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Finding the Right School for Your Child

Finding a school for your child is like buying a home. You might even know as soon as you walk in. You’ll get a feel straightaway for whether the school, the teachers and the opportunities are a good fit for your child’s strengths, talents and aspirations. 

Keep an open mind

Plan to visit at least two or three schools, and if you have time, put one or two on the list you’re not sure about. There’s no substitute for going to see a school on a working day. For example, you may think you want a small school, but then visit a large school with small class sizes and relaxing classroom environments and be completely won over.

An open invitation to look around

Look out for details of Open Days on school websites. Open days are an informal opportunity to visit the school without signing up for anything other than a good look around. Hear the Head give an address and enjoy a tour with existing pupils. You can usually just turn up on the day, but it’s always best to let the school know in advance you’re planning to attend.

playing in the playground

Go back and see the school in full swing

All schools welcome visits from prospective families throughout the year. Once you have drawn up a shortlist, go back and see each school on a working day. Simply ask for an appointment and staff will be delighted to show you round, give you a feel for life at the school and answer any questions you may have. 

For advice on what questions to ask when you visit, you’ll find School Guide for Edinburgh and the Lothians have produced 101 questions for school visits here.

SCIS offer free, impartial advice

Our role is to provide parents with impartial information, advice and guidance. We will not recommend a particular school, but we can offer you a choice of schools that fit your criteria. If you’d like more advice on choosing a school, fees or any aspect of independent school life call us on 0131 556 2316 or email It can help enormously to talk through your options with an impartial adviser if you’re struggling to narrow down the choices or make a decision.