How do you find the best local schools?
We often get asked here what are the best local schools in a given area, or where should we send our child to get the best education. Of course we don’t really know the answer to this and aren’t in the business of handing out bad advice! We also struggle to offer advice on an individual basis because choosing a school is a personal matter. We can, as always (!), help a bit though. We wanted to tell you what we could about the best local schools in any given area. What makes them the best, how do you know they are the best, and how do they stay the best, local schools.
The anatomy of a good school
The best local schools will generally have good OFSTED scores, scoring either a 1 or a 2 overall, and at least one Outstanding in the 4 sub categories. But this doesn’t tell the true picture. As we spoke about in our blog about how to read an OFSTED report, it is important to look at the previous OFSTED result as well, not just the most recent. Inspections are carried out generally every 3 years, so you can build up a picture of how the school has progressed over time. The best local schools either maintain good or outstanding scores, or show an improvement from category 3 to category 1 or 2.
The best local schools will also generally have the best facilities. We have spoken about this in more depth previously as well, but it is a fair assumption that the better the facilities, the better the school. You can see this yourself when you walk around the schools on the open days. Check out the science labs, the catering facilities and the sports pitches. Consider the transport links and the age of the buildings. The best local schools will look aesthetically nice. A word of warning though – don’t forget, a brand new build academy will always look sparkling – you will need to delve a little deeper here to look into how good it is – it may be a new academy because it was a failing comprehensive school previously!
Maintaining the reputation
So the school looks nice today, and it has a good reputation and good OFSTED results. However, your child is going to the school for the next 5 years, so how do the best local schools maintain their reputation as the best? Well, every school, as previously alluded to, has regular OFSTED inspections which encourage them to maintain a level of quality within the school. Senior management take full responsibility for the failings of the school and so have a big incentive (together with professional pride) to maintain their status and be amongst the best local schools.
The best schools also attract the best people. They attract the best teachers, and in many instances the best pupils. Provided senior management continue to market the school well and keep up standards within the school, the school itself will prosper. Picking the best local schools in the first place will ensure your child is in the best possible place long term.
article source: http://hubpages.com/education/Local-Secondary-Schools