There is a lot to think about when choosing the right school for your child. Whether you are moving them to a new school or just choosing a school for them to start in, it is a big decision. How do you know what option is best?
Class Size: The number of children in each classroom may make a difference in how much your child is able to learn. Generally, state schools have large classes, but if you look around you may find some that have smaller classes. Independent/ private schools tend to have smaller classes.
School Size: Some children do better in large schools where they have many other children to play with and many choices for classes. Others like smaller schools, where there aren't as many choices for classes and closer relationships with students and teachers can be made. Again, state schools tend to be large, with large classes and fewer teachers. However, many of those teachers are dedicated and hard-working people who will do their best to give your child the individual attention they need.
Location: Most families will try to choose a school close to them for convenience. You should also consider your child's safety on the trip to and from school, and while at school, and what facilities are in the area as well (library, swimming pool and so on), if you can.
Diversity: To some parents it is important for a school to be racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse. You may need to look outside of your own community if you want your child to experience a truly multi-ethnic, multicultural school.
School Fees: State schools all charge fees, as set by their Governing Bodies, but if you are unable to pay the fees they will still accept your child - no child may be denied basic education. Ask at the local schools about fees, 'hidden costs' (such as books, stationery and so on), and fee exemptions or discounts (many schools offer discounts for siblings). Independent schools charge higher fees and do not offer fee exemptions, but many offer bursaries and scholarships for deserving learners.