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

 

Mum assists in own caesarean surgery

A mum who partly delivered her own twins during a caesarean has encouraged other women to take control of their birthing experience.

How to handle common childhood regressions

Regression can be a natural and common part of development prompted by a variety of factors, but that doesn't make it less frustrating.

Disgruntled dad's pram ad goes viral

When buying a second hand pram, there are lots of things to take into consideration. 

Man discovers he's a dad after finding 55-year-old letter

Discovering you are about to father a baby is startling enough - never mind finding out you have a 61-year-old son.

15 thoughts mums have during a tantrum

Ranging from mild to feral and triggered by events both minor and major, tantrums certainly keep life interesting.

Natural pain relief in the early stages of labour

While managing labour pains on your own can be daunting, there are a number of natural pain relief options to help you cope until you are admitted to hospital.

Forgotten Baby Syndrome claims the life of toddler

One baby dies every eight days in the back of a car in the US, victims of 'forgotten baby syndrome'.

For a brief time, I was touched by an angel

For a brief time, I was touched by an angel. You stole my heart, and changed me into the women I am today.

Chrissie Swan has reached her "sex quota"

Chrissie Swan says she and her partner have sex once a year due to her fear of falling pregnant.

Chinese woman gives birth to quintuplets

After six years of trying for a baby, a couple’s dreams have come true many times over after the mum gave birth to quintuplets this week.

Five-year-old shoots nine-month-old brother dead

A nine-month-old baby boy died on Monday after he was shot in the head by his five-year-old brother in their grandfather's home.

'Is that baby yours?'

She is my daughter. I gave birth to her. I nurse her. But she doesn't have any of my genes.

Episiotomy in childbirth: not just 'a little snip'

Episiotomies have a place in maternity care – and can occasionally save lives – but should not be performed routinely.

Toddler aggression not caused by language delays after all: study

The logic was that children who don’t have the language to fully express themselves will lash out when they’re misunderstood. Not anymore.

Why we chose to adopt a child with Down sydrome

Everyone in foster care (and really in life) has something that makes them more vulnerable. We just know what our son's is.

Object of desire

Curvy mums make clever babies

Scientists appear to have discovered why women have evolved to have more curves than men – shapely thighs and bottoms lead to healthier babies.

'We'll make sure they know how much she loved them'

A first-time mum will never get to hold her four newborns, dying shortly after giving birth to the quadruplets.

The baby names NZ knocked back in 2014

A New Zealander has tried to name their baby Senior Constable but didn't get away with it - and numbering children is also a no-no.

How can you go into labour without knowing you're pregnant?

For most of us, the idea that a woman could carry a child to full-term without knowing she is pregnant is mind-boggling.

Will you get to the hospital in time?

Worrying your baby will be delivered by the roadside is a common concern for many mothers-to-be. So how likely are you to be caught short?

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

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

Stars help save choking babies

It's an important lesson to learn, but one that busy new mums and dads might overlook until it's too late.

New Girl star Zooey Deschanel pregnant

Actress Zooey Deschanel is expecting her first child with her producer boyfriend Jacob Pechenik.

16 times 'dad reflexes' saved the day

Of course, in some cases they may be the ones who actually got their child into a precarious position in the first place, but we'll ignore that for now.

Couple's 'non-traditional' pregnancy announcement goes viral

Knowing you are not the father of your pregnant wife's baby would usually indicate a rocky relationship ahead for traditional parents.

The trials and tribulations of identical triplet newborns

Pip Donnelly is still playing spot the difference with her newborn identical triplets, Isabelle, Georgina and Frankie.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

Earthquake baby thriving five years on

Jenny Alexis is lucky to be alive after spending four days buried in the rubble of the 2010 Haitian earthquake, but now she's a thriving five year old.

Please don't say I'm lucky because I was adopted

On the one hand I was having a regular life with friends and sports and sleepovers and school. But I was also always wondering: Did my mother love me? What was wrong with me?

An open letter to non-parents who offer advice on child-rearing

Kitty, when you’re the parent of my child you’re welcome to wade in with an opinion – but until then, I’d prefer you to have a supportive ear and a glass of wine ready.

Couple arrested over baby gun video

A US couple faces charges after investigators say they found mobile phone videos showing the woman's 12-month-old daughter putting a handgun in her mouth.

NSW Health dumps 10-year limit on frozen embryos

A 10-year time limit on storing frozen embryos that were created with donor sperm has been dropped by the NSW government.

How my happy-go-lucky husband became a monster

Sharan Nicholson-Rogers watched her husband change from a happy-go-lucky police officer into an unpredictable man prone to violent and emotional outbursts.

Dads-to-be experience hormonal changes, too

Dads-to-be experience hormonal changes in line with their pregnant partners, a new study shows.

'They were just doing their job': mum of toddler killed in police chase gone wrong

"They were just doing their job. I feel so sorry for them. It is all just too sad."

Miscarriages to be formally recognised by NSW government

Women who miscarry will be able to obtain an optional "recognition of loss" certificate as a formal recognition of their often heartbreaking loss.

Cafe cubby house 'too noisy' for neighbours

Teenage parties, domestic disputes, or raucous late night pubs are the things that usually come to mind when you think neighbourhood noise complaints.

Dad films baby playing with snake

Most parents would not consider a snake an appropriate playmate for their baby, but a US dad who filmed his daughter playing with a python has defended himself against criticism.

Clever breastfeeding products

Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.

 

Back to School Offer

Findababysitter.com.au

We've got you covered for this school year. Use www.findababysitter.com.au to meet local nannies now.

 
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.