Three common traits of the best secondary schools

Three common traits of the best secondary schools

What do the best secondary schools have in common? Well the short answer is – nothing! No two schools are the same is make up or quality, which makes judging them very difficult. That is why the OFSTED reporting system is designed to compare a school against itself, rather than other schools in the locality, like a league table system would.

But, if you are looking for secondary schools around you to send your child to and want to know a little more about them, it is a good idea to try to do some comparisons between them. So, what do the best secondary schools have in common and what makes them the best?

Firstly, the best secondary schools all have good OFSTED ratings. Remember when reading an OFSTED report that you need to look at more than just the OFSTED grading (on a scale of 1 – 4, with 1 being outstanding and 4 requiring improvement). The OFSTED report displays a whole host of information which may or may not be useful to everyone, but the best 2 places to look are at the previous inspection score (to see if the school has got better, worse, or stayed the same) and the areas of improvement. This will give you a snapshot into how well that school is performing and how good it is.

Secondly, the best secondary schools all have good facilities. By good facilities, we are talking about the school buildings, the classrooms, the IT facilities, the catering facilities and the sports facilities. It is easy when trying to judge which schools are the best to focus on the teaching facilities and to make decisions based on pupil performance, but pupil performance is mainly down to your child and their willingness to learn. The best secondary schools will almost always have a good set of catering facilities, good sports facilities and teams, as well as a good IT infrastructure to teach your child more about the world of the future.

Finally, the best secondary schools do attract the best teachers. Moreover, the best teachers then stay at the schools. Think about it – teachers work on pay grades, so they are unlikely to get more money in a different school for doing the same job. The upshot is, therefore, that if they find a good school with good facilities in a location convenient for them, they aren’t going to look to leave the school in a hurry. If they are good at their job, the school maintains its standards and remains as one of the better schools in the area. Good teachers generally teach in good schools.

It can be very difficult to compare school A with school B on every ranking factor, but thinking about what makes the best secondary schools what they are gives you a good basis for making the right choice. You can decide which ranking factors (teaching; catering; sports facilities) are most important to you, and start your decision making process from there.

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