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A parent’s guide to choosing the right private school

Choosing a school is an extremely important decision, which many parents struggle with. Read our parent’s guide to choosing the right school.

NEWS 27 Dec 2023

We all want the best for our children so choosing a school can be an incredibly difficult decision for many parents. To narrow down your options, we have taken a closer look at the criteria you may want to consider, and explain how to assess each school.

Academic excellence

One of the most common reasons parents choose a school is an obvious one, academic performance. You obviously want your child to achieve good grades and sending them to a school whose students consistently perform well is a step in the right direction.

To check a school’s academic performance, you can use the My School website and look at NAPLAN results, which indicate how students in the school perform when compared to students with similar backgrounds. Keep in mind, the My School tool may not include data for all schools.

Quality teachers

Talented, motivated and qualified teachers can make a huge difference in a young person’s life so quality of teachers should be top of mind when choosing a school. To assess the quality of a school’s teachers there are a number of metrics you can consider including:

  • The school’s academic performance.
  • The level of teacher qualification.
  • Student achievements, such as winning academic awards.
  • Feedback from parents and students at the school.
  • A school’s reputation.

The size of the classes in the school may also be an indicator of the quality of teaching (the lower the ratio, the better).

Standard of facilities

The best schools in Australia have one thing in common. They all have incredible facilities that help to foster excellence in students, including the latest classroom technologies and sporting facilities.

The best way to assess a school’s facilities is to simply visit the school and enjoy a tour. Haileybury Rendall School offers the option of both regular open days and private tours for parents considering sending their children there.

Teaching philosophy

Every school has a different teaching philosophy with unique priorities and methods. Before you choose it is important to ensure that you assess each school’s philosophy and ensure that it aligns with your family’s values.

At Haileybury Rendall School our priority is to develop high achieving students who are connected globally, to each other and to the communities in which they live and will serve. To do this we employ evidence and curriculum-based teaching methods, administered by experienced and passionate teachers, while encouraging students to participate in sports, performances, competitions and community initiatives.

Word of mouth

It can be incredibly difficult to assess and compare individual schools, especially if you are considering several options. To make it easier try talking to friends and family about the schools that their children attend — and talk to their children too if they are up to it. There is nothing quite like hearing an honest opinion from someone you trust.

Listen to your child

If your child feels a part of the decision-making process when choosing a school, they are more likely to approach their schooling with a positive attitude. So, bring your child or teenager on school tours or open days, ask them their opinion and have open, honest conversations with them about each option.

“Ultimately, the decision you are making will affect their entire lives so it is only fair they are involved in the decision,” says Scott Doran, Vice Principal Community Engagement and Advancement, at Haileybury.

“Choosing the right school is not only about the present but also about preparing your child for a successful and fulfilling future. It is about providing an environment and opportunities that will empower your child to thrive academically, socially and personally.”