Jump to content

non religious high schools
struggling to find a good option


  • Please log in to reply
27 replies to this topic

#1 shine

Posted 14 November 2012 - 08:54 PM

Hi

My DD will be starting high school in 4 years and so its time (if not too late!) to find her a high school. Looking around (I'm in Eastern Sydney) I cant seem to find anything that fits the bill.

I would like to send the children (I have a younger DS too) to a private school, as the public schools academically dont seem to be up to the mark. They are at a public primary school.

My requirements:
I can spend up to $10K per child on education.
I want a non-religious school
I have no preference on single sex or co-ed

but all schools in the budget are Catholic and above the budget are mainly Anglican and there are no non religious schools.

I dont mind the children having a religious education, as its important to understand how the world works and for them to make their own informed decisions, but I do not want them to have to be forced to study it all the way to Year 12, if they would rather do more Physics for example. Nor do I want them to have to participate in religious services if they have made informed decisions they are not for them.

Also I am concerned they will not get into a good school just because of my religious beliefs.

What are my options?

I was not raised in Australia, so I have never actually experienced the system here.

TIA

#2 hm6

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:06 PM

I would suggest you keep looking for a private non -religious school. I don't think a Catholic school would sit well with you. Part of the enrollment is that they participate in Masses, Retreats etc - I think if you said that they had made an informed decision re religion then the school would probably say then this school isn't for them. You are correct they are required to do RE right up to Yr 12 - although not at the expense of subjects like Chemistry & Physics etc - they can choose Studies of Religion in Yr 11 & 12 which is an ATAR subject and quite interesting.

#3 HerringToMarmalade

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:08 PM

Have you actually checked out the religious aspect of the schools? While I think catholic schools are big on the religion, the anglican schools may not be so much. I went to a private anglican high school and we did have one religion class a week but we learnt about a lot of world religions, cults, ethics etc, and in year 12 the time was used for non-religious general lectures. We had a 20 minute chapel service once a fortnight that was focused on friendship etc, and run by students, so anglicism definitely wasn't forced on us. I was there for 13 years and decided on atheism very early on, it never effected my school life.

#4 NotBitzerMaloney

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:14 PM

Reddam House and International Grammar would be the only secular / multimfaith schools I know of that are an easy commute from east and they aren't in your budget.

Pretty sure you'll have to move on the $ or the religion, sorry.

#5 shine

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:14 PM

Hi,

Yes I was getting the impression of that of the Anglican schools and I certainly think RE is an important subject as long as its many religions. The problem is that all the Anglican schools are mega expensive.

Is that normal?

Are there many non religious schools?

Thanks!

#6 shine

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:24 PM

I'm assuming that the catholic church are highly subsidising their fees then?

#7 Gumbette

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:24 PM

If you're in Sydney I think Wenona and Queenwood are a couple options, but they are very expensive -  around the $20K / year mark but are non-denominational. They on the North Shore, so a bit of travel involved too.

Edited by Gumbette, 14 November 2012 - 09:25 PM.


#8 Gumbette

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:29 PM

QUOTE (shine @ 14/11/2012, 10:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm assuming that the catholic church are highly subsidising their fees then?

I think it depends on the type of Catholic school.  Independant Catholic schools are expensive at around $15-$20K, compared to those who are attached to a Parish and are about $2k / year.

#9 NotBitzerMaloney

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:42 PM

QUOTE (shine @ 14/11/2012, 10:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Are there many non religious schools?

Nope.

Reddam and IGS, near-ish to you.

North
Wenona and queenwood (girls)
Pittwater house (northern beaches, sort of co-ed)
John colet (multi faith) in belrose, primary only though

city
Sydney grammar (boys)
Macquarie grammar school (co-ed)

Language
German international school, Italian international school, Japanese, etc,etc.

That's all I know of


#10 liveworkplay

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:46 PM

Not all catholic schools are overly religious. You do, however, have to agree to respect the catholic faith, not live it or convert, just respect it. I think a lot of people on EB have a distorted view of the catholic school system. I am not in Sydney, but I would not rule out a school just because it was church based. I think you should go a see some and see what you think.

RE in catholic schools is not all catechisms, nor is it all about "thou shalt believe". RE is more moral, ethics, psychology and history. Its pretty interesting in a high school setting.

QUOTE
I'm assuming that the catholic church are highly subsidising their fees then?


No they don't. They government funding they receive and the parent fees are all they get. They run on much less $$$ per student then any other school system.

Edited by liveworkplay, 14 November 2012 - 09:49 PM.


#11 milkwood

Posted 14 November 2012 - 10:06 PM

Ascham?
Depending on her skills you might think about coaching and an academic scholarship, a selective state high, or another scholarship eg music.

