Choosing a boarding school for your child is a significant decision that requires careful consideration. As a parent, you want to ensure that your child receives the best education and support possible. However, with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to determine which boarding school is the right fit for your child. This is why it is crucial to involve your child in the decision-making process and make them the centre of the decision. By involving your child and considering their needs, interests, and goals, you can ensure that they are happy and thriving in their chosen boarding school.
In this article, we will discuss the importance of making your child the centre of the decision when it comes to choosing a boarding school, and how it can benefit their overall academic and personal growth.
I had interesting conversation with a Dad at the weekend. He works long hours away from home in the week, often travelling overseas, looking forward to long weekends returning to spend time with his family in the country. Meanwhile, his busy wife is project managing hectic family life and the school run throughout the week.
We were talking about the process of choosing possible senior boarding school choices for his son who is age 11 since they are in the middle of visiting schools and considering which ones of right for him. Both parents are originally from the USA and hence applying to British private schools is totally new to them as first-time buyers.
They were finding it hard to understand they options and not to be influenced by school gate and dinner party conversations with other parents, friends, and family. Everyone has an opinion it seems, and like many families I have spoken to over the past twenty years, the result is confusion and a lack of clear direction to their school research and choice.
The parents sat on different sides of the fence regarding the type of school they thought their son needed. Dad is happy to consider boarding, however mum is not at all sure about that as an option. Similarly, dad is open to considering both all boys and co-educational schools, however mum feels co-ed is the only way forward. Stalemate.
If this sounds like you and your partner, you are certainly not alone, and I hope that is reassuring to hear. This situation is typical of many families who find themselves faced with choosing the next school option for their child.
Have you considered using a professional consultant to help?
The solution in my opinion is to work with an experienced education consultant who will help you step by step to explore all the factors which come together to make the right school for your child. The school where they will be happy and fulfil their true potential. The key to finding the right solution is to remember that this choice is about your child and not about you.
Discovering more about your child and your family
We talk often with the families we work with about making their child the celebrity of their private school choice. Picturing a mind map with your child at the centre surrounded by all the factors which influence a school decision.
Factors such as location, family ties, recommendations from friends, co-education or single sex, boarding or day school, are of course important to discuss with an open mind.
Listing pros and cons is always helpful here, as well as visiting a range of options to see the schools in action, rather than forming an opinion without seeing it for yourself.
More importantly, your child's interests, academic strengths, potential areas where support may be required, as well as their aspirations for the future, character and personality are all very important to consider.
The benefits of working with an education consultant
We have often been referred to as 'the secret weapon' in the journey to finding the right school for a child's education, here are some of the reasons why parents have chosen to use an education consultant;
Reduces parental stress and infighting, removes guess work and assumptions through guidance by an expert.
Access to up-to-date knowledge about the character and highlights of each school, with a deep understanding the culture and peer groups that would best match the
Reassurance that you've considered all of the options that are available to you for all the right reasons enabling you to choose the right school for your child with confidence.
Strong working relationships and connections with schools built over many years.
Feeling prepared with all the right questions to ask when you visit a school.
Feeling support throughout the process with answers to your questions
Considering private school options which may not originally be what you felt you were looking for. Keeping it open mind during this process, even if you visit a school which is a definite no, this is all part of the step-by-step journey towards knowing that you have chosen the right school for your child for the right reasons.
Access to expert advice and guidance throughout the complicated pretesting interview and assessment process which often takes place over several years starting from year 6.
So what's the outcome of working with an education consultant?
Putting the child at the heart of your school choice process you will have 100% confidence that you have come to the right school choice decision on the best private school for them, for all the right reasons.
Choosing a private boarding school education for your child is a big investment. Seeking advice from an independent expert to work alongside you at each step could be one of the best decisions you will make.
If you’re starting to consider what the next educational step is for your child contact our friendly independent education consultancy today for help and guidance across a range of educational milestones.