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!