There is a vast range of independent schools in England, each with its own special characteristics. The need to find the right school for your child cannot be under-estimated.
Some of the factors you will want to bear in mind when choosing a school (apart from price) are:
- The school’s academic rating and record of sending students to top universities.
- Whether the school is single-sex or co-educational. Some operate the so-called “Diamond Model”, which separate boys and girls between the ages of 11 to 16, but are otherwise co-educational.
- Academic and English language entrance requirements.
- The culture of the school: the culture and atmosphere of a school can be, for example very traditional, sporting, religious, friendly – and not so friendly. Only a visit to the school will let you get the “feel” for it, and whether your child is likely to be happy there.
- Proportion of boarding students returning home at weekends. If this is high, weekends can be lonely and devoid of activities for the few remaining students.
- Proximity to London.
- Extra-curricular activities or resources of particular interest, e.g. swimming pool or riding stables.