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CHOOSING a school for your child can seem a daunting time for parents. Firstly, getting your head round the fact that they are actually going to be starting school is a lot to take in. But choosing a school can often bring about numerous questions. Whether it's primary or a secondary school, allow yourself plenty of time.

So, with this in mind, it pays to do your research and visit schools in good time.

Open days or evenings are a great way of finding out what a school is actually like. During the visit, check out the atmosphere to see whether or not it is orderly and friendly - and talk to pupils and teachers. Look at work on display on the walls and the variety of activities going on in the classrooms. Most importantly, check to see if what is in the brochure matches your visiting experience. Keep your options open. After the school visit, talk things over with your child. Make notes, especially if you are visiting lots of schools. Generally, it's down to a gut reaction to what you feel is right for your child. Do your homework and you should make the right choice.