Deciding Where To Send Your Child To School

Choosing where to send your child to school is probably one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Do you send your kids to the local public school or do you think that they will get a better education if you pay for it? Maybe your child has special needs or some kind of learning disability, be it physical or mental which means that they may benefit from going to a special school? Or maybe they will actually learn better if they attend a mainstream school?

The majority of parents choose to send their children to a public school. Public schools are funded by tax payers money and provide a good level of basic education for most children. There is often a public school close by, or at least easily accessible by public transport.

Some public schools take children based on their catchment area (how close the child lives to the school) and others ask them to sit an entrance exam. Some schools are single sex but the majority are mixed.

Schools that do not receive any funding from government sources are considered private schools. Fees range from around 5000 pounds up to a staggering 30,000 pounds a year and it is required that all pupils sit an entrance exam. Some private schools may receive funding from affiliated organisations such as a church.

Parents may choose to send their children to a private school as some believe that their children will get a better education, that the school might be more disciplined or more challenging or they want their child to go to a single sex school.

Alternative schools such as Steiner schools are privately funded school with a slightly different ethos. Although they do follow the GCSE syllabus, they also have their own curriculum founded on Steiners principles that take account of the whole child giving equal attention to the physical, emotional, intellectual, cultural and spiritual needs of each pupil and is designed to work in harmony with the different phases of the childs development.

Many parents choose to send their children to a Steiner school as they feel that the regular curriculum is too narrow and they want their children to follow a more holistic approach. Classes are all mixed and have children from all faiths and backgrounds.

More and more parents are now choosing to homeschool (or home educate) their children. This may be for religious reasons or due to their child being bullied at mainstream school or protecting them from negative influences such as drugs or gangs, they may think that they can give their children a better education themselves or sometimes they may find that homeschooling is the only realistic option many families live in remote areas and it is not easy to get their children to school every day.

Special schools are schools that provide special educational provisions for pupils with special educational needs (SEN) whose needs cannot be fully met in a mainstream school. All children learn in different ways and some need lessons tailored especially to them.

Children who have autism or dyslexia for example sometimes find mainstream school too confusing and need more help that a teacher in a mainstream school can give them. Special school are not always the right option but sometime a child can learn much better this way.

Wherever you decide to send your child to school the main issue is that they are happy and challenged and that they learn in a way that suits them.


About the Author (text)John McE writes for Edplace offering a comprehensive online source of colourfull automated worksheets in Maths, English and Science.

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