If you’re visiting our website for the first time, you are possibly one of the multitudes of parents across South Africa looking for a new school for your child.
It is so disconcerting to see how vast are the numbers of children moving from school to school in every province. Many of these transfers have been forced upon students whose parents have relocated due to job changes, financial constraints, promotions, divorces or other personal circumstances.
But many others are simply because we’ve bought into a consumeristic mentality of self-absorption – these are all the applications which we’ve received from one of the schools down the road where parents are dissatisfied with the school’s level of service. I’m not saying that parents should merely put up with poor service but I’m struck by the lack of effort from so many people to engage with their previous school in an effort to resolve the situation. Instead, what I do note in these applications are that we are increasingly receiving applicants that have attended a string of different schools in the same area. For you as the parent looking for a school, here is my recommendation:
1. Research thoroughly! A private High School education will cost you as much as buying a brand new car. Just as you wouldn’t think of buying a car without checking it out thoroughly, you cannot afford not to check out any prospective school. Financial stability, Umalusi accreditation, Registration with the DoE – don’t hesitate to ask about these things and to verify the answers independently.
2. Visit the school and ask if you can be shown around. Is the school well-maintained, neat and tidy? Do the students seem happy and are they on task when in class? Are the teachers engaging with the students? (I would be a little concerned if a majority of teachers were alone seated at their desks). Do the classrooms contain colourful and interesting displays?
3. Ask for the school’s Matric results, even if you’re only applying for Grade 1! These are the only results that are benchmarked against national averages and will give you an idea of the school’s Matric results. Remember that school’s will often only give you the results that make them look good, so be specific – ask for pass rate, university endorsement rate, and number of distinctions. Specify which subjects obtained distinctions.
4. Most importantly, check out prospective school’s mission statements and core beliefs. This will tell you so much about the real heart-beat of the school – what they are about and what they hope to achieve. Make sure that you align yourself with a school that you can really identify with.
I hope this helps you in your school-hunting project! Our website will give you an insight as of what we represent as The King's School West Rand.