#12 MrsNorris

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:27 AM

.

Edited by Willoughby Chase, 09 February 2013 - 10:33 PM.


#13 mummamajeena

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:43 AM

The thing is you won't find a Private High School that is not Catholic for under 10K per year. they don't exist to my knowledeg.
International Grammar School in Ultimo is co-ed non religious but fees start at 15K per year.

#14 boatiebabe

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:54 AM

There are some very fine PUBLIC High Schools in your area that have super results (much better than privates), so not sure why you had to bag out public high schools in your OP?

You need to do some more research.

#15 Foogle

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:56 AM

Agree with the PPs - If you can't up your budget I think you may find yourself with Catholic as the only option if you don't want a state school.

Is there anything wrong with Randwick Girls though?  Also and if you think your child is academically inclined, there is Sydney Girls and that is selective but it's something to consider perhaps.


#16 tibs

Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:10 PM

QUOTE (mummamajeena @ 15/11/2012, 12:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The thing is you won't find a Private High School that is not Catholic for under 10K per year. they don't exist to my knowledeg.
International Grammar School in Ultimo is co-ed non religious but fees start at 15K per year.


There are plenty of so-called low fee Christian Schools that cost around $5000-$6000 per year e.g. those that sit under the Sydney Anglican Schools Corporation umbrella.  But they are in low cost areas e.g. new estates on the western and south western fringes of Sydney not in the Eastern suburbs - I think the presumption is if you can afford to live in the Eastern suburbs you don't need the low fee schools.  

Good friends of ours have their kids at Randwick public and they are in a similar bind - especially for their son.  Believe it or not they are actually considering moving to the other side if they can't work something out  ohmy.gif  biggrin.gif

#17 Tigerdog

Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:24 PM

QUOTE
Nor do I want them to have to participate in religious services if they have made informed decisions they are not for them.


I doubt very much they will let you enrol then.  To get preference for places you need to be able to demonstrate your child/family is committed to actively pursuing a Catholic way of life, even at my DS1's preschool enrolment (we have the preschool which then goes onto kinder and primary) I had to provide his baptismal certificate to get preference.  There's no such thing as making an 'informed choice' not to participate, if you are sending them to their school then you've agreed to delegate to them the task of informing your child on religious matters.  If you don't like this then send them to a secular school.

Edited by Tigerdog, 15 November 2012 - 12:24 PM.


#18 ubermum

Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:29 PM

What are you basing your "public schools aren't up to the mark academically" comment on? If it is some sort of NAPLAN result or other marker, you must remember that public schools are obliged to take on students in their area. Some may not be interested in school or have other issues and their poor performance drags down the overall performance of the school, regardless of how good other students perform or how good their educators are.

Given your budget, perhaps check out the local high schools and what they actually offer students before deciding. Also, $10K buys a fair bit of tutoring and extra curriculars if they are required. It is also prudent to remember that a great school is built not only on the teaching staff and the school philosophy, but also on the school community.

#19 JRA

Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:32 PM

QUOTE
No they don't. They government funding they receive and the parent fees are all they get. They run on much less $$$ per student then any other school system.


Gee that has changed.

But then again maybe it hasn't

http://www.catholicschools.nsw.edu.au/schools/faqs/faqs.aspx
QUOTE
The sources of funds for Catholic systemic schools are government grants, school fees, and other private income such as subject levies, parish grants and fund-raising by Parents & Friends Associations.


OP Under $10K is a very low fee paying private school. Good luck.



#20 EBeditor

Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:40 PM

There are not many reasonably priced non-denominational schools in Sydney at all.

Selective schools are very good, but hard to get in to without coaching. Public schools vary greatly, but a good student can still achieve good results in a public school.

#21 liveworkplay

Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:51 PM

QUOTE
No they don't. They government funding they receive and the parent fees are all they get. They run on much less $$$ per student then any other school system.


QUOTE
The sources of funds for Catholic systemic schools are government grants, school fees, and other private income such as subject levies, parish grants and fund-raising by Parents & Friends Association


How are these two statements different? subject levies are part of parent fees. Plus I do not know of any school in any system who does not have levies. Dito P&F fundraising. Parish grants are like any other community grant, anyone can apply for them and they are for special projects, not the everyday running of the school. It would be like saying the Rotary grant the local public school received is supplementing their child's education.

Just compare a local parish school and its local public on MYSCHOOL, the overall income for public schools are way higher. For example, our local parish school income (which includes grants) is less then $8000 per child. Our local public school income (including grants) is over $11000 per child. All the recent review on education have also involved the catholic systems power that be to try and help the government understand how they can acheive the outcomes they do on the money they get.

