You’re trying to find the best school for your child, but you are confused, frustrated and ill at ease. You know very little about the school you’re going to choose, apart from:
- Someone you know knows someone who went there 30 years ago.
- “Everyone” you know wants to go there.
- Ofsted rated the school “Good” or “Outstanding”.
- The school has had great exam results.
- There are lots of iPads and a huge sports hall.
- A certain teacher is “lovely”, or (worryingly),
- The Headteacher “knows their stuff”!
In a fit of resolve, you decide that you ought to consider some other schools; schools that you had originally excluded for a good reason that you just can’t quite remember. So you trawl the websites and visit the schools but then, after a while you’re still no better off.
All the schools are sounding the same. You’re glazing over at expressions such as “pastoral care”, “nurturing environment”, “educating the whole child”. You just can’t see how “every child matters” more in School A than School B.
You turn to Ofsted, but Ofsted reports just tell you that the schools are safe, and then you realise that 90% of schools are judged to be “Good” or “Outstanding”…
Does this sound familiar?
You’re not alone. That’s my experience too. And many others I’ve spoken to or interviewed.
And that’s why I started Schoolsmith; to try to understand what makes a school a good school. I’ve found well over 50 different aspects of schooling to consider. Exam results are just one of them.
Some of those 50 may be more important to you, some less so. But the point is that there’s more than one.
There’s no political axe to grind, no intended bias. Schoolsmith is simply about helping parents to make an important decision. As school brochures often point out; “Choosing a school for your child is one of the most important decisions that any parent has to make”.
So if any of this experience resonates with you, I hope you’ll find the website useful.