When it comes to choosing the right education for your child – no matter how old they are, it can be tricky. You might live where private school places are highly sought after, and you might need to sign up when you find out you are pregnant. 

But how do you choose one from a list of the best private schools?

Pastoral Care

Many of the best private schools are also boarding schools or have the option of boarding. This means you’ll need to trust the staff of the school implicitly. One of the best places to inspect to see if that is the right place for your child is checking out the house where they will be staying. 

If you do not get the offer, then put in a request to meet the housemistress or the housemaster and any other staff your child will be with often. 

Ask for policies they have in place and how they support children through the transition from home to school. 


One of the reasons private schools are so costly is that they pride themselves greatly on their high results. Just because the school has an excellent academic record doesn’t mean your child will – but it does increase the chances. Always check out the results, and ask about what happens to those struggling children. 

Checking out some alumni can also give you a lot of insight. 


All schools, independent or not, will have a particular ethos and values, and you will want to understand what theirs is. Making sure that your personal ethos and the method of the school align is important. 

Each independent school will have some affiliations like church, armed forces, tradesmen’s unions, and a range of universities. 

Those links can also benefit your child as they move out of this stage of their education and into other parts of their life. 

Many of the traditions from the school may date back to when it was first created, but they will still need to be adhered to – no matter how stuffy you may consider them. 


The location will matter more depending on whether your child will be a day student or a boarding student. For boarding students, travel will only happen when the vacation times come, while day students will need two daily commutes. 

Some independent schools offer a transportation service, which can also reduce the cost since they will be day students, not boarding. 

Other factors to consider are that independent schools offer many evening and weekend activities. The location of the school will dictate the types of activities available. For students participating in sports teams, boarding is usually a better option because it means they can go to all the practices and matches with minimal travel. 

The area around the school and the houses is also important. Look for acres of grounds, plenty of well-maintained spaces, and as natural as possible. 

Private School Facilities 

The grounds and the building for most independent schools will be beautiful – often, they are stately homes with many historical charms. And while that is impressive, you should look at all the facilities listed in the brochures. 

Consider what your child enjoys doing in their spare time because if they are artistic, sporty, or into cooking – it is a good idea to make sure those are there. 

Has the school got enough facilities to explore extra skills and support them? Think music, sports, arts, technology, and science. 


Maths, Science, and English, are just the start of what is possible in education. Look for independent schools that offer a well-rounded and expanded curriculum. The more they have available to study, the more likely it is that they will be exposed to new experiences. 

Independent schools worth consideration should have plenty of clubs, including music, bands, horse riding, language, books, chess, and other board games, debating, and more. 

Having so many different options means that students can try out a range of things and find out what truly makes them happy – as well as find things that they are good at. 

There is also the opportunity for the family to get involved in charity drives and more. This can give students a clearer real-world view. 


Most independent schools will have a religious denomination that is prevalent. However, they should also have plenty of accommodation for people of other religions. Make sure you check what those provisions are and if they are suitable long-term options. 

If you’re just exploring education and the options you have, you can read more here: What is “Ivy League” and Why it’s Important.