An informative and accessible guide to education aimed at parents who wish to ascertain the pros and cons of fee-paying independent schools and their non-fee paying competitors.
For generations parents who could afford to do so paid school fees. They took it for granted that they were buying for their children a better education and a better start in life. But these old assumptions are being challenged by change, and for the first time doubts are being expressed.
Do all independent schools give value for money? Can the best state schools and grant-maintained schools offer a better education, and for nothing?
Written in the same informal manner as his classic book Letters From School, John Rae, former headmaster of Westminster School, delivers a wealth of information to help parents to make informed decisions about whether or not to pay fees.
Letters to Parents addresses a vast number of concerns, ranging from:
The importance of developing a strategy for your child’s education.
• How to make the most of limited resources.
• What do the league tables really tell us?
• Academic excellence – where do we find it in the state and independent sectors?
• What do boarding schools have to offer?
• Do girls really do better in single sex schools?
• How to read between the lines of a glossy prospectus.
• What are the options if the public school ethos and the local comprehensive do not appeal? A look at independent co-educational and progressive schools and schools with a European dimension.
• How the ‘rules of the game’ may be changed by the new Labour Government.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Praise for Letters From School:
‘this fascinating and unstuffy book contains much that will stimulate discussion about both state and independent education’
More than ever before, a child’s chances of a good education depend on parents making the right decisions about schools. For the first time, a former head of one of Britain’s leading independent schools gives frank advice on how to identify a school’s strengths and weaknesses and how to plan your children’s schooling so that they have the best education you can afford.
John Rae sets out to answer questions such as: How can parents ever know what a school is like? How important are academic league tables? How much does the head matter? What do contemporary boarding schools have to offer? Which are the best state and independent schools and what do they have in common?
Dr John Rae is an acknowledged authority on independent schools and has written and broadcast on many aspects of the state education system. He argues that it is more difficult for today’s parents to choose the right school because assumptions about where good education is to be found are changing. Paying fees does not guarantee a better education. Some independent schools offer excellence in many fields, including the academic, but others are struggling to fill empty places and may not give value for money. League tables show that the best state schools are stronger academically than many schools which charge high fees, but there are not enough of these outstanding state schools to go round.
This is the book parents have been waiting for. Choosing schools for your children is always a gamble. 'Letters to Parents' will improve the odds in your favour.
• What do we need to know before we start to plan our child’s education?
• How can we make the most of our chance to visit the school?
• How important are the academic league tables?
• How do teachers in independent schools compare with teachers in state schools?
• Does alcohol misuse cause a greater problem for schools than the use of illegal drugs?
• Are there any schools that have succeeded in eliminating bullying?
• Do independent schools teach moral values more effectively than state schools?
• If children turn out to be gifted, should parents send them to special schools?
• What are the differences between the academic advantages of single-sex schools and the social advantages of co-education?
• What are the advantages and disadvantages of being at the same school from four to eighteen?
• What future changes may affect our children’s education?
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