First you need to be familiar with the terms and types of schools that the UK has and this will help with your understanding of the uk school system.

Public School (Parent category INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS) – A bit of a misnomer as it isn’t within the reach of most of the public potential students AND they can also be PRIVATE at the same time !

The best way to describe it is here a quote from wikipedia private schools

“Private schools generally prefer to be called independent schools, because of their freedom to operate outside of government and local government control, but are also referred to as public schools. The reason is historical as a ‘public school’ was open to entrants from anywhere, and not merely to those from a certain locality, which was more usual with other schools, often charitable foundations for the benefit of a particular area. It was also usual for those attending public schools to enter the public service, such as the armed forces, the church, the civil service or local government. The ‘independent school’ factor partly exonerates this ‘obligation’.”

So now the change is that they are no longer open to the public. The quicker we all start to call them independent the clearer things will be.

The often used expression ‘Public Schoolboy’ is  used to describe an ‘upper class’ person and it is commonly thought that they get the leg ups from fellow students and an old boy network. It would be great to get your child into a public school but very difficult.

State Schools – What we mostly get to go to and they vary widely so this is where you might target a bit or your homework. These are funded by the government and as such are controlled quite heavily whereas the independents have their autonomies.

Faith Schools – A sub category of state school but they are allowed to practise the schooling of their own religion only if they so wish. A normal state school would not do that.

Free Schools – Dont have a selection criteria and though funded by the gov are nto run by the local council so can be more controlling over how they work, hire and pay teachers for example.

This is all well and good but when do I need to start and how do I start to get my child enrolled ?
You can start to do a postcode search at any time before your child is due to start the sooner the better. You should contact the schools that fit your criteria after you challenge them and look at the ofsted reports.

To be continued..