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# Consider age of school while searching new schools and 3 ways to do so

When we try and find schools for our kids, one of the things we look at is the age of the school. Should we go for a newly established school with a shiny building and computer enabled teaching approach or should we go for the prestigious old school located in the middle of city and established 50 years ago. Its a tricky question that we are faced very often these days. We decided to look at it and help you make up your mind about a young school vs an older school!

#### Why is age of the school an important factor to be considered

Age of the school, like age of any establishment, institution or business indicates a lot of things. Age indicates experience, skill and good will that the school has built up over the years. Age also stands for trust, proven track record and reputation of the institution. On similar lines, age also points towards ability of the school to innovate and imbibe new thinking vs stick to proven and established tradition. The whole idea being, that age indicates a lot of things and in our next posts (5 reasons why you should prefer a new school and 5 reasons why you should prefer and older, more established school), we will debate weather it is good to go for an older school or better to look at a newly established institution.

#### What is age of school and 3 ways to look at it

A question to consider before we look at the pros and cons of age of a school is to understand what is really meant by age of school and how do you measure it. As we see it, there are really 3 ways you can look at the age of a school

• The age of the school is same as age of the current facility: This is clearly one way to look at it. What we mean here is that if the present facility / location / building of the school was established 5 years ago then age of the school is 5 years
• The age of the school is same as age when it was first established in the city: Several schools move facilities and locations as they grow older and bigger. They started with something small and over time, their requirements grew and they needed to move to a new location. However, moving to a new location does not mean that all the past experience is lost and that the school has to start afresh. So another way to look at school age could be to look at when it was first established in the city. That is when school management first came in contact with the city, its culture and students. And so, that is what the age of the school should be
• The age of the school is same as age of the franchise it belongs to: Several schools belong to franchise. This means they get to learn from not just their own management but of their parent too, who is responsible for operating the institution in multiple cities. Several schools, new and old, follow this model of franchise. The experience and k nowledge accumulated over the years and over multiple locations is passed on to all member schools. Thereby enriching their systems and approach. So, should the age of the school be really the age of the franchise?
Well, we believe the answer is a combination of the above 3. As a start, it helps if the parents are aware of these 3 types of ages for a school and should not confuse one with the other. They must ask the school management that whey they say that school is 45 years old, what does it really mean and what age are they talking about.
Once we are aware of all 3 types of age definition for school, which age to consider depends upon 2 factors -
• What is the extent of collaboration between parent and the franchise? Is it regular collaboration and co-management or is it once a year kind of board review. In the latter case, it makes much more sense to consider the age as that of the city management of the school and not of the parent company
• When the school shifted locations in the city, then did the management (including principal and teachers) too move to the new facility or did a completely new management took over at the new facility. In the latter case, sin ce the experience of running the school is not passed on to the new management, we should consider just the age of present facility as the age of the school