How to choose a Secondary School

Salesian College aims to tick as many of the boxes as possible as a provider of boys education. We like you, want the best for your son and in order to determine if this College is right for your son and family we suggest you consider these important factors.

Download our Choosing a Primary School Brochure_SCC

Top ten things to consider when choosing a secondary school:

  1. Academic Results
  2. Do you feel welcomed?
  3. Location & Transport Options
  4. Fees
  5. Educational Philosophy
  6. Curriculum & Co-Curricular Activities
  7. Pathways, Learning Support and Student Wellbeing
  8. Community Partnership Programs
  9. Facilities
  10. Teachers and Staff

Things you can do to learn about a school so that you can make an informed decision:

Explore websites


School websites are a great starting point for general information. The presentation, language and tone of websites can give you great insights into the school’s culture e.g. organised, forward thinking, innovative.Be sure to familiarise with enrollment requirements and guidelines used to assess and determine offers.Note key dates for enrolment applications and information events where you can visit the school in person.

Attend information events


Events such as information evenings allow you to hear directly from members of staff. This is your opportunity to assess the professionalism of teachers and staff, ask questions, hear presentations from the principal or other staff, and experience the philosophy of the school in action.

Attend guided tours or other opportunities to visit the school when the students are around


Guided tours offer you a more personal experience of the school. This is your chance to see the school in action under real circumstances rather than the controlled environment of information events.Keep your eyes open and take the time to make your own observations as well as listening to information provided on the tour. What you see is as close to what your child will experience every day at school. Observe closely teacher-student interactions in the classroom and get a feel for the dynamics between the students.Remember things do and can go wrong at schools and if you see this occur on the tour make the most of the situation to ask questions about policies and processes for dealing with issues.

Talk to people in your network: family, other parents, students and teachers at your primary school

Word of mouth is often the best referral someone can give a school you may be considering. Be sure to visit the school and see if this perception matches up with what you have been told.

Keep in mind your child’s individual strengths and unique learning needs

Schools are not a one size fits all. You need to ask the right questions about different aspects of the school and how they meet your child’s specific needs and learning style e.g. if your child is sporty, ask what the school offers in this particular department.


Other resources

Parenting Ideas – Michael Grose

Parenting Educator and Salesian College Past Pupil and Hall of Fame Inductee, Michael Grose’s website is full of expert parenting advice including an article on choosing a school for your child:

Catholic Schools Guide – Greg Campitelli

Catholic Education advocate, entrepreneur and Director of Catholic Schools Guide Pty Ltd, Greg Campitelli has produced two resources to help you choose a school:

  • Essential Tips when Choosing a College (downloadable e-book)
  • Catholic Schools Guide (magazine distributed to primary schools)

Catholic Education Office of Melbourne

The Catholic Education Office of Melbourne is the governing body that sets many of the enrolment dates and guidelines that Catholic Colleges must adhere to. This body also has a range of useful resources available on their website:

  • Embracing the Fullness of Life –Parent Handbook for Victorian Catholic Secondary Schools