Consider the entry requirements

Every school is different, you may want your child to go to an independent school or a local state school. With either of these options it is important to consider what the entry requirements are. An independent school is likely to require some entry examinations to be completed to a certain standard such as the 11+ and a state school may require you to live in a certain catchment area. Some independent schools may also require interviews and taster day attendance.

It’s a good idea to have a very clear understanding of what level is expected in order to gain a place at the prospective school and ensure that you are confident that your child can achieve what is required without too much pressure. If the levels required are a very big stretch for your child, they may then struggle and not enjoy their secondary school education.

The right environment

Attend any prospective school’s open days, this will help you get a real feel of if this is the right environment for your child to thrive in. The teaching style and the atmosphere isn’t something that you shouldn’t compromise on. Take your child with you to the open days, and listen to their opinion as to how they felt about the school. This is the school where they will sit some very important exams so they need to be happy and comfortable here.

Location, location, location

Is the school located in a place that is easy to get to? Are there transport links? Is there a school bus that stops close to where you live? These are important things to consider, the location of the school can have a big impact on your family life, especially if the new location requires some independent travel for your child or if you need to drive them to school, does this fit with your working hours? We recommended perhaps doing some test runs to see if the location works for you and your family.


Another factor is to consider is where your child’s friends are applying for. It perhaps isn’t the key deciding factor, but if your child starts their 1st day of their new school with a friend, it will make the transition period a little less scary for them.

Support from your current prep school

At Kingscourt, we pride ourselves on assisting our students with making the big decision of which secondary school to apply for. We take the time to sit with parents and discuss their requirements. We know the child well and what entry requirements we think are achievable. We also have built relationships with secondary schools to be able to assist with the application process. Utilise any advice, guidance and knowledge that your current prep school can provide. They may also be able to advise you of any school where they believe your son or daughter may be eligible to apply for scholarships.


Picking the right secondary school doesn’t have to be a stressful task, what is most important is that you find a school that can support, care and encourage your child to thrive in an environment where they are happy to be. If you are still looking for the right prep school for your child, please do come and pay us a visit at an open day and learn how here at Kingscourt, we prepare our students for the next phase of their educational journey.