There’s a lot to consider when choosing a school for your child, including the school’s reputation, academic standing, facilities and much more. As a parent, you must choose not just ‘the best school’ but the best school for your child. There are many brilliant schools in England, and at Gabbitas we work with schools across the country to provide families with impartial advice. We cannot emphasise more strongly the importance of choosing the right school, where a child will feel that they are coping, that they are on top of things, and most importantly that they belong.
It is not easy for parents to know whether their child will be happy at a school, some difficulties are covert. But a child’s emotional response is immediate. Sometimes, when a family visits a school, their child will run happily in the schools’ grounds, ask the headmaster questions, and you’d know that they are comfortable. On other occasions, a child might look at the school and say: ‘I don’t want to study here’. Although nothing explains the negative reaction, we at Gabbitas always acknowledge it. We do not want to place a child into a school where they’d feel like an eyesore or a misfit. That is why we feel it is important to consider not only the parents’ preferences but that of the child’s too, in the end it is they who will be at the school day in day out.
Then, there are objective signs. Sometimes the school that parents think is the perfect fit for their child simply isn’t. If the school did not offer that child a place, it is likely not the right school for them. I cannot agree more with Andrew Hill, the headmaster of the academically selective Kings College School in Wimbledon, who writes in his blog: “headteachers of very academic schools all know that academically weaker boys or girls who have gained admission after intensive tuition or special pleading, are at high risk of an unhappy school career. Parental, or indeed school, expectations are simply too high, too unrealistic, and bit by bit the child either fades into low-profile apathy, or reacts with anger and anguish, sensing the injustice of being expected to achieve in a way that he simply cannot.”
No parent consciously wants their child to experience that – low-profile apathy or anguish. At Gabbitas, we help parents to find the right school that suits their child. Often, we will suggest a school that the family hasn’t considered before, and parents realise that it might be a better fit their child.
At Gabbitas, we want the children we place to thrive, fulfil themselves – and be happy.