Getting their child into a good local school can be a major challenge for many parents, particularly in urban areas. This chapter is intended to help parents understand the admissions procedures as well as how to choose a good school for their child. The first question to answer is ‘To which schools should your child apply?’ Chapter 1 of this book discussed the characteristics of good schools. We indentified

the key common characteristics as:

A good leadership team of the head teacher, heads of department and governing body; Their ability to attract and retain good teachers; A focus on the basics such as literacy and numeracy; The setting of individual learning targets for each student in every year group and use

of data to monitor progress and the achievement of good examination results; Good discipline and order; Curriculum innovation, which may include vocational awards and/or the International

Baccalaureate; Extensive use of information communications technology, including wireless linked

laptops for every child and interactive whiteboards; A longer school day with an extensive programme of after-school education; A focus on individual learning to create an ethos of achievement, so that every child

realises his or her optimum potential; The involvement of parents and the use of older students to act as mentors for younger