The Parentalk Guide to Secondary School
By Catherine Ellerby with Nick Daymond
Hodder Stoughton pound;5.99
It's important, of course, to go to an open day, in order to find out more about the school you're thinking of sending your child to. That's assuming you can get there. This book describes being advised to arrive early for an open afternoon at a very popular school. "More than 4,000 people were expected... and in the previous year many parents had failed to reach the gates before the event because of the traffic jams generated in neighbouring roads."
The book covers all the main issues that might concern parents: finding a suitable school, settling down, bullying, the curriculum, special needs, options and exams. While this is familiar ground for teachers, it's easy to forget that many parents approach the move to "big school" with trepidation; for them, this sort of basic handbook could be a real confidence-booster.
One of a series from Parentalk, a charity that provides advice and information for parents (www.parentalk.co.uk), it's written in a friendly style and would be worth keeping on a shelf in the primary head's office to lend or give to anxious parents.