14 things to look at when choosing a school

Your choice of school for your child is going to have a significant impact on his or her future. If your child is happy at school, then the chances are that you will see good grades. An unhappy child will not be a good learner.

Here’s what you should be looking at more or less in order of importance, although the priorities will vary depending on your personal situation and preferences –

1. Is the school registered with the Department of Basic Education? Quite simply, if it isn’t, stay away, but do be sure to check.

  • Gallagher Combined School is registered with the DBE, the Department of Social Development as a Non Profit Organisation and at SARS as a Public Benefit Organisation.

2. Can you afford the fees, including any hidden costs. If you can’t, then find a more affordable alternative or be aware that you will need to apply for a bursary if they are available.

  • Our 2020 fees start at R2 400 per month for the lower grades, rising to R2 700 for higher grades.

3. Are bursaries available? If so on what criteria are they awarded?

  • We do not offer bursaries.

4. Is the school conveniently located in relation to your home?

  • We overlook Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand.

5. Is school transport available and affordable?

  • Our 30 seater bus costs R800 per month.

6. Is there affordable after care and if so what activities are followed during that time?

  • After care includes homework and costs R600 per month.

7. What are the specific class sizes in each grade and what is the size limitation policy?

  • Our largest class is grade 3 and totals 19. Smallest is grade 8 totalling 3. We will never exceed 24 learners per class.

8. Are the children happy? The only way to find out is to visit the school during normal hours.

  • See for yourself. Our kids love coming to school.

9. What sylabus is followed? Generally schools following an international syllabus are more expensive than those following CAPS.

  • We follow CAPS for reasons of affordability.

10. What pass rates are achieved?

  • Parents report a dramatic improvement in their child’s ability when they transfer to our school. We cannot claim matric pass rates until we reach grade 12.

11. What education facilities are available?

  • Our facilities are consistent with the needs of CAPS and include a laboratory, computer room and library.

12. What sporting facilities are available?

  • We always used the facilities at Midrand Action Sport, but have recently acquired a sporting field next door to the school. The ground has been cleared and new grass laid. There are trees for shadey relaxation and facilities for soccer and netball.

13. Does the school offer educational outings?

  • Gallagher Combined School normally organises two outings each year.

14. Does the school teach all grades up to matric, or will I have to change schools at higher grades?

  • Several schools, including ourselves, add a new grade each year with a firm policy of continuing up to grade 12.

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