What makes a great school?

How am I here already? How is my little ‘but he’s just a baby’ boy starting school next September! There may be many of you in the same boat or maybe you have already sailed and navigated the choppy sea of school admissions, but all of a sudden I’m starting to see school and education in a whole new way, as a parent not as a teacher! All of a sudden I’m on the outside looking in and it got me thinking about what kind of school do I want my son to go to? What should I look for in a school when going on those dreaded school tours? So with my teacher and parent hat on I’ve come up with five things that I think makes a great school… and I hope my son is lucky enough to go to one.


  • The Headteacher

I always think a great school starts with the Head. If the Head inspires their teachers, the education will be inspired. Teachers will be happy to stay working in the school so children will have consistent members of staff and relationships will be stronger.  Everything I think starts with the Headteacher.


  • Child focussed

Great schools put children at the heart of everything they do. In today’s exam focussed syllabus this is getting harder and harder but I would always look for a school that keep striving to not put all their emphasis on pass marks and celebrates children’s achievements whether it be in gymnastics or maths.


  • Rounded education

Every subject is not born equally in the school system and with such an emphasis on Maths and English other subjects can get little or no time in the school day. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have an education which is as rich in art as it is algebra, to go on school trips and have school plays - I think variety of subjects gives children the best footing and enables them to figure out their passions and talents.

  • Open door

Problems can be quickly resolved if parents feel able to pop in or send a quick email to staff if anything is troubling them or their child.  An open door policy encourages communication and creates a team effect between parents and staff.


  • Happiness

When I look around schools I love seeing life and energy in the building. From looking at displays on the walls to hearing enthusiastic children in the classroom – this all creates a great buzz. If a school has a great energy about it then the children will be happy learning and will love their school.

And I think that’s probably all I want for my own little boy, to find a school that helps him fall in love with learning….  Now that would be a great school indeed!

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