FINDING THE PERFECT SCHOOL
Feeling overwhelmed by the responsibility of choosing the right school for your child? Here are the top 10 questions to ask to ensure a bright future.
Not every private school suits every child. Deciding where to send your young son or daughter is a difficult decision. Just because a parent is a past alumni isn't necessary reason enough to decide to send your child to the school which you loved. On the other hand, a schools pedigree and your personal experience is important. There are so many things to consider. Here is our checklist of the 10 questions you really should ask before deciding on your little one's future.
QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK YOURSELF
what age do I want my child to attend an independent school? Prep or senior entry? Some parents decide to send their children to a nearby kindergarten or primary school so they make local friends, then transfer them at 11. Others prefer a consistent school life where the choice is made early.
I choose coed or single sex? Much research has been done on the pros and cons of both options. The common view is that boys fair better educationally in single sex schools, but is this also true in terms of social development? Are pupils in single sex girls' schools meaner? Will your daughter be more studious in a single sex environment? Do your own research and think about the nature of your particular child before deciding.
How important to me are the league tables? These tables are useful, however, don't forget that these tables are dominated by selective schools and do not necessarily give an idea of how well the school performs relative to the average standard of entry, nor of the school's general educational ethos.
board or not to board? Those who live rurally may not have much of a choice with this one. Others choose to have children just board in year 11 and 12. “I felt the homework discipline and routine helped him concentrate”, says one mother whose son boarded for the last two years of school. His 96.7 ATAR may have proved her right.
hot-house or a more diverse
school? This will depend on your values and aspirations for your child, as well as their individual temperament. Not everyone thrives in a highly competitive atmosphere. Some children need to be nurtured to bring out their best – whatever that might be. Not every child is a university candidate and you may have a budding artist or carpenter in the family with hidden talents.