Choosing Your Child’s Primary School
Choosing your child’s first school can be a very difficult decision and one that seems to come awfully soon for many parents. Although there is a great deal of competition for the best schools in the borough, the good news about choosing a primary school in Tower Hamlets is there are a large number of good and outstanding schools available. In 2017, 97% of all our primary schools were rated good or better and our borough has the fastest improving schools in the country.
For more information about Tower Hamlets school’s Ofsted performances refer to this website:
It’s Not Just About Grades
SATs results may not be the be all and end all when it comes to a school. Another important indicator is something called ‘value added’. This is related to the progress the children at a school make from the end of KS1 (year 2) to the end of KS2 (year 6). A bright child who achieves above average at the end of KS1 should achieve above average at the end of KS2. Value added is when, for example, an average achieving child in KS1 goes on to achieve above average results at the end of KS2.
Ofsted reports also reflect a primary school at a certain point in time. While they are very good for giving you a brief picture of the school, they do not show everything. The leadership in a school may also have changed since the last Ofsted.
It is worth keeping in mind that you may also find a focus on creative subjects important or like the ethos a primary school has above what standardised tests and Ofsted reports can reveal about a school’s performance. Class sizes might mean more individual attention. Some people feel teaching to test can jeopardise our children’s ability to compete with the future of AI.
Whatever your thoughts on this it is always a good idea to visit the primary schools you would like your children to attend and try to talk to parents who already send their children to the local school – by far the best way of working out if this is the best school for your child.
No matter which school you are offered for your child, the way we educate our children is a large and much debated topic you may want to take interest in. Parental advocacy can be key in making changes to our school system.
Children with Additional Needs
If you are concerned your child has additional needs it’s a good idea to try and get advice from either your nursery, play group, health visitor or the Education Authority before they start school. They may need some additional help and attention. You can find out more about how to get help for your child here.
Tower Hamlets Schools – Applications
Once you have made your decision you can apply for schools online here: https://www.eadmissions.org.uk/eAdmissions/app