Independent Schools in Sussex

CHOOSING one of the many independent schools in Sussex is proving an increasingly popular choice for parents  – gone are the days when a private education was just for the elite.

But why choose a private education for your child? “Better standards of education”, “better start to life/more chances in life/better chance for future careers”, “better discipline”, “smaller classes” and “better results” were the most popular reasons revealed in a 2011 survey by the Independent Schools Council.

Whatever the reason, the most important thing is to choose the right school for your child.The best school is the one that best suits your child.

Independent schools, private schools and public schools are essentially the same thing, and have history to blame for the confusing array of names.  Whatever you call it, all theseindependent schools in Sussex have no funding from the Government and rely on either tuition fees, gifts, endowments or a charitable backing.

Private schools in Sussex do not have to follow the national curriculum, however, just like state schools, they are inspected regularly to ensure they are up to standard. Reports are published online by whichever organisation inspects them, be it Ofsted, the Independent Schools Inspectorate, the Bridge Schools Inspectorate or the School Inspection Service.

There are many reasons for choosing one of the independent schools in Sussex including a greater chance of doing well in public exams, a wider range of extra-curricular options, smaller classes, the opportunity to board, excellent sporting facilities and the opportunity to study some of the more unusual subjects like Ancient Greek and Latin. They can also provide good networking opportunities.

When deciding if one of the private schools in Sussex is going to be right for your child and family you need to consider things like cost, how many extras you will be expected to pay for as these can add a hefty chunk to the bill, if you want it based in a bustling town or quiet country setting, do they do Saturday school and whether exeats/holidays fit in with your family life.

If you are considering boarding at one of the independent schools in Sussex there are additional things to consider including whether you want full or flexi boarding, how much contact you get with your child and how many boarders the same age/sex as your child stay at the weekends. Also investigate the type of activities boarders undertake and make sure these are right for your child.

A private education is now available from just 12 months with many prep schools offering baby rooms. Those educated wholly in the private sector typically attend nursery until they are four, pre-prep from four to eight and prep school from eight to either 11 or 13 followed by senior school through to 18.

Pre-prep and prep schools generally accept pupils after an assessment to see if the child will fit in, however if your child is joining when they are slightly older some schools carry out maths, English and IQ testing to measure their potential alongside spending a day at the school to see how they fit in.

Most senior schools use the Common Entrance exam to assess whether the pupil will meet their academic requirements. Pupils who attend prep school are coached in how to sit these exams and also have excellent results in achieving scholarships. If you have your heart set on a particular senior school enquire about what prep schools it recommends – it may help you get that all important place.

When looking at all the excellent independent schools in Sussex just remember it needs to feel right for your child. Whether it’s the grandest of traditional public schools or the homely feeling small school, if you feel your child will be happy and confident there then it is the best school.