Independent Schools – How To Choose One
If you decide to have your child educated privately, outside the British state system, you run the risk of being baffled by choices. You can apply for a place at an independent school at any stage of education, from pre-school to sixth form. Once you start looking for a private school in England, you realise that there is huge diversity in what they offer. The choice is very wide, ranging from arts-based creative environments, temples of academia, to faith schools. Whether you are looking for an arts-based, creative environment, temples of academia or faith schools, the choice is very wide indeed.
Many factors should be considered when choosing an independent school for your son or daughter. The child’s character is of paramount importance. Are they lazy and bored or highly motivated? Is your child reticent and shy or outgoing and confident? Do they have particular interests, for example in sports or creative subjects? Does your child find concentrating in the classroom or reading particularly difficult? Given the right advice you can find a private school that makes all the difference to your child’s education.
Academic standards are a key factor for those choosing an independent school. The majority of independent schools are proud of their excellent exam results. Nowadays, league tables are published to enable parents to compare the performance of schools and the grades achieved by their pupils. Parents often choose to send their children to a private school when the state schools in their area are ranked low down in the league tables.
For some, the attraction of an independent school is its particular style and atmosphere, whether it is single sex status, faith-based, dedicated to sports or has some other specialism. The stronger, more focused approach to education often in place in these schools allows resources to be applied to develop each child in their care.
Children are not always sent to private school from an early age. Many children start their education at their local primary and secondary schools and move into the independent sector later. This may be because they are being distracted from their studies or are failing to reach their academic potential. In many cases, parents decide to pay for a private school for GCSE re-takes and A-levels. The system is flexible and there are many excellent independent sixth form colleges.
A child may be performing well and reaching his or her potential in the state system, and then loses motivation. Often, in these circumstances, it is best to take them out of the school they no longer enjoy, and find somewhere else which will allow them to success again. The expense of sending them to a private school can be seen as a worthwhile investment in their future success and employment opportunities.
Fee-paying establishments offer a higher standard of facilities to children and smaller class sizes – attributes valued by most people. As they are able to pay higher wages than the state system, they are often able to attract better teachers. People consider that these important educational benefits are worth paying for.
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