Press Release 16th July 2013

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A local education expert Miranda Perry has launched a not for profit website to advise parents on how to choose a state secondary school for their child.

What school?

Many parents, on their return from summer holiday, face the biggest decision they will ever have to make about their children’s future – which is the right secondary school for their child?

Even in St Albans and Harpenden, where secondary schools’ results generally compare very favourably to national figures, the question of which school to choose  still causes parents a considerable amount of anxiety.

Why the site?

Miranda was being always being cornered for advice on education. “Because friends and acquaintances constantly asked me about what secondary schools I would recommend, and why, I decided to set up to make available, easily and accessibly, everything I know in one place.”

Why Miranda?

Miranda is in a good position to advise. She is herself a successful product of state education, having attended a state comprehensive, and gone onto read English at Cambridge University. She worked in schools and local authorities for over 17 years, before becoming a school inspector, and free-lance education consultant.

Why is the site any good?

The website debunks the myth that if you want a good secondary school, your only options are to send your child to an independent or selective school.

It starts from the premises that

  • parents do not have enough information to make informed choices about secondary state schools
  • information that they do have is often inaccurate, anecdotal, biased, and out of date
  • different children need different things from schools, so it is a matter of choosing the right school for your child.


The website is unique in that it does not recommend any individual schools. Instead, it helps parents navigate through the information already available to make a well informed choice regarding the right state secondary school for their child.


Its aim is to be impartial, accessible, and responsive to parents’ key concerns such as exam results, bullying, behaviour, and the quality of care. It advises on the differences between different types of state schools, such as Academies and Free Schools.  interprets key information sources, such as Ofsted reports, school and college performance tables. It supports parents through secondary state school selection, advising on what to look out for at school open evenings, in school prospectuses, and how to approach the school application process.


How’s it going?

The website, although only recently launched, has already proved incredibly popular.

“I am delighted with the response I’ve got already. I keep the information on the site up to date, and revise its content according to feedback from viewers. I am a mum myself, so I hope I understand the issues that are concerning parents the most.”

So, although you might come back from your holiday to find your garden overgrown and your bills overdue, at least gives you one less thing to worry about.

Contact Details

Miranda Perry – website author

On twitter: Miranda Perry@whatschool

Mob: 07931755129

Jpeg headshots and other formats available.

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