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Choosing a private school

Talk to our team

Choosing your child’s school is one of the most important decisions you will ever make – let our experienced team help you. We will guide you through the decision-making process and give you the confidence to make the right choice, armed with the most up-to-date insider knowledge. We are all parents ourselves – we know how hard this is, and we can make it easier for you.
‘We moved into a popular area and missed the registration deadline for 11+ schools. The TE team came to the rescue with a short list of excellent suggestions in their School Search, and in the end we received offers from four out of five of our top choices. I was particularly impressed with the way they guided us away from the "dinner-party chat" and suggested the right school for us.’ Susie, London, March 2020
How do we work?

We listen – and we talk! Life is complicated enough, so we’ve made our parent-advisory service really straightforward.

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and we will get back to you shortly with more information.

Or if you wish to sign up for one of the services below, please click here:


School Search
Our School Search package starts with a one-hour discussion by telephone or Skype/Zoom with a senior 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, we will draw up a bespoke list of potential schools tailored to your – and your child's – specific needs. In a follow-up discussion, we will go through the merits of each school, and together we will draw up a shortlist for you to begin your search. Using your subscription to our 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 shortlisted schools.

£1,500 + VAT

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One-hour Problem Solver
If you need instant advice on a particular question, we also offer a one-hour problem-solver consultation. 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, this is a good starting point.

£300 + VAT

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Bursaries Advice
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, we offer a one-hour Scholarship and Bursary Consultation with our experienced bursary adviser, helping you to navigate the often complex system of applying for financial aid.

£300 + VAT

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Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Advice
We work 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. 

In-depth consultation – in this 90 minute consultation Acorn to Oak will cover your child’s profile, exploring the kind of help that your child may need in school, the kind of future school that may be best for you to consider, whether your child could benefit from an EHC Plan and how to get started with it, next steps and school strategy. 

£750 + VAT

Personalised and screened school shortlist – Acorn to Oak will create an individual shortlist of the most suitable school options (mainstream/specialist/independent/state) for your child within your local area (up to 45 minutes from home) that they have screened and discussed with the shortlisted schools based upon your child’s individual profile. This service includes:
  • Acorn to Oak's review of all of the relevant documentation about your child including school reports, EHC Plan documents if applicable, and professional reports
  • Two detailed consultations with you: one at the beginning to make sure Acorn to Oak has all the relevant information about your child’s profile, strengths and support needs and one at the end with their report to discuss your personalised shortlist
  • Development of the shortlist based upon your child’s profile, plus a complete long list of all potential schools. For the schools that are relevant to your child’s profile they will speak directly with each school to determine potential suitability and availability of places
  • A detailed report covering all the key information about the schools on the shortlist with clear guidance about why they may be suitable and key points to consider. They will also highlight where schools require an EHC Plan for admission and provide guidance about how to best move forward in relation to this
£3700 + VAT

SEND school placement support – Acorn to Oak will create a personalised and screened shortlist of all types of SEND school place based upon your child’s profile and your preferences, and support you for up to 12 months in visiting and applying for up to 6 schools from your personalised shortlist. They will help you organise the information to be sent to each school to help ensure this also captures your child’s strengths and skills, and will provide advice throughout. This service includes:
  • A detailed review of your child’s school reports and any documentation from professionals or any EHC Plan related documentation, plus a detailed consultation with parents to discuss your child’s strengths, interests and support needs
  • Acorn to Oak will create a personalised shortlist for your child based upon your search criteria and your child’s profile. They will make sure that the shortlist includes schools that are likely to have space available and where they consider that your child’s profile would meet the school’s admission criteria
  • A follow-up in depth consultation regarding the shortlist once it is complete, as well as a review of the schools to take forward with the family
  • During the placement stage, organising the information to be sent to each school and liaising with the admissions teams about progress of the application, plus organising visits that Acorn to Oak will attend with the family if preferred
  • Full support for parents until your child has completed the admissions process for up to 6 schools from the shortlist. So far, all families with their placement service have obtained a successful school placement
From £7000 + VAT

If you are looking for a school place further afield in any of the categories, or are in a hurry - perhaps you are relocating or your child’s school placement has broken down - this can be covered for an additional charge.

Talk Education parents are offered a free 20-minute, no-obligation consultation with Acorn to Oak Education before committing to further help.

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If you have any other questions, please contact us. We are here to talk.
‘I was in the worst panic of my life trying to find the right prep school – thank goodness for Lucy’s sane and sympathetic advice. I will be coming back to Talk Education when I start the senior-school selection process.’ Abigail, Kent, March 2020
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Case Studies

Christina and Jon are a London-based couple, expecting their first child and new to independent education. They were feeling overwhelmed by advice from well-meaning friends and colleagues, and were looking for impartial advice to help them navigate their way through the UK school system, starting with nursery registrations. They had a ninety-minute telephone consultation, during which our adviser found out more about their expectations and aspirations, listened to their concerns, talked them through the UK independent education system and suggested a list of priorities for them to consider.

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Anne-Sophie and Jerome are originally from France but have relocated to London for work.  Their children attend a state primary school near their home, and are happily settled there, but they were concerned about the next stage of their education - should they move them to an independent school at 7+ or 8+, or wait until 11+? Our adviser listened to their concerns, talked them through their options and helped them to make their decision.

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