Selecting the right primary school

You can find a lot of information that will help you decide which school to choose for your child. Unfortunately, none of these sources offer a sure-fire way to determine the right one. It can be helpful to consider:

  1. Test results for National Testing

Every year, Year 2 children (7 years old) and Year 6 children (11 years old) take assessments in maths, reading, and writing. They also have to complete tests in punctuation, grammar, and spelling. These results are published on both the DfE and school websites. The headline figures show how many children achieved a certain standard in English or mathematics during a given year (for example, 87% of students reached the expected standard).

Image credit

  1. Ratings from ofsted

Ofsted, which inspects schools in England, can give four different grades. The highest rating given is Outstanding, followed by ‘Good.’ The last two ratings are ‘Needs Improvement’ and ‘Inadequate’.

Ofsted ratings are useful for making decisions, but shouldn’t be considered a final verdict. Remember that the ratings are based solely on Ofsted’s decisions, and not yours. A school that is outstanding might have a different set of values and priorities than you. Ofsted might have rated a school as ‘Good’, but it could be the perfect fit for you and your children.

Check the date of the inspection. The inspection of ‘outstanding’ schools has stopped, so the report could be up to 10 years old. In ten years, a lot can happen. A school rated as requiring improvement may have made significant improvements since the last inspection, and now provide a perfect education to your child. Ofsted reports can be a good starting point but they shouldn’t be the only thing you consider.

  1. Reputation

You may know parents who already have children at the school or parents who are also looking for local schools. These are helpful, but it is important to remember that everyone has different expectations of a school.

Also, schools can change when the staff or head teacher changes. You and your child may not find the ideal school in another person’s opinion.

It is the same for information found on websites and online forums for parents. The posts will be based on an individual’s experience or opinion, which may differ from other parents who have children attending the school.

  1. The website of the school

Websites can be a great source of information for schools, including details on the curriculum, extracurricular activities and Ofsted reports. For help with Primary School Websites, visit

Image credit

The most interesting things are the copies of the school newsletter or the school diary, which lists all the events and clubs. These documents provide a window into the life of the school, and the way the school communicates to parents.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.