1. Look for a school that matches your child. If you need specialist help – look carefully. If you need advanced learning specialists – look carefully. Most schools focus on one end of the learning spectrum.
2. Start Early, if you are looking for a particular type of school. If you have certain needs, start applying in grade four or before.
3. Look for social cues. Are they big on clubs? Would your kids be into that?
4. Look for extras. What extras do they offer? Extra curricula, camps, international trips? Are these things within your budget? Are you willing to sacrifice for them?
5. Look for scholarships. Apply for any need or skill based scholarship that matches your child.
6. If you want to go to the nearest state school (as our two boys do) don’t worry too much about applying ahead of time. They are required to take nearby residents.
7. Listen to your kids. They may know what they want. Two of ours did (Maths/Music). One is an “all rounder” (as his brother calls him) and excels anywhere because he sets his own expectations – very high!
8. Finally, it’s more about who your child is than what school they attend. Show them how to be bold and stand up for others. Reward them for asking good questions. Challenge them to have a go, even if they fail. Kids like this lead the pack!