Journalist and Writer
Hilary Wilce specialising in all aspects of education
Image of Hilary Wilce

The Quandary - 16 Oct 2008

We are moving in the New Year. How will we find a primary school without league tables?

Hillary's Advice

This year’s catastrophe over national tests is education’s own credit crunch – the collapse of an over-extended testing system insufficiently capitalised by good managers or markers. So you are in school choice recession. This will mean living by your wits, and returning to old-fashioned, simple methods of operating, like going and looking.

Check out last year’s league tables. They are unlikely to have changed much. Then ask around among your husband’s new colleagues for the lowdown on the schools where you are thinking of settling. Once you have refined your search, go and visit. Look hard at what you see on the playground and in the classroom. Do the children look engaged and happy? Are the teachers relaxed and purposeful? Is the building bright and welcoming? Does the school cater for all children, the bright and the struggling? Trust your instincts. They are there for a reason.