The Best Value Education For Your Children

by Zoe

It's one of the most stressful decisions parents can make. Finding the ideal school can be extremely difficult because although all parents are keen to ensure their child receives a good education, it's not usually a matter of simply choosing the nearest school.

Many parents are unhappy with their options and are choosing to move to the catchment area of a preferred school. This is relatively easy for those who rent but people with a mortgage may find it difficult.


With growing competition for places at top schools, some education authorities are introducing 'lottery' systems, in which pupils can be sent to any school in their locality and not necessarily the nearest. This can be devastating for parents who have chosen a home based on the local school.

There are benefits, though, with more of a cultural and ability mix seen across schools, as well as fewer schools being over-subscribed. However, parents do feel that they lose control of their children's education. If moving to a better catchment area, it's advisable to check selection criteria with the local education authority in advance.

State or Private

With the debate about state versus private schools continuing to rage, it's a discussion many parents have, especially if they are not particularly wealthy but have a degree of financial security.

The rising middle class accounts for a large percentage of the private school intake as parents in areas with poorly performing state schools feel forced into going down this route. With more people opting for private education, fees have increased. But there are also costs associated with moving house to a catchment area of a decent state school. To save money, can go to community college, a state 2 year college, and then transfer to a private 4 year university.

Funding Education

It's not uncommon for grandparents to contribute to the cost of private education and many people also borrow the money. This is risky and private schooling should not be considered if parents cannot afford it.

Whatever option parents choose, it makes financial sense to save in advance to cover any costs. A long-term saving plan can help reduce the pressure.

How to Decide

It's important to note that the majority of areas are well served by good state schools with a fair admission process and enough spaces.

The internet has meant that parents have Ofsted information at their fingertips but in the changing world of education, this may not always be relevant. While the findings of the assessments are important, they are also subject to rapid change.

A change of head teacher or substantial school refurbishment can instantly improve a struggling school and there are many other factors which can have an impact.

By setting criteria of what's important on an individual basis, parents have the best chance of narrowing down the choices and finding a school to suit their needs. There's a lot to be said for visiting schools and trusting gut instincts. It also pays to look at the facilities and attainment levels, as well as the distance.

There are no easy answers but choosing the right school can have far-reaching effects on a child's future, so the decision needs to be right.

This post was written by Zoe

Zoe is a keen blogger who is currently writing on behalf of Innova Solutions, to help publicise their interior services for a variety of environments, including schools, laboratories and retail stores.

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