As a parent, navigating the landscape of school admissions can feel like embarking on a daunting journey filled with endless considerations and choices. From educational philosophies to extracurricular activities, safety measures to the school’s culture, there are numerous factors to weigh when selecting the right institution for our children.

Recently, at the COBIS Deira International School’s Parent Session held on 28th February 2024, parent panellists shared their diverse experiences and shed light on what matters most to them when it comes to choosing a school.

Priorities and Goals

One of the paramount considerations for parents is aligning the school’s offerings with their child’s education and future goals. Whether it’s fostering critical thinking skills, providing ample support for individual needs, or instilling life skills for problem-solving, parents emphasised the importance of a holistic approach to education. They expressed a desire for challenging yet attainable coursework that keeps their children engaged without overwhelming them, while also highlighting the significance of location and cost.

Teacher Approach and School Culture

The panellists delved into the crucial role teachers play in their children’s educational journey, emphasising factors such as pupil-to-teacher ratios, additional support systems, and the school’s stance on parental involvement. Moreover, the culture of the school surrounding safety and bullying emerged as a key concern for parents, with a unanimous agreement that a supportive and inclusive environment is paramount.

Inclusion and Diversity

While some parents did not find inclusion and diversity to be significant factors in their decision-making process, others emphasised its importance, particularly in providing support for children with special needs. Celebrating differences and fostering an environment where asking for support is encouraged were highlighted as essential aspects of school culture.

Facilities and Marketing

Although excellent facilities were acknowledged as attractive features, the panellists stressed that they should complement, rather than overshadow, the school’s educational offerings. Moreover, word of mouth emerged as the primary influencer in school selection, followed by factors such as college and exam results, social media presence, and marketing strategies.

Experience and Communication

When it comes to school tours and communication with parents, the panellists emphasised the importance of experiencing the school’s atmosphere firsthand while it’s in session. They also discussed the significance of effective communication between the school and parents, with a preference for concise and relevant information tailored to their needs.

Challenges for New Schools

Finally, the panel addressed the challenges faced by new schools, emphasising the importance of building trust through the expertise and track record of their staff. Additionally, reducing costs and showcasing the school’s commitment to excellence were cited as strategies to attract parents and establish a reputation.

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In conclusion, the COBIS Deira International School’s Parent Session offered invaluable insights into the multifaceted considerations that parents weigh when selecting a school for their children. From educational philosophies to practical considerations, the session highlighted the complex interplay of factors that ultimately shape the decision-making process. By understanding and addressing these concerns, schools can foster strong partnerships with parents and create enriching educational environments for all students.

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John Cannon, WCBS Sales Director works closely with Independent and International Schools and has a wealth of experience within Education Technology

John has an inside-out knowledge of School Marketing and Admissions and is always on hand to support the team.