a step worth taking carefully.
Choosing the right school is key for a bright and happy future; both yours and your child’s. Do spend time reviewing the options with all the facts at hand. It is a matter of your preferences, expectations of your child’s performance, the school’s reputation and affordable fees. Last but not least, the choice of school has to be right for your child’s personality and abilities. Mrs. Lucy Davies, Headteacher at The Firs School in Chester shares her top ten recommendations before you take the plunge.
1. Prospectus - gather up all the prospectuses from around your area and all the schools you are interested in and read through the details so you can compare easily. Make a comparison table if needed including the results of the school’s latest inspection, this is often available of the school’s website.
2. Entrance and Annual Exams - are compulsory at many private schools but not at them all. Does your child perform well in exams? Great if you know so, but if not, this could have a long term effect on their self-esteem. Would your child perform better under less pressure?
3. Class size - independent education has its obvious benefits, with smaller class sizes, more one to one time between teachers and pupils and generally better results than most state schools. Does your child need a small class size?
4. Rural or urban locations – What will suit your family better? You don’t want to spend hours in the car or if you have to travel. Can you lift share, use alternative modes of transport and try to keep the children occupied with quality activities?
5. Wrap around care – Does the school provide any before and after school care and what is the cost of this? Does the school cook lunches on its premises? See if you can have a look at a menu and consider any special requests you may have such as Halal food or a vegetarian option.
6. Single or mixed - there are benefits and concerns that go with both. Visit both types of school and try and work out what would be best for your child, again the key is to ask questions at the school. Do you want brothers and sisters to be able to go to the same school?
7. School visit - Do insist on this. Make sure you visit during the day time when classes are in session and look at class sizes, how teachers are interacting with students and what are the facilities like? If possible speak directly to the pupils. Visiting on a school open day on a Saturday can also be a good opportunity to ask questions as teachers are more able to focus on your concerns.
8. Happy students – while visiting, look at the pupils already there both as they are in class and walking around the school. Do they look happy? Are they enjoying themselves? Do they behave as you would like your child to do?
9. Right child for the right school- think about what interests your child enjoys most, it might be that a specialist school is best for them or at least ask questions about those areas and look at the detailed work and results for each. Ask about the school’s provision for music, drama and sports teaching and any recent results in national examinations or competitions. Where do pupils from the school go to further their education?
10. Fees - Pulling children out of School to go to another can disrupt not only the studies of the child but their social life too, making new friends is not always easy. Consider whether you will have to budget carefully or consider setting up a financial plan. Schemes can be tax efficient especially when you involve other members of the family; grandparents for example. Do take professional advice.
Choosing private education for your children is seen as a wise investment which is worth making. The most important thing is to choose the right school with the right curriculum for your child’s abilities and passions, so they will enjoy learning and have the opportunity to achieve great results and lay a firm foundation for a secure future.
45 Newton Lane, Chester, CH2 2HJ