For families moving to Leeds, finding a good school for the kids is sure to be a top priority. Often, families will choose where to live based on the presence of a desirable school in the area. Whether families opt for free government schools or private fee-paying institutions, there's plenty of choice when it comes to education and schools in Leeds.
Government schools in Leeds
Public schools, known as government schools, are free to attend. Catchment zones apply and many families will choose where to live based on an area's associated school. Zoning is highly specific, so it's best not to make assumptions about which school serves which area – parents should check the Leeds school catchment map to be sure.
It's important to note that living in a particular catchment area doesn't guarantee admission to a particular school, but children who live locally are given a higher priority of placement than those living elsewhere.
All government schools are regularly inspected by Ofsted and assigned a rating ranging from inadequate to outstanding. Full reports can be found on the Ofsted website.
Independent schools in Leeds
Leeds has a number of excellent independent (private) schools. Though fees can be high, Leeds's best-performing schools are independent schools. Though catchment areas don't apply, admission can be highly competitive so it's best to apply as early as possible.
These schools are assessed by one or more of several associations, including Ofsted, the Independent Schools Council and the School Inspection Service. This varies from school to school.
Special-needs education in Leeds
When referring to special-needs education, Leeds uses the acronym SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities). All schools are required to cater to SEND children, and the preferred approach is to keep them in mainstream education as far as possible by providing extra support.
If the school is unable to provide the required level of support, parents may wish to apply for a specialist school. Several of these can be found in Leeds, catering to children with physical, mental or learning disabilities.
Tutors in Leeds
Many families in Leeds find tutors to be a great help as they settle into life in the city. Tutors are commonly hired to tackle a problem subject, to help the child learn a new language (such as English, for non-native speakers), or simply assist them in catching up to their new school's curriculum.
Both remote and on-site tutors can be found online, but it's also a good idea to ask teachers and fellow parents for personal recommendations.