A lot of parents spend months deciding what school is perfect for their children. This is why going on school visits and asking the right questions is so vital. However, something that many parents seem to struggle to do on these school visits is finding the right questions to ask the teachers.
There are so many questions to ask, that sometimes we come out of a school visit with unanswered questions. Therefore, alongside Cognita Schools, we’ve managed to pinpoint 10 questions that are essential to ask on every school visit.
1.What’s the child-to-teacher ratio?
You need to be sure your child will get the level of support they need to achieve. Class size is one thing but the teacher’s ability to recognize each child’s specific needs is another. Ensuring a healthy class size will more or less guarantee your child will be able to get the help they require.
2. Do the pupils have an allocated mentor to ensure steady progress?
It’s likely that a class teacher or form mentor will be responsible for ensuring your child is developing well. However, through asking this question, you are able to find out if there is any more support for those who are struggling or excelling at school. This will help you identify which school better suits your child’s learning ability.
3. What extracurricular clubs are available?
Whether their interests are in sport or in the performing arts, there are loads of different extra-curricular activities that schools may offer. However, some offer more than others. Finding out what activities they have available is fundamental to further develop your child’s skill and passion in their favourite area of interest.
4. How do you settle unhappy or anxious children?
Hopefully, you won’t have any issues when it comes to your child settling into their new school. However, things don’t always go to plan, and settling down at school can be difficult for many children.
Through asking this question, you will be able to see their approach towards this issue and how they resolve this problem.
5. How do you deal with bullying or bad behaviour?
All schools have a zero-tolerance policy on bullying. However, that doesn’t mean bullying doesn’t happen at that school. Finding out the schools’ way of reducing the amount of bullying happening there is vital, as some schools are better at tackling this issue than others.
6. How does the school communicate with parents?
You’ll want to know how they communicate with parents as soon as possible. This is because there are various ways schools can contact parents. This could be through email, a phone call, social media, or through text. Finding this out will ensure you can easily communicate with the school.
7. Is this what the school usually looks like?
Ask children this question. A lot of schools decorate the building for open days in order to make a good impression to the parents. However, there are some that really take care of the school and make the display boards a priority all year round, not just for parent evenings and open days. Distinguishing which school does what is key to choosing the right school for your child.
8. Are there morning and after-school clubs?
A lot of parents work full-time jobs and can’t always be there to pick up their children after school. Therefore, you need to know if there are any clubs your child can go to after school in order to support your needs as a parent.
9. Is there a recent parent survey I can look at?
A parent survey is a great document to read as it will give you an insight as to how existing parents feel about the school. If the school doesn’t have one of these, make sure you talk to other parents with children already attending that school.
10. Is there an open-door policy?
No child’s school years are plain sailing. On occasions, there may be issues that arise and you will need to speak to a teacher on a short notice. An open-door policy will allow you to resolve these issues as soon as they crop up.
Picking the right school for your children can be extremely hard, but by asking the above questions, we believe this task becomes much easier to do.
To read more about this topic please see the infographic from Cognita Schools below.