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Blog - For parents choosing a school, the Ofsted report is as useful as a chocolate teapot

The dread moment is almost upon us. The Choosing of the Secondary School is nigh.

My eldest child is only 10: a dreamy and sensitive character whose clothes are always on back-to-front, and who loves nothing more than playing superheroes with his little brother. It is impossible – appalling – to imagine him sharing an institutional space with giant, horny adolescents.

“At big school,” he inquired the other day, “will the boys have beards?” Teenagers are, to him, as strange and unknowable as grown-ups, or badgers. Yet the moment the gates of Big School clang shut behind him, their culture will become his. The atmosphere of the school, and the particular personalities of its teachers and pupils,…