School Guidance
School Guidance
School Guidance
School Guidance

Looking for a School in a new area

Moving house is highly stressful. The problem that worries all parents is how to assess schools in the new location and find one with places that will best suit their children’s educational needs. It is a daunting task. Although all children in state schools follow the National Curriculum, many Local Authorities have different systems and run a bewildering array of different types of schools which may include academies, middle schools, grammar schools, first, primary and comprehensive schools, colleges, free schools and upper schools. The application process is fraught with problems. If your move coincides with your child joining a school at one of the main points of entry the Application Form has to be submitted by a fixed date. If it is not submitted on time your child will not be considered for a place in the first round of the Allocation of Places.

Choosing an independent school is equally confusing. They all produce glossy brochures making much the same claims. It is difficult to form an accurate assessment of an independent school from its prospectus or web site.  League Tables only give information about one aspect of the school and do not give a rounded picture of the school life. Inspection reports are useful but should be treated with caution if they were published more than two years ago. Family and friends may have opinions on schools but a school that is a perfect fit for one child can be a nightmare for another.
Parents who are moving house can save themselves a great deal of worry and anxiety by using School Guidance to help them to choose the right schools and find their way through the complicated application process.

They will benefit from being able to tap into our in-depth knowledge of the education system from nursery to university and into up to date information about the schools in the new area. Whatever the type of education is being sought, School Guidance takes the worry out of the decision making for parents.

Below is a broad outline of a School Search. Use this link for details of the different types of school searches and their prices

Preliminary Stage

The School Search package is agreed (click here for prices)

The completed Questionnaire is sent, usually by email to School Guidance. (download a copy here)

The child’s latest school report is sent, usually by email to School Guidance. If the child has Special Education Needs, reports, IEPs and any other relevant documents are also sent, usually by email.

Education Consultation

The School Search starts with a consultation. The consultation normally takes an hour and may be by telephone or face-to-face depending on the level of School Search. Your aspirations for your child and his or her educational needs will be discussed. Your child’s academic ability, hobbies, interests and character will be discussed in detail. If the child has Special Education Needs this will be fully discussed.

Information will be given about the different types of schooling available in the search area. The timescale will be agreed.

The area for the school search, the type of schooling you require and the Criteria for the School Search will be discussed and agreed. Any specific information about the schools that parents wish to be included in the Report will be agreed.

School Search and Education Report

When the School Search has been completed the Education Report containing information about the schools that meet the criteria and have places, is sent to the parents, usually by email.  Depending on the level of service the report will contain information on a selection of the following:

/ School contact details
/ Name of Head teacher
/ Name of Registrar and direct telephone number
/ Type of school – age range day/boarding and sex
/ Percentage of boys/girls where applicable
/ Setting of school and surrounding area
/ School size and numbers of boys and girls where applicable
/ Religion practised at the school
/ Class size
/ Inspection report links
/ Test/examination result  
/ Comparison of Education System in the UK and the home country
/ Sports played at the school during each term
/ Facilities offered for music/sport/art/dance/drama
/ Comparison of examination results
/ Availability of places
/ Entrance requirements
/ Admission Procedure arrangements
/ Entrance Test – subjects tested and where test can be taken
/ Languages offered
/ Examination Boards used by school
/ Extra curricular activities
/ Special Needs provision
/ Map Showing location of the schools
/ Comparative costings
/ Saturday School timetable
/ Weekend arrangements for full time boarders
/ Number of full and part time boarders
/ Number of international Students
/ Number of fixed exeats each term
/ School Fees
/ Term dates and half term dates
/ Dates when visits are possible

Additional Information

Information may be sent to parents usually by email on educational topics. Titles include:

Visiting and Assessing Schools
Questions to Ask Schools
A Brief Guide to Education in the UK
Understanding League Tables
Independent Schools

School Visits

Parents choose which schools they want to visit from the schools short-listed in the Education Report.

The School Search packages except for the Basic School Search include a Schedule of Unaccompanied School Visits. Accompanied School Visits can be added to the Standard and Gold Standard School Search packages but not to the Basic School Search.


After the visits the family is de-briefed and help and guidance is given with the decision making process.

Assistance is given throughout the application process until school places are confirmed.
If state school places are sought and no school places are available in the preferred state school, School Guidance can assist the family with an Admission Appeal and if needed represent the family at the appeal hearing.

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"Thank you so much for your fabulous assistance in finding the right school for Tristan. We are thrilled with the school and he can't wait to start! Your sound advice and guidance was invaluable.
We would not have been successful had it not been for your assistance."
Corporate Client
State School Search in Bedfordshire
"We can't thank you enough for your very efficient and friendly service."
A Foreign Office family
posted in South Asia

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your help in finding schools for my children. Your approach allowed me to focus on what was important in a school for me. As we are moving to an area I know little about, your research allowed me to define which would be the best areas to live in to be near
good Junior and Secondary schools.
Your advice was very clear and logical and the speed of your response has meant that we are finally making progress."
Mr and Mrs Malik
"Again thank you for all of your work and effort on the schools issue. I really feel fortunate to have found a resource such as you who did excellent work in providing the advice I needed as well as conducting the school search that fitted our needs."
Corporate Client


Penny Bysshe. School Guidance Consultancy
Orchard House, High Road, Cookham, Berkshire SL6 9JT
Tel. +44 (0)1628 810696. Email.
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