Welcome back to number two in our series of blogs outlining: 21 questions to kickstart your boarding school research.
This blog has the next 7 questions to discuss when selecting your boarding school of choice. Here we highlight the importance of logistics and educational philosophy.
If you missed the first blog in the series, or would like a reminder, you’ll find questions 1-7 via this link.
8. How much time do you have before your proposed start date? This is crucially important for some schools? Some require registration many years ahead of time. Many don’t. Always call schools to ask about entry for your chosen year as soon as possible, asking when the registration deadlines are. Seeking the help of an education consultant definitely helps when your application timescales are shorter than ideal. Maybe your expat contract has come to an abrupt end or family circumstances have un-expectedly changed? Get in touch with us to talk through your situation. We are expert in supporting the application process at all times of the year.
9. What does your child’s current school think is the right type of school for your child? They might even be able to help with some boarding schools to review. They know your child well and can give an invaluable insight into some of the above questions, helping you along the right path. Listen to what they have to say!
10. Are you looking for flexi-boarding (a few nights per week), weekly boarding (returning home at weekends) or full boarding with an extensive 7 day a week programme? This depends on whether you live overseas or in the UK and how often you would like your child to return home. Deciding this now will help your research. It’s no good deciding you like a school very much, only to find it doesn’t offer the type of boarding you are looking for.
11. What type of working week are your looking for? Do you have family commitments that would make Saturday morning school a nuisance as you want your child to weekly board and come home? Do you want to attend school sports matches and concerts to support your child and hence when do these take place-weekday afternoons or on Saturdays? The working week needs to fit with your family commitments or you will be starting an un-pleasant battle with the school to get access to your child when they are already committed to something at school such as a sports fixture. Choose the right school in the first place and this confrontation will not occur.
12. Is location important? Do you want a school within an hour of home so you can get involved in school events in term-time? Is a certain trainline more convenient or a certain airport for flying home?
13. Do you have a budget for school fees? These can vary hugely from school to school and look out for ‘extras’ like trips and music lessons which will be added to the school bill. Are you hoping for a scholarship (mainly honorary) or a bursary? Plan this application well ahead and read how the process works for each school you are researching. Inform the schools as early as possible that you will need assistance with fees.
14. Do you like the Head of the school and does their approach to education seem in line with your thoughts? Most schools now have video of the head on their website. Do you warm to them? Would you trust them with your child? Do you agree with their approach and the points they have chosen to highlight as important to them and their school? Good schools rely on strong leadership so it’s no good choosing a school if you don’t like the head.
These questions, plus the ones in the rest of this 3 blog series, will help you to create a Mind Map of what the perfect school for your child and family looks like.
Don’t forget, we are here to help. Get in touch and arrange a no obligation call with one of our boarding school experts, to find out how we will assist you in taking the pain and confusion out of this huge decision.
We look forward to talking to you very soon.
Competitive vs. nurture
Starting age, year, and date
Current school thoughts
Type of boarding
Saturday school or other weekly commitments
Transport access points
Fees budget per year
Single sex or co-educational
Traditional or less formal.
Feeds into which future schools?
Subjects or exams offered
Family and friends’ thoughts
Make sure you look out for future newsletters or follow us on social media to access the links to final blog in this series. 21 questions in all, taking you step-by-step through your boarding school research process.