Choosing a school is arguably one of the most important decisions you will ever make for your child. It can be hard to know where to begin, and what you should be looking for.
The Australian Government’s Raising Children website says parents should consider a number of factors when it comes to choosing a school, from location to size and academic results.
Some of these factors include:
- Ease and cost of travelling to and from the school
- The schools’ cultures and values, and how they fit with your family
- Facilities and subject choices – what does the school have to support your child’s learning? Library, music programs, sporting teams?
- Is it important that all your children go to the same school?
- Where are your child’s friends going to school?
- What size school is likely to suit best?
- How well does the school support children with additional needs, if this is something you need to consider?
- What opportunities exist for parent and family involvement?
It is also worth considering whether you need before and after-school care for younger children. If your child is starting secondary school, it might be valuable to determine what kind of study paths are available (such as Vocational and Educational Training) or whether the school offers extension or accelerated learning programs. You can read more about how School’s can support your children in choosing a suitable career here.
Taking a tour of the school and chatting with the principal prior to enrolment is also a handy way to figure out whether it’s the right fit.
Overall, the decision will largely depend on what is important to you and your child; whether that’s academic offerings, sporting or arts options or integrating religion or a particular philosophy.
Consider your child’s interests, abilities and academic strengths and ask your child what they want to get out of school.
If your child is about to transition to high school, you can find out more on how to support them here.