Is the school your kids attend a good one? A special guest post written by Carla Stacey

Better schools

What makes a good or bad school?

It is something I’ve thought about for a long time, even before I became a parent.

I am fascinated by the playground chatter about schools – mostly heresay and often about whether that school has a good or bad ‘reputation’. Rarely does it go deeper than anecdotal.

So when David Gillespie’s book Free Schools, how to get a good education for your kids without spending a fortune came out I was keen to find out what the research showed really does matter in a school.

As an experienced, professional researcher I was impressed. The book is well researched, authoritative and accessible.

His book blew up some of my own myths and beliefs. I found his book both useful and challenging. And it is a challenge for parents to go past their own bias and anecdotes they’ve heard to see what the evidence shows.

A lot of parents are interested in this topic, but don’t have enough time to read the whole book. So, I did a summary – Carla’s Cliff Notes I call it – to share with others.

I have written it for parents.

Parents like me with high expectations for their child’s education.

Parents that need to choose a primary school, a secondary school or want to assess the current school their child attends based on real evidence.

I want parents to reflect and ask how they can help make schools better – beyond the fundraising and the P&C.

And schools can be better – and for all us they need to be.

Parents have a big contribution to make to their school community.

The better informed we are, the more effective we can be – individually and collectively.

Tell us what you think. Or better yet use the information to help create a better school.

For the full summary of the book, go here.

Please let us know what you think.  You can start by answering the questions below

  • Did this information help you in assessing the school?
  • What information or feature do you rely on to pick the school your child attends?
  • How do you think you can make your existing school better?
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6 responses to “Is the school your kids attend a good one? A special guest post written by Carla Stacey

  1. Very thought provoking piece Carla. I love the principal at Jack’s public school and he loves his teachers. However, his principal sends her daughter to a private school….

  2. Yes this is interesting and I have also had this experience. Have you asked him why?

  3. An article and report released today emphasising the need to address equity for all by participating in public education. http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/go-public-to-improve-equity-in-all-schools-parents-urged-20140310-34hyc.html#poll

  4. Thanks for the clifford notes. My daughter is in preschool and starts kindy next year and it stresses me out that perhaps I haven’t been thinking about the right things in terms of choosing a school… are we doing the right thing by her etc etc.and I think this helps. Thanks again

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