Expert / 19 November, 2020 / Leo Bamford
It seems so old fashioned, but when my children were born, my parents told me to put their names down for the schools that I loved. It seemed like such a crazy thing to do, we were talking about a decade away, but time has gone so quickly and there I was, sitting here at my desk, pondering the many options, and wondering how to choose the right school for my child. Each fork in the road so different, taking my children onto the next chapter of their lives.
A friend of mine introduced me to Talk Education earlier in the year and they have been a godsend! They are a substantial team and boy do they know their stuff!
A few years ago, I covered the Tatler Schools Live Event for My Baba and took over their Instagram account. That is when I first met Lucy Williams, head researcher and director of all their education events. No one knows schools like Lucy does! Lucy works alongside her co-founders Alice Rose, who edited the Tatler Schools Guide for just shy of a decade and Joanna Parry-George, who has an extensive background in education journalism. Being parents themselves, they know what an important decision it is and that is why they created Talk Education; to help parents cut through the great mass of information and make an informed decision.
Their website, www.talkeducation.com is brilliant. It’s simple to navigate and ticks every box. You can search for a school to gain an overview to see all the essential details that one needs to know about; contact info, ISI reports, fees, term dates and of course, open days. They have basically done all the hard work for you. You also see at a glance, how many pupils are enrolled, whether it’s mixed or single-sex and day or boarding.
Talk Education offers many different services and I opted for the full hog. Over video conference, I chatted through my thoughts and options with Lucy and she came back a few days later with quite a long list of options. She had highlighted the relevant bits of information that I really needed to know about. She even included how far away these schools were from my home!
Lucy knows these schools so well and can give a real insight into everything from their heads and their background, and to why they would suit your child. She was also a huge support with the SEN aspect that I needed for my children, who are all dyslexic.
We followed up with a meeting to narrow down the top contenders. I feel so relieved now, having an insight into these schools, especially at a time when I can’t actually look around them due to Covid. I have been left with a profile on my children, where I can see at a glance, all the schools we discussed in a very easy to use, visual way. I can compare schools against each other and make notes on the relevant pages. I’m also subscribed to their newsletter which is always a fountain of knowledge.
Talk Education has turned this daunting, confusing prospect into a more enjoyable process. Talk Education, thank goodness for you!
Need help from Talk Education? Their parent advisory service is simple and straightforward. Choose from services including:
Just like Leo, you’ll have a one-hour video discussion with an advisor to talk through your child’s interests, abilities and personality, and to discuss what you and your child are looking for in a school.
From this, Talk Education draws up a bespoke list of potential schools tailored to your – and your child’s – specific needs. In a follow-up discussion, you’ll go through the merits of each school, and together work up a shortlist for you to begin your search. Using your subscription to Talk’s Schools Guide, you will be able to compare and contrast schools on your shortlist, make notes on your dashboard and receive the latest news, updates and Open Days on your favourite schools.
£1,500 + VAT
You might be trying to decide between two schools you already know, or need help with a knotty issue – what is prep-school boarding really like for a child who has never boarded before? Are A-levels or the IB more suitable for your teenager? If you’re new to the mysteries of UK independent education or are a new parent starting to plan your baby’s educational journey, Talk Education’s instant advice in their One-hour Problem Solver is a good starting point.
£300 + VAT
Many schools have healthy bursary pots for the right candidate, but the application process can be daunting. If you are considering applying for a bursary to your chosen school, or would like to know whether you might be eligible for one, Talk Education’s one-hour Scholarship and Bursary Consultation will help you navigate the often complex system of applying for financial aid.
£300 + VAT
Talk Education works closely with Acorn to Oak Education – specialist SEN-school and college-search educational consultants – to help parents seeking advice and support. Acorn to Oak have a strong record in supporting families to access successful placements in both mainstream and specialist settings; they will help you to identify schools that meet your child’s needs, draw up shortlists of potential schools or colleges and help with applications.
From £750 + VAT