Anyway, a little off the point, sorry original.gif




#22 tibs

Posted 15 November 2012 - 01:03 PM

QUOTE (liveworkplay @ 15/11/2012, 01:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How are these two statements different? subject levies are part of parent fees. Plus I do not know of any school in any system who does not have levies. Dito P&F fundraising. Parish grants are like any other community grant, anyone can apply for them and they are for special projects, not the everyday running of the school. It would be like saying the Rotary grant the local public school received is supplementing their child's education.

Just compare a local parish school and its local public on MYSCHOOL, the overall income for public schools are way higher. For example, our local parish school income (which includes grants) is less then $8000 per child. Our local public school income (including grants) is over $11000 per child. All the recent review on education have also involved the catholic systems power that be to try and help the government understand how they can acheive the outcomes they do on the money they get.

Anyway, a little off the point, sorry original.gif


The apparent funding difference could be because the public school has more special needs students or indigenous students etc who get more funding pushing up the average per student funding reported on myschool?

#23 mummamajeena

Posted 15 November 2012 - 03:47 PM

QUOTE (tibs @ 15/11/2012, 01:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There are plenty of so-called low fee Christian Schools that cost around $5000-$6000 per year e.g. those that sit under the Sydney Anglican Schools Corporation umbrella.  But they are in low cost areas e.g. new estates on the western and south western fringes of Sydney not in the Eastern suburbs - I think the presumption is if you can afford to live in the Eastern suburbs you don't need the low fee schools.

I meant non-religious private schools below 10K. But yes there are also no below 10K Christian schools in the Eastern or Inner West suburbs.

#24 kyrrie

Posted 15 November 2012 - 04:33 PM

Unfortunately you are going to find it difficult to meet your criteria anywhere.

What is the problem with your local public schools? Where I live most have very high academic standards. But we are also in a lower socio-economic area so those standards aren't reflected in the media.

QUOTE (liveworkplay @ 15/11/2012, 01:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How are these two statements different? subject levies are part of parent fees. Plus I do not know of any school in any system who does not have levies. Dito P&F fundraising. Parish grants are like any other community grant, anyone can apply for them and they are for special projects, not the everyday running of the school. It would be like saying the Rotary grant the local public school received is supplementing their child's education.

Just compare a local parish school and its local public on MYSCHOOL, the overall income for public schools are way higher. For example, our local parish school income (which includes grants) is less then $8000 per child. Our local public school income (including grants) is over $11000 per child. All the recent review on education have also involved the catholic systems power that be to try and help the government understand how they can acheive the outcomes they do on the money they get.

Anyway, a little off the point, sorry original.gif

Actually tibs is correct here. Our local public school has no support unit and thus has a lower per student income on MySchool that our local Catholic school. And yet the Catholic school has a much higher ICSEA score. On the other hand the high school has a number of support classes and an ED unit which means the per student income is around $13 000. If you remove the ED unit it falls back to around the $8000 mark. There are really too many variables impacting funding to compare systems.


#25 shine

Posted 17 November 2012 - 10:21 PM

Thanks for all the replies. I am in the SW of the Eastern Suburbs so our nearest public high is South Sydney, which I have not heard good things about from friends and neighbours, but yes the NAPLANs arent good either. I have heard that Randwick Girls and Rose Bay are good, but we are way out of area for them.  Is it hard to get into public high schools out of area? Also Rose Bay is a very long way for the children. I'm more concerned for my son as Randwick Boys doesnt have a good reputation either.

Sounds like my options are these out of area Public schools or International Grammar for a non religious school.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

How I learnt to relax about routines

After many routine-led, tough years, we've realised that being parenting isn't about being perfect. It isn't about following a schedule to a T.

Should you have a third child or not?

I thought our family had been complete with our two boys. I had no idea how much I needed my daughter until she was here.

Helping a toddler embrace an adopted sibling

A single parent by choice, I am preparing to adopt a second baby from Morocco. And I face a special challenge.

When pregnancy messes with your self-esteem

Pregnancy doesn't make all women feel beautiful. It certainly doesn't raise every woman's self-esteem.

Join us in The BIG nappy change

Introducing the new Coles Little Explorer Nappies! You can confidently rely on Coles Little Explorer nappies at each stage of your child's growth, so take the Big Nappy Change and try new Coles Little Explorer nappies for yourself!

Robbie Williams live tweets wife's labour

And the award for most patient woman in labour goes to ... Robbie Williams' wife, Ayda Field.

Vaccine ignorance is deadly and contagious

In the absence of credible, strong political leadership, paranoia about disease can go viral.

Parenting differently based on birth order

All children have unique personalities, but keeping birth order in mind could help when parenting.

