The kind of questions you ask, will, of course depend on a range of factors, including the age of your children, and your familiarity with the British education system.

Here is a starter list of questions to help you make the right choice:

Leadership, teaching & learning

  • Do you like the Headteacher and have confidence in his/her leadership skills?
  • Is there a good mix of experienced teaching staff and new entrants to the profession?
  • Does the school offer a well-balanced curriculum and broad range of extra-curricular activities?
  • What provision is made for identification of special educational needs and what qualifications and experience do staff have to teach pupils with specific learning difficulties?
  • What systems are in place to monitor and assess pupils' progress?


  • Are all classrooms well laid-out with attractive displays of pupils' work?
  • Are classrooms equipped with interactive whiteboards and are they used effectively?
  • Is the school well equipped with library facilities and can they be accessed readily by pupils?

Pastoral care & communication

  • What systems are in place to ensure the pastoral welfare of pupils?
  • How does the school demonstrate that it has effective anti-bullying policies in place?
  • How does the school handle issues such as drugs and sex education, use of the internet, mobile phones and social networking sites?
  • How does the school manage communication with parents?

Last but not least, make sure you try a school lunch and inspect cloakroom facilities before leaving the premises!

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