New way parents choose their kids’ school
QUEENSLAND kids are wielding more power than ever before in choosing which school they attend, according to new research out this week.
The What Parents Want survey of more than 3600 parents at 115 Queensland independent schools, commissioned by independent Schools Queensland, found more than half of parents said their child's opinion totally or highly influenced their choice of school.
ISQ executive director David Robertson said it was "an interesting shift" from previous surveys - which have been conducted every four years since 2006 - but not necessarily a surprising one.
"Parents recognise that students need to feel comfortable, safe and secure in their environment if they're going to be good learners - it's probably a good shift," he said.
Student Matthew Stoward, 15, said his parents gave him the choice of attending boys school Anglican Church Grammar School (Churchie) or the co-education Cannon Hill Anglican College, and he ultimately opted for the later.
"I decided I enjoyed being in a co-ed school," he said.
"I also had an older brother attending here, but that didn't really have much of an influence on my choice."
Fellow student Gaby Bishop, 15, was also offered multiple choices of school, but said after attending a tour it was the "friendly environment" cemented her decision.
The ISQ survey also found parents had shifted their priorities when searching for a school.
The most important factor parents cited was a school which would prepare a student to fulfil their potential in life, followed by high quality teachers and the school fitting their child's individual needs. A strong academic performance was not named in the top 10 factors.
Renae Malos has two children at school, Ethan in Year 4 and Quinn in Year 1, and said she began considering school options when Ethan was still a toddler.
"At that time I was looking for something which was boys and girls, so they could attend together, and ideally a school which was Prep to Year 12." she said.
"I did a lot of research online, took a few tours and spoke to a few friends who were teachers to get their opinions.
"I wasn't looking at schools on a purely academic basis - I wanted one which would provide something for my child later on in life, and lead them down the right path for them."