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Good Schools Guide


Good Schools Guide

The Good Schools Guide
Author Various
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Non-fiction
Publisher Lucas Publications, Galore Park Publishing
Publication date 1986–2013
Media type Print (Paperback) and Internet

The Good Schools Guide is a guide to British schools (both state and independent).


The guide is compiled by a team of editors, which according to the official website "comprises some 50 editors, writers, researchers and contributors; mostly parents but some former headteachers."[1] The website states that it is "written by parents for parents", and that the editors "do not take money from the schools in The Guide, either directly or indirectly." Since the first edition in 1986, the Guide has been republished 18 times. The chief editor is Ralph Lucas.

Other publications produced by The Guide include The Good Schools Guide — Special Education Needs, The Good Schools Guide International,[2] 11+ English: A Parent's Toolkit, A Parents' Guide to Primary School and Uni in the USA.

A popular offshoot is The Good Schools Guide Advice Service - - a service for finding schools and offering educational or other advice to parents on a consultancy basis. The advisors are The Guide writers and other experts. There are currently 25 advisors with expertise in everything from Special Educational Needs to the International Baccalaureate. The advisors are seen by parents as being 'just like my best friend - frank, sensible and very unstuffy - as well as immensely knowledgeable'. The Advice Service now has the only resource in the UK on Scholarships and Bursaries offered by independent schools.


The Guide itself has a brisk, conversational and often irreverent style of review: the website states that because writers do not accept payment from the schools being reviewed, the guide is "in a position to be outspoken, to write and to advise [readers] impartially, without fear of being biased or having a conflict of loyalties."[3] The Times Educational Supplement stated that the Guide is "...untroubled by the sensibilities of schools and ... cavalier in the face of squawks from those it has offended".[4]


The Daily Telegraph reviewed the guide in the following terms: "Unique among the many guides available, it sets out to give frank answers to the questions every parent asks."[5] Similarly, the Financial Times called the Guide "One of the best aids for parents...informative and witty."[6] The FT has also described the Guide as "one of Britain's leading guides to schools".[7]

Special Education Needs

The Good Schools Guide — Special Education Needs was originally produced by the guide as a resource for parents looking for schools for children with special needs. The format is very similar, with all articles and reviews (including general help articles and other resources) published in paperback as well as available online. The Special Education Needs guide was first published in 2004.


The Good Schools Guide International (GSGI) is an online resource also edited by the guide with details of international schools in over 35 countries. The GSGI is aimed at British parents who are living abroad. The GSGI is also mostly written and edited by expatriates.[8]

The GSG also publishes Uni in the USA, a guide to universities abroad written by and for British students.


External links

  • Official website
  • Good Schools Guide International official website
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