COLUMN: Dales parents need to carefully consider which school is best for their child

Head of Anthony Gell School Wirksworth Malcolm Kelly
Head of Anthony Gell School Wirksworth Malcolm Kelly

Our A level and GCSE results this year were without doubt a highlight of the summer for all connected with Anthony Gell School.

We were understandably anxious about how the raft of changes in the examinations may adversely and unfairly affect the futures of so many youngsters up and down the country.

We were therefore delighted when our students gained the qualifications that accurately reflect just how talented these young people are and how hard they and staff have worked.

As one group of students leave Anthony Gell another starts. Last week, we were very pleased to welcome more year sevens than ever before into our school.

In addition to the time that will be invested in making sure this group of students settle quickly and begin to contribute to life within the school, we will also be looking forward to our next open day which is next Thursday, September 21.

My advice to any parent who is looking for the right secondary school for their child is to go and visit the school(s) during a working day.

A phone call or email to the school should be enough to get a visit arranged - during which you should be allowed to visit classrooms and see for yourself the learning that occurs as well as gain an impression on how the school feels to you (and how, more importantly, your child would feel and be cared for in that type of environment).

Any parent should feel that they have been able to visit the parts of the school that most interest them and never feel that they have simply been shown the parts that the head teacher wanted them to see.

The timing of the visit should also be taken into account.

Many schools would prefer you to visit first thing in the morning, others will be happy to welcome you at any time of the day.

Open days/evenings provide a school with the opportunity to welcome large numbers of families to a pre-arranged event.

I’d always recommend that a parent attended the open day/evening as well as visiting the school during a standard day.

The open evening at AGS is always very well attended and we have extended the day to include tours of the school during the morning and afternoon slots. These tours are hosted by students from our excellent sixth form.

If you would like to visit and have a tour of the school please give the school a ring on 01629 825577, or email us via info@anthonygell.co.uk.

If you’d like to visit our 2017 open evening there’s no need to book ahead, simply be in the sports hall of the Wirksworth Leisure Centre (which is attached to the school) ready for a 7pm start on Thursday, September 21.