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10 Signs It’s Time to Switch your Child’s School

Watching a kid struggle in school is heart-wrenching for any parent. For your kid (s), the repercussions are physically and emotionally wearying. After all, you have spent a lot of time and effort investigating and visiting schools to find the ideal fit for your child. However, a few weeks or months have passed, and you realize that things are not going as planned. Your ward does not feel comfortable at that school.

Studies suggest that more than 80% of parents considered a school switch, while half have already admitted their children to a new school. The main reasons for changing schools being inflexible study plans and kids’ anxiety and behavioral issues.

Not every school ticks all the boxes. Just like adults look for the workplace that suits their skills and work ethic, kids need to be ensured that they are going to the right place to study and grow.

The key, of course, is figuring out when to switch schools.

“Is it necessary?”

“Should we wait a bit more, or listen to our gut?”

While there is no general answer, you can start with these 10 signs to reach a conclusion.

1. Quality of Education is Slipping

Not all schools are built equal. The quality and accuracy of education vary between schools. And so is the focus on offering personalized learning experiences based on each student’s specific needs. Nevertheless, the current is failing to fulfill the expectations in one way or another. Perhaps you thought the curriculum was something else than what it truly is.

In such cases, it is time to explore different options. For instance, if your kid is a creative soul and their present institution is short of creative juices, look for the one that welcomes curiosity and creativity. Likewise, if your kid learns better through action than dictation, look for a school that promotes a hands-on approach.

Education standards are surely the first aspect you should consider while picking your kid’s current school. So, take note when they begin to decline.

2. Limited Co-curricular Activities

Schools should enable children to unlock all of their interests for their future, be it the choice of subjects or the activities they do within or beyond the school campus. Some of these include sports like football, cricket, and badminton or more creative clubs like art & crafts or music.

Perhaps your child may be a huge fan or admirer of a particular artist or sportsperson, and hence, want to follow their footsteps passionately. However, if your child’s current school does not invest much of its resources in these extra-curricular activities, then it could be a red flag.

3. Unhealthy Social Circle

While it is normal for children to sometimes dislike their schools, a prolonged period of unhappiness indicates something might be wrong.

Does your kid enjoy going to school? Are they excited to tell you how their school day went? Do they come home exhausted, or fake head or stomach aches just to stay at home?

All these are signs of a core issue, blocking your kid from making significant strides within the school premises. For instance, some students could bully or harass your kid or exclude him/her from their group. Your child feels threatened or lonely and, hence, fails to concentrate during class. Worst case, these unhealthy social circumstances take a massive toll on their mental health and life beyond the school gates.

Working with the school staff is a potential solution, but if the problem still continues, you should consider changing schools.

4. Curriculum is not Challenging Enough

Parents send their kids for a reason: they want their kids to develop academically, socially, intellectually, and emotionally. If you notice that your kid has stopped progressing in any of these aspects, it could be because the current school is no longer challenging your kids enough to drive their growth.

Regardless of how well the school is doing overall, your kid still needs to be challenged regularly to ensure they are getting the full benefit of every learning session. If they need a more challenging assignment or test, the school should serve the purpose. This means grouping your child with students having similar skills or providing booster classes to further their learning.

If the school authority cannot meet these needs, your kid may fail to achieve their full potential. Hence, kick-starting a search for a new school would be a wise move.

5. The School Just Won’t Listen

The parent-school relationship should be a partnership to fix issues and ensure the best learning outcomes.

If your kid’s emotional or physical well-being is at risk, you should immediately report the problem to the teachers and school authorities. Engaging in verbal or physical brawls, receiving threats, and being bullied are all alarming signs that demand immediate attention. If you believe the school administration is not addressing your concerns properly and brushing you aside, hesitate no more. This is a wake-up call to change the classroom settings.

6. Your Kid Has Been Labeled the “Bad Kid”

A student branded the “bad kid” or who simply is not making friends can benefit from a change of atmosphere. Your kid could face difficulty sitting still, argue with others, or snap back at the teacher. Such behavior could be misunderstood and unfairly labeled as “the troublemaker” when, the truth is, your kid is not comfortable socially.

Some schools are less armed or willing than others to address disruptive behaviors. Rather than digging deeper into the problem and trying to work with these students, teachers punish them – or, worse, make them feel they are evil or stupid.

Once again, if school staff is not paying due attention, it is high time you need to apply for the transfer certificate (TC).

7. Unhygienic Conditions

Students concentrate and study better in a setting that is clean and well-maintained. However, unhygienic conditions, such as poorly working washrooms or infrequent replacements of garbage bins, within the school campus impeded students’ learning capabilities.

Besides, an unsanitary campus can also infect the food your kid consumes at the school, thus exposing them to various bacterial diseases. Therefore, a change in school is worth exploring.

8. Below-par Provisions

Your child spends most of their waking time at their school. As such, the place where they learn has to be well-equipped for their education.

If your kid, for instance, is a sports enthusiast, there must be courts, pitches, or playfields within the school campus. Likewise, if they want to read or study in a quiet place during school hours, the school campus must have a library housing a wealth of books.

These critical facilities must be available within the school premise and in optimum conditions, else better start looking for other options.

9. Unsafe Nearby Area

The school’s present location can also be a possible reason to enroll your kid into a different school if the nearby areas are unsafe and inappropriate for adolescents.

Let’s say the school is situated near a railway station. The constant noise due to train arrivals and departures and subsequent commotion hinders the ability of students to learn with undivided concentration.

Besides, if the area surrounding the school is subject to violence (due to various reasons), your kid will feel scared, especially during the commute. Also, these unfavorable circumstances can demotivate your kid to learn properly.

10. Your Kid is Suffering from Learning Disabilities

School is a place designed to learn, grow, and thrive, right? Sadly, that is not always the case for children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD). Certain classroom settings might be unfit, and can even cripple the learning experience.

Learning disabilities (LD) make it difficult for children to fit into conventional classrooms. One possible solution would be approaching an educational therapist who will give strategies to help your kid survive the classroom lectures.

However, if your kid is still lagging behind in academics despite adjustments, they can experience other issues like reduced self-confidence and skipping school. If the LD or attention issues are so acute that the school cannot address them, better make the move before things spiral out of control.

Make a Well-informed Decision

Changing schools can tremendously benefit your kids, either academically or socially. Of course, every parent wants to do what’s best for their kid, but it sometimes becomes difficult to determine exactly what that best thing is.

No matter the reason – be it your child’s grades or behavior – you need to consider your options through your kid’s lens. That means you need to be encouraging, understanding, and, most importantly, honest.

The decision to switch over can make you scratch your head. But in the situations mentioned above, it is the best option for them and their future.

12 lakh+ parents across India trust LEAD to provide excellent education to their children. Want to know how LEAD can transform the learning experience of your child? Find Out More

About the author

Anuj Kumar Jha, a Faculty of Management Studies (Delhi) alumnus, is the Program Manager at LEAD. Previously, he has worked with Ex-Ola and Ex-Mu Sigma. Anuj has graduated from HBTI, Kanpur. Knowing the power of education, he believes in LEAD's mission to transform learning in Affordable Private Schools in India.

Anuj Kumar Jha

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