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Secondary school selection
Public not a option??


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#1 babyonthebrain

Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:14 PM

So my DS is ONLY 4yrs old but we are in the selection process discussion for primary schools which also leads to discussion about  secondary schools. After some research I have discovered that to send my son to a good public school I have to live in the zone of that school. The school nearest to me does not have a good reputation at present. So I feel my options for public school aren't really available to me as I have to attend the closest one to my residence. Unless you try for special consideration but I can't say my nearest public school is not rated well.

Therefore I have looked at private schools and WOW Are the fees high. There are a few schools we Might be able to afford but if they are catholic then my son must attend a catholic primary school. Which I am not sure we were going to send him to. I am happy to look at catholic secondary but feel pressure to send him to catholic primary " just in the event we later decide" to send him to a catholic private. No other private schools seem to dictate which primary schools he must attend to be accepted.

My head is spinning. Anyone else faced with this issue? My DH went catholic so is keen for this option but I went public. So more at a cross roads.

Just didn't realise your options a reduced with the public sector if you did not live in the zone!!!!,

#2 CupOfCoffee

Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:24 PM

I don't know where you are, but we faced the same problem with my son (who is now 14).

I was not sending him to the high school in which we fell into the catchment for (because of the reputation).  I looked at private options and found them so expensive (my son went to a local Catholic Primary, so our primary school fees were really low and the high school fees were at least 5 times the price).

(We are agnostic, but our son went to the local public primary for a year and it was not a good match for him, so we looked at affordable options at that point)

As an affordable option for high school, we applied to a public school with a very good reputation and some specific areas of excellence (about 30 minutes away by bus).  I wasn't overly hopeful (because it is a popular inner city school), but ultimately he was accepted into the academic program and it has been a brilliant decision to send him there.  

So, depending on different public school policies, some will accept students outside the catchment.

#3 babyonthebrain

Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:45 PM

Ok that is a positive outcome. However when did you enrol him (is it different for private vs public) and what was your backup plan?

I live in eastern Melbourne and there are lots and lots of great public schools!!! Some of those schools are really close tEg 4kms-15kms away but not my closest public option.

Also what is your overall view of a catholic school education?

Edited by babyonthebrain, 03 December 2012 - 07:48 PM.


#4 crayons

Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:54 PM

I would keep the local public high school as an option, it could change a lot in the next 8 years. Are you also sure that you won't move house in the next 8 years? If you do be very careful about making sure you are in the right zone for a school you wouldn't want to be on just the wrong side of the road. Otherwise you might just have to start saving now, further down the track if it's something your DS may be able to look at scholarships and just applying for out of area schools.

#5 Fossy

Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:09 PM

It's so hard! We are moving back to Melbourne, so we hadn't put our kids down at private schools, we want a Catholic education for them but most of the schools we looked at either we were too late to apply, or they had to go to feeder primary schools, which would mean different primary schools for different kids, which didn't excite me.

Luckily through contacts we managed to secure spots for them at a catholic school in Kew, it's mid range fees.  It's only boys from year 5 so we still have to find options for DD then, still deciding about that.  Although we will live in the zone for Melbourne girls college so we are contemplating that, but we'll see.

It's a lot of pressure because you really do have to decide so early, either on wait lists or by buying a house in a zone which may change by the time you actually want you kids to go to the school!

#6 CupOfCoffee

Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:41 PM

QUOTE (babyonthebrain @ 03/12/2012, 07:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ok that is a positive outcome. However when did you enrol him (is it different for private vs public) and what was your backup plan?

I live in eastern Melbourne and there are lots and lots of great public schools!!! Some of those schools are really close tEg 4kms-15kms away but not my closest public option.

Also what is your overall view of a catholic school education?


The high school accepted him when he was in year 7 (we are in Qld, so high school started in year 8).  

But you can have other options for private schools available in the meantime.  (Our back up plan was a private school (a cheaper Catholic one).

The Catholic primary school was great for my son, great community, great educational outcomes, great kids and a good fit for my son.  After 6 years of Catholic education he has an appreciation of faith (for others) but considers himself an agnostic (the primary school was really flexible in the way they approached faith (he had choice).

#7 mumto3princesses

Posted 04 December 2012 - 01:40 PM

As pp said 8 years is a long time and it could change so when the time comes I would still look at it. I believe DD#1's school had a bad rep about 10yrs ago and now it has a very good rep and is a good school with sometimes as many as 100+ out of area applications each year.

A lot of public schools will accept out of area applications. Depends on the school though and even your child. I know of 3 children who were guaranteed spots at an out of area public high school after getting into special creative arts groups which they tried out for at the end of Year 5 and then started practise with the school after school during Year 6. One got into a Dance group while the other 2 got into a choir group with one of them getting a scholarship! One of the main things they look at is NAPLAN results though but they also consider things like sporting achievements too.

#8 babyonthebrain

Posted 04 December 2012 - 01:48 PM

Thank you.

You are correct I will still consider the local high school when the times comes. Lets be honest I can't wait list him now for a public school it all happens when the time comes for him to go.

Since my post I have called a few private schools and will do a tour and possibly pay for him to be wait listed. Then all my bases are covered.

I feel so much better just having spent some time on it and speaking with a few principals. I was also pleased to discover that a few local primary schools offer program's where by the preschoolers can attend for the day, do activities and get a feel for the school. All free I just have to get in quick and get him on the lists.

Now to update the husband tonight and hope he is just as excited as I am.... original.gif




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