How finding the right school can prove fundamental to finding the right home.
1. Ask another parent.
When making some parenting decisions it's a great idea to ask a fellow Mum or Dad. It can be especially useful to seek advice from other parents when looking for an area to move to with a school in mind. Maybe they have a child in school and they can give you first hand advice, or they have lived in your chosen area all their lives and are pretty clued up about schools. Either way talking to a parent is a pretty good starting place. But don’t stop there; choosing a school is a very personal decision and you may find after further investigation that their advice wasn’t right for you after all.
2. Begin to narrow down your search
Maybe you already know which area you want to live in but don’t yet know much about the local schools. DirectGov has a helpful SchoolsFinder web page (Find it here: http://schoolsfinder.direct.gov.uk/schoolsfinder). This will allow you to find the schools in your chosen area so you can begin a more detailed investigation.
3. Do your research
Once you have found all the schools in your area there are a couple of ways to find out more about them. Most schools have a website which will tell you something about the way the school presents itself. Try to note the activities children are getting up to and whether that suits you. Are they very results driven? Or are you looking for lots of interesting school trips?
Next, have a look at their most recent Ofsted reports (which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ofsted). Ofsted is a government department responsible for standards in schools. All publicly funded schools are inspected by Ofsted and will have a fairly recent report on the site. This is a snapshot of how the school is run and how successful they are.
Finally if you’re making your choice imminently make an appointment to view your chosen schools. Almost all schools now offer open days in the run up to application deadlines. But, if you’ve missed it or you’re super on the ball, most schools will be happy to arrange a separate appointment to show you round.
4. Talk to us
When you know which schools you are definitely interested in bring that information into branch. Our sales negotiators will know which properties are in the catchment areas for your chosen schools and you can start the most fun part of your search; looking at properties! When you arrange a viewing, why not take a map and build in some extra time to travel to your school of choice. It may be further away than you thought and you'll need to take this into consideration when making your choice.
It may seem like a huge responsibility, making a choice about future schools, especially if children are on the cards but only at some distant point in the future. But, when you eventually receive that letter telling you that your beloved tot has a place in the school of your dreams, you’ll be glad you made that extra effort.