‘Keep an open mind and visit several schools’

I got really worried when I started looking at local primary schools for my daughter Chelsea. The school at the bottom of my road had a bad reputation and I decided, without visiting it, that she wasn’t going there.

There were two better schools nearby but I was told bluntly we didn’t live near enough either of them to stand a chance of getting her in. I even considered a private school at one point but we couldn’t have afforded the fees unless I went back to work full time, which I didn’t want to do.

I was close to despair when a friend called and told me the school at the bottom of our road had just appointed a new head teacher. She’d met him and was so impressed she’d decided to enrol her son there.

I made an appointment to see the new head and had a good looked around the school too. It wasn’t half as bad as other parents had said and the head was so inspiring that I decided to take a risk.

Three years later my risk has paid off. The school has just received an outstanding ofsted report, other parents are clambering to get their children in, and Chelsea absolutely loves it. So my advice is keep an open mind and trust your instincts.
Linda Mansfield, 32, from Rhyl, Denbighshire