I am a big believer in the power of education. Every child has the right to the best possible education and in my role as a teacher, tutor and more importantly as a parent, I think that the education system in the UK is a wonderful thing. Of course, it does have it faults but generally we have so many great schools to choose from. But every child, every family is different and so choosing the right schools can sometimes be a tough decision.
When we made the decision to move my son to a different school at the end of his Reception year, it wasn’t a decision we made lightly but he was so unhappy at the school he had spent his first year at, we had no choice. Lots of people gave us their ‘advice’. Some said that we should leave him where he was and eventually, he would settle and others supported our decision, echoing our thoughts that a child needed to be happy in their school and that was fundamental to them succeeding. My mum supported our decision but as we were agonising about where to send him, she commented that it used to be so much easier when I was at school as you went where your catchment school was and that was the end of it.
She is right. It was easier. I went to my local first school and followed to the middle and high school that my first school fed into. We never questioned it and I was happy enough. But times have changed. With the number of academies on the rise and schools often taking children out of catchment, there is more choice when it comes to choosing a school for your child and although the school down the road might be the easiest option, if it isn’t suitable, you don’t have to choose it.
Thinking about the decision we made back at the end of our son’s first year of education, it was the best decision we could have made. We looked at all of the possible first schools with spaces, we went round and looked at them, talking to the headteachers and getting a feel for the schools. We chose a school that was small but where there seemed to be a nurturing ethos and it was the perfect place. Within weeks of starting at the school, he was a different child; happier, relaxed and wanting to go to school every day.
Choosing a school for your child is a big decision for any parent and this is the philosophy behind the School Reviewer website.
Every parent wants their child to be happy at school.
Every parent wants their child to be successful at school. Therefore it’s a no brainer to realise that every parent would also be happier if their child was happier and more successful at school.
When we were looking around at the option for local schools, the School Reviewer website would have been so useful to have access to. Don’t be fooled by the name, it is a lot more than a review site.
Firstly, you put in a postcode and find out all of the local schools in that area. It has a unique catchment area heat map for every state school in the UK and with catchments constantly changing, this is a really useful tool for parents. Many of the schools listed include academic data and OFSTED/ISI reports. This in itself is helpful as you have all of the information you need in one place. You can also read and add reviews of your child’s school too.
In addition, there are forums for parents for their local schools or nationally so that parents can discuss a range of topics with other parents or ask for advice.
You can also access unique walk through video courses to show how you score a 100% A+ on Math’s GCSE, SATs and 11+ question by question. I have not seen this before and it is a brilliant way to help your children and help you to understand too, as not only does it go through the questions, but it will give you hints and tips to help as you go along. It is like having a tutor to explain it to you.
On the subject of tutors, School Reviewer is also recruiting qualified tutors so that they will also be the first place for parents to look for a tutor and hope to be the biggest and most trusted tutor site for parents in the UK. Unlike many other sites, tutors can upload their details free of charge but parents can be assured that all tutors will have the correct credentials before they will appear on the website.
Finally, there is a unique Buy and Sell section for your children’s uniforms, sports kit, books and any other items where you can sell them free of charge. This can be done locally or nationally and with the growing and constant cost of kitting kids out for school, why not save some money and buy second-hand? There is also a blog with a range of interesting articles on anything from grammar schools to holiday activities.
Baroness Karen Brady, CBE has endorsed School Reviewer and she really does sum up the website:
School Reviewer is the one stop shop for all things education for parents with children of all ages
School Reviewer is a website that all parents need to visit. Reviews, school information, catchment areas, forums, tutors, exam help and more, where else would you need to go before making your school choices. It is certainly a site that I would use and recommend to anyone with a child starting or moving schools.
This post was written in association with School Reviewer