Attending a Summer School presents a great opportunity for your child to make new friends, widen their horizons, gain independence and discover new strengths. Summer Schools are becoming increasing more popular in the UK. There are a wide range of Summer schools, activity camps and courses available, you just have to consider your child's needs and interests. Some of the main considerations are listed below:
Location - How close is the Summer school/camp to your home?
Cost - What are the costs and do they fit your budget?
Transport - Is transport available? Is there an extra cost?
Types of activities - What does your child enjoy doing? Choose a Summer school/camp that interests them or focuses on what your child enjoys or excels at while allowing them to try new things.
Childcare vouchers - Many employers offer tax-free childcare vouchers. Do they accept these vouchers? If so, which vouchers do they accept?
Age range -Are the children grouped by age? Are the activities age-appropriate?
How are the children supervised? - What is the ratio of staff to children? For residential camps, will there be supervision in the accomodation units?
Ofsted - Have they been Ofsted inspected?
Are they accredited? - English Language schools should be accredited by the The British Council
Day vs Residential - Which option would suit your child best? Do day camps offer flexible hours for working parents?
What is a typical days schedule? - Is there a good balance of activities?
Discipline - What is their behaviour policy? Is discipline stricter or more relaxed than you would expect?
Is your child included in the decision making process? - Every child has likes and dislikes, they should have some input into the decision
Reputation - How many students choose to return there? Is there a list of parents who you can contact for feedback?
Food - Do they need to bring a packed lunch or is food provided? If food provided ask for sample menus. Are snacks available throughout the day and after evening meal (for residential camps)?
Mobile Phones - Are children allowed phone calls? Are Ipods, mobile phones other electrical equipment allowed?
Valuables - Is there a safety deposit box where children can store passport, money, other valuables?
Insurance - A copy of the company's insuarance certificate should be available
CRB - Are all employees CRB checked?
Weather - If activities are based outdoors, do they have an indoor option if weather too cold, hot or wet?
Equipment - What should my child bring? Sporting equipment, stationery, musical instruments
Clothing - What should my child wear? Should I pack a change of clothes?
Suncream - Will suncream be provided?
Illness - If my child is ill will I be entitled to a refund? Some companies offer an optional customer protection plan .
Packing Lists - Do they have a packing list available?