Choosing the right school for your child is a daunting prospect, a decision that seems laden with consequences for the future. A whole range of factors need to be weighed up, ranging from the curriculum, to sports facilities, to transport connections.

But whilst it is an important and complicated choice, the process of choosing can still be an enjoyable and inspiring one. We spoke with our Schools Consultant, Sally Hobbs - herself a former headmistress and now a governor at King’s College School - and discussed how to choose the perfect school.

Sally guides you through each step of the process, from what to do before visiting the school to what to look out for during the visit itself. We’ve picked out and summarised some of her observations below, but make sure to watch the whole thing to take in the amazing breadth of insight Sally offers.

Best of luck to parents and children in choosing schools, and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want our advice!

My top tips:

Make sure to do your research beforehand

  • Spend some time on the school’s website before your visit, making sure it has all the facilities and structures your child will need (for example detailing how they support SEN children, or provide extra stimulation for the gifted). This could potentially save you a lot of time.
  • Check that they emphasise pastoral care: your child’s happiness and welfare will always be the number one priority, so make sure the school acknowledges this.

Concentrate on the ‘right fit’ for your child

  • During the visit, make sure your child is happy and engaged. Do they seem to be gaining energy from their surroundings? Let their reaction to the school be your guide.

Don’t put your feet up when you get home

  • After returning from a school visit, take some notes! You don’t want to forget any nagging doubts, or any special moments. The final choice will come some months after the visit, so make a record of what you and your child thought.

Sally Hobbs is one of Ivy Education's top consultants. A former Head of Orchard House School, Sally offers families advice on the leading independent schools and is available to help with school selection and placement.