Most Local Education Authorities have given out their secondary transfer admissions booklets so now’s the time to start scheduling open evening visits.

During open evening you’ll get a feel for the school community and the kind of parents who may be sending their kids there.

Will you feel overdressed if you change out of your pyjamas and slippers for the school run or will you have to remortgage the house to pay for a 4 x 4, Botox and a Zagliani handbag?

If the school says it allows visits by appointment at other times, do that too. You’ll get a better feel for the place when the pupils are in and you’re not being herded round a packed building. An enthusiastic head will love showing off their school so don’t feel like you’re being a nuisance.

For advice from the experts on what to look for on open evenings go to

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