Are you looking to get your child admitted in a new school? A combination of shortsighted government policies, vested interests and unrealistic expectations has led to a quagmire in the quality of education. The majority of government schools just aren’t up to par. That’s the sad truth! Private schools offer a better quality of education, but they only have a limited number of seats and huge number of parents clamoring for them.
Not everyone can start and complete their schooling in the same campus. Owing to job changes, housing issues and transfers, it is quite likely likely that you may be forced or willing opt to choose a new school. However it is tough if the child has to switch schools, for that means they have to adjust to an unfamiliar location, make new friends and essentially start a fresh way of life.
Sometimes, you just don’t have a choice and have to opt to go with whatever school you’re ward is lucky to get admitted. We all want our child to get the best education possible in the new surroundings. How can you make sure that the school is meeting both your expectations and the child’s needs? Here is what you should look for when assessing the right new school for your kid.
Referrals from Parents
The best way to determine the quality of the school is to or visit education forums or ask parents whose children attend the shortlisted school. Also be sure to ask if there are any unwelcome surprises in terms of fees. This will give you an unbiased opinion of the school. How is the atmosphere of the school – easy going, mildly strict, very strict or toxic?
No school is perfect, but if the school has too many negative reviews, it is time to rethink. Enquiring with other parents may also get you the inside scoop on how the school runs classes and events. If you have multiple kids, getting them all in the same school may be a better option.
Check the travel time between the school and your home. Ideally you want a school that isn’t too far off. Consider the time and finances that you have to invest if you enroll your child in a faraway school.
Does the school offer safe bus or van services? If alternate travel arrangements cannot be made, and If you are going to be dropping them off and picking them up, you have to make sure you are available during the specified time. If both parents are working, it is doubly difficult as there will most certainly be traffic during school hours. What about parking? Check that out too.
Security and Infrastructure
Be sure to take a look in and around the school to inspect it. It’s not just the tables, chairs and classrooms that you should observe. Are there clean restrooms, play areas and a well stocked library? Are the cricket pitch and football ground properly maintained? Is there proper security, fencing and CCTV at vantage points to keep unwanted elements off the school premises?
One crucial information you should look for is the cost involved. Sometimes, the tuition fee claimed is not the total. The real expenses could be much higher – books, uniform, shoes, stationery, transport, snacks, field trips, sports, study classes and the dreaded ‘miscellaneous expenses’.
Be on the lookout for hidden expenses or fees that the school may tack on after your child has joined. It is tough to back out of the deal after you have accepted.
Parent – Teacher Association
You can find out more about your child and what they’re doing in class if you meet the teachers. There are times when your child will conceal information from you and the only way for you to find out is by hearing it from a teacher.
Does the school have a Parent-Teacher Association? Are regular meetings being held? How easy is it to get hold of the teachers? Does the school offer online or a mobile app to access the academic information? Is there a WhatsApp or other forum to seek answers?
Does the school offer a choice of vernacular and international languages? The medium of the school is also important to look at. Don’t restrict your choice to English speaking or ‘convent’ schools. Vernacular students can also excel with the right support at home and in the school.
Another important question is whether the school carries the quality through to all levels. They may be excellent at managing younger kids, but can they maintain the interests of middle and high-schoolers? There is nothing wrong with wanting a good environment for your child now, but please keep the long term interests in mind as well.
Choosing the right school for your child isn’t easy, but remember to keep these notes in mind as a sort of checklist while you go scouting for a school. Once you find the school you want, Let’s Practise can help your child succeed. We offer programs and courses for students from 3rd to 9th standard. Just contact us today to find out more.