The best school for your child? New Irish research has news for parents

Smart Money: Going to a fee-paying school does not guarantee the best education

The magic sauce which makes some schools better than others is hard to identify.

How do you choose the best secondary school for your child? New Irish economic research has some interesting insights. One is that paying for a fee-paying school is not necessarily the best approach.Irish parents take an active approach to choosing a school, with many not choosing the closest school. But how what school will get the best from your child? Here are the key points.

1. The backdrop: An ESRI study in 2010 suggests that as many as half of Irish parents do not choose the secondary school they live closest to for their child or children to attend. Given that many live in rural areas and would have a limited choice, this suggests that a significant number who do have a choice choose to exercise it. The academic record of the school features in the choice but so do a host of other factors – ethos, sports facilities, where friends are going, whether the school is single sex or mixed, school discipline, supports for children who need them and so on. And affordability is also a factor for those considering private schools, many of which charge €4 ,000 to €6,000 a year for day pupils , with some significantly higher.

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