There are many reasons why parents might want to change their child’s school. No matter what the reasons are you would want to ensure that you are enrolling in a school that is worth it. There are many things that make a school the right choice – such as the premises, fees, curriculum, culture etc. There are also a few other things that go beyond the obvious. You might be changing schools because you have to, such as for a child transitioning from primary to secondary school or because you do not like the effect of the school on your child.
How much should other parents feedback matter? Why do you believe changing your child’s school is the best decision? How do you ensure comfort and safety for your child? Does it matter if a school uses interactive white-boards or not? Below are a few tips to consider as you choose a school for your child.
Ask yourself “why, where, when, and how” of choosing the right school – In case you are wondering what to consider that’s why LagosMums has put together these tips to help you decide.
7 tips to consider if your child is changing schools
1. Ensure you have a valid reason. When your child is changing schools, be sure to know why you are doing this. When you are clear on this you will be able to choose the right alternative. Is it the teachers and you feel your child is not gaining enough? Could it be that the learning environment was not conducive? Or are there particular things you want your child to learn? Perhaps it is the cost of the fees that is now too high? Or did you move houses? Have your questions ready and be able to give objective answers. Children thrive on stability but if there are valid reasons to make a change then be sure you are clear on it.
2. Narrow Down and Make a Choice. Get your list of schools and start to visit and ask questions in line with your reasons as discussed above. When you visit the schools be sure to meet the key staff, including head of school and administration. Ask to visit the classes and meet some of the teachers. Be sure to ask some parents for their objective feedback and so that you get the information that will help, ask them questions in line with what matters to you. [Read: Pick The Right School]
3. Work with time. Know when the best time is for your child to change schools. It is not advisable to change schools in the middle of a term and in final classes such as Nursery 2, Primary 6 and SS2. Changing schools at critical stages can affect the performance of your child as usually there is the need to sit an external exam – Common Entrance or GSCE. If the decision to change schools is planned during a holiday break, then your child can resume at the start of the new term.
4. Don’t follow the Crowd. Get to know a school for yourself. Don’t enroll your child in a school simply because everyone is doing so. Reviews are not bad and should be taken within context, understand that everyone has their own preferences. Do not make a choice based on what seems to be popular or what everyone is doing. There was a case of parents who enrolled their child in the french school because all her friends were going to that school. Neither she nor her husband could speak french. Years passed with the parents never understanding the school reports (it was in french). When the child was applying to University and needed to have the transcripts converted to English, that was when they got the rude shock that their child had a collection of bad grades and had been failing. Do not follow the Joneses.
5. Know your child. Know the emotional, academic and social needs of your child before you change schools or choose a school. Some children can maneuver change easily while others will struggle through. It is very important that you know about your child’s makeup because this plays as large a part in how your child performs and the choice of school.
6. Think about the future. Changing schools is delicate because your decision will affect your child more than it will affect you. Don’t just focus on yourself and what seems best at the moment. Think about your child and what seems best for their future.
7. Pray. You can never go wrong with prayer. Even when you have made your decision and everything seems right to you, ask for wisdom and pray about it. Ask God if you have made the right decision and ask for clear direction or confirmation. Then carry on with your plan.
The truth is, you are the only one who knows where you are heading but get yourself started on the right track by considering these tips.