How to get rid of the mum guilt

Motherhood and guilt seem to go hand in hand, but there are ways to focus

Paid parental leave scheme grinds to a halt

The future of Prime Minister Tony Abbott's paid parental leave scheme appears to be up in the air, despite the fact it is due to begin in less than nine months.

The devastation of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders

No one's sure how many Australians are affected by foetal alcohol spectrum disorders, but the consequences for those who are can be devastating.

The pros and cons of finding out the sex of your unborn baby

It’s often one of the biggest choices parents make during the course of their pregnancy; to find out, or not to find out, the sex of their baby before it’s born.

Toddler's awesome dress up month

Two-year-old Willow and her photographer mum, Gina Lee, made October "Dress Up Willow Month". She posted photos of Willow's costumes on her Instagram account, and her creative takes on popular culture are simply adorable.

Childhood around the world

It can be easy to assume our ideas around childhood are universal, but they are particular to where we live, as these practices show.

Best picks for baby and toddler shoes

Here's a great selection of footwear from pre-walker to walker ensuring comfort and style for growing feet.

I lost my wife and daughters to Ebola - then it came for my son

Sunday, September 21, is a day I will never forget.

The 'yucky' illness that took over my life

I have a chronic illness nobody likes to discuss. It involves toilet talk, and probably caused my miscarriage. But it needs to be talked about.

Prenatal testing: the facts

Prenatal testing is done to check if a baby has certain medical conditions before birth. Here is some important information about what the tests are for and the risks involved.

5 things to do with your baby?s old clothes

Did you think your only option for your baby?s old clothes was to pack them away or give them to the Salvos? Think again.

Why it's possible to not realise you're pregnant until the baby arrives

After hearing about 'surprise babies' born to mums who didn't know they were pregnant, it's common to ask "how did she not realise?" But experts say it's entirely possible for it to happen.

'My miracle is finally here'

How has the world continued on its pace when mine has been altered so drastically?

Dairy can help older women fall pregnant: study

Ice cream may be the ultimate comfort food, but a study suggests it could also help older women to have children.

Megan Gale goes topless for 'sexiest people' cover

Six months after a heavily pregnant Megan Gale posed nude for Marie Claire, the glowing new mum has gone topless for the cover of another magazine.

A new perspective on life from living with two diseases

A mother shares her personal story about the difficulty of living with two conditions, one of which stops her from being able to see her daughter's face.

Warning about Children's Panadol dosage

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has issued a safety advisory warning parents about confusion when using the dosing syringe supplied with Children's Panadol.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Take 'The Coles Big Nappy Change' Challenge

You could become part of our Test Drive team and win one of 200 packs of Coles Little Explorer Nappies as part of our 5-day challenge.

Win 1 of 5 Canon Powershot D30 cameras

Capture life more easily with the Canon Powershot D30. Shockproof, waterproof and dustproof, you can take it almost anywhere and shoot beautiful images, time after time. Enter now!

16 parenting truths you won't find in the baby books

I am five years into this parenting gig and I’ve learnt that sleepless nights and changing dirty nappies are child’s play.

Best and worst potty party cakes

It's nice to celebrate a child making the shift from nappies to 'big kid' undies, but do we really need a semi-realistic used toilet cake to do it? Here are some of the best and worst cakes parents have used at 'potty parties' around the world.

7 tips for a financially festive Christmas

Plan ahead - and do it now - to ensure festive season expenses don't break the bank.

'Go the F*** to Sleep' author's new book for frustrated parents

A sequel is coming soon to the 2011 hit book 'Go the F*** to Sleep' - and this time, it's about mealtimes.

Great birthday party buys from Etsy

Handmade crafts to decorate and personalise your child's next birthday - from banners to cake decorations, we've got gorgeous party finds from Etsy.

Join us in The BIG nappy change

Introducing the new Coles Little Explorer Nappies! You can confidently rely on Coles Little Explorer nappies at each stage of your child's growth, so take the Big Nappy Change and try new Coles Little Explorer nappies for yourself!

Creative storage ideas for the kids' rooms

Creative and practical storage ideas for the kids' toys and books can also add some stylish decor to your home. Visit babyology.com.au for more stylish modern finds for hip kids & parents.

Weird trend

Couple has five babies in 14 months

Julie and David Grygla weren't sure they'd ever have kids - but their dreams have now well and truly come true.

To the mum in the doctor's waiting room

Maybe the mum I saw in that waiting room, seemingly disconnected from her baby, doesn’t have the support she needs.

10 space-saving nursery ideas

Starting a family doesn't always mean moving into a bigger house - not yet, anyway.

 

What's in a name?

Baby Names

Looking for a classic name, or an unusual name? Our Baby Name Finder is for you, search or browse to refine your shortlist.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.