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Private primary or public primary?


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#1 Goblin Face

Posted 26 December 2012 - 09:19 PM

I've read a few opinions and in general a lot of people seem to say private primary isn't necessary.
Can anyone share why this is so?
I'm not really interested in the whole public vs primary debate, but just the reasons why people say kids are just as well off if they go to public primary opposed to going private the whole way through.

#2 KnightsofNi

Posted 26 December 2012 - 09:24 PM

My DH was insistent that the kids go to private primary. He believes that as primary school encompasses the formative years of learning, that we should chose the best the school available, which in our case is a private school.

I thought it would be nice to save the money. But I do kind of agree with him and we are sending the kids to a private R-12.

#3 Excentrique Feral

Posted 26 December 2012 - 09:28 PM

we started public ended up private.

Reasons I like private better:
- smaller school
- teachers are interviewed and carefully chosen by principle
- nicer set up/ facilities
- better playground and ration of children on playground
- excellent oshc


#4 EBeditor

Posted 26 December 2012 - 09:32 PM

It really depends on the schools in your local area. there is no hard and fast rule. Personally I love the sense of community that our local public school fosters.

#5 newphase

Posted 26 December 2012 - 09:40 PM

My DS1 is in a public primary school after a private, I loved the private primary (a k-12 school) but it was not for him. I don't overly like his state primary, but it is a much better fit for him, in the schools defence it is the best one in my area out of about 10+ state primary schools...they have great facilities, programmes and OSHC etc and some lovely dedicated teachers including the assistant principals. I just like the private one more. wink.gif

My DD stayed at the private primary thru grade school and now is in a state high school which I love...but fought to get into as we are not zoned for it.

The private primary was great for my DD as she was/is academically focused, DS is not and it was a constant battle with him there. The pressure is off at the state school, and though the standard is nowhere near the same it is better for him as he is open to learning more as he isn't under the pressure he was at the private school which wasn't helping him at all as he'd closed himself to learning as he hated it.

I'd have loved to have swapeed DS to a smaller Christian school which is mid way between the two, and starting to rival the private school he was at BUT there were no vacancies for his age group so state was it.

DD thrived in the academic environment, hence why I needed a great state high school to carry on the standard she was use to and I am very happy with her there....I could not afford the high school fees at her private school after divorce hence the move. Primary was just ok, state not so.

So different schools for different kids.

I'd love to send my 4yo to the private school as he is more like his sister academically I believe, but fees have gone up so much last few years I doubt I could afford it now. Pray for a miracle hands.gif  !

I too am like your DH, the foundation sets the course for future study/school life.
My DS is going to find it hard I think with the homework expeted when he gets to high school from his current school which has minimal, but hopefully he will have matured enough to cope by then unlike primary school.

Edited by newphase, 26 December 2012 - 09:47 PM.


#6 KatakaGeoGirl

Posted 26 December 2012 - 09:40 PM

QUOTE (Excentrique @ 26/12/2012, 10:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
we started public ended up private.

Reasons I like private better:
- smaller school
- teachers are interviewed and carefully chosen by principle
- nicer set up/ facilities
- better playground and ration of children on playground
- excellent oshc


See I don't think that's a decent argument.

Smaller school - ours is small and class sizes this year of P-2 were 16-19 kids per class. I've heard of some private schools with class sizes up to 30 kids.

Teachers are interviewed by principal - this is the same selection process in Victoria, the teachers apply like you would in a regular job - and the best teacher for the school/criteria is selected by the principal and selection panel within the school, and definitely not externally.

Nicer setup and facilities - I think this all depends on the school - I agree some private schools appear to have more and better equipment. Though our public is pretty damn good I think

Better playground and ration of children - same as above.

Excellent OSHC - our school now has an excellent OSHC.


My cousin's daughter just got through primary and high with a VCE score of 99.45 - she was at a suburban public highschool. It is possible to get outstanding results with a public education.

To me, I think it depends on what is AVAILABLE. Our choice of primary schools locally is supreme - they are all excellent, with great facilities and teachers, with great results and all very caring communities. However, this is all lost once you go to high school and most families are forced to choose a high school that is private. So I'll be definitely choosing private over public come to high. So I think the greatest reason to determine what school is what is available where you live.

Edited by Katakacpk, 26 December 2012 - 09:43 PM.


#7 Phascogale

Posted 26 December 2012 - 09:53 PM

We started public and then went private.

The public just wasn't the right school for my kids.  Great school, great programs, great reputation.  Just a bad fit.  Some of the kids in the class weren't particularly conducive for my child to learn either.  And not so much because they were naughty but rather that my daughter needed a teacher (and coordinator) that knew what she was doing (nothing but hid it well) and could keep on her to make sure she was learning.  We essentially wasted a year that year.  The private was also stricter.  When my daughter didn't do her homework it was enforced that she did it in her lunchtime.  This didn't happen at the public school so she learnt very bad habits.  Some is teacher based, some is the school.  So very much depends on what is available in your area and also your child.  So it's not just about saying one is better than the other.

The private also had a different culture - it was a low fee christian school and just suited the kids more.

When we moved we looked for a similar school and it seems to be working.

#8 TheMuriels

Posted 26 December 2012 - 10:00 PM

We also started public this year, but we're swapping to private next year.  We had a horrible year this year and we're so hoping next year will be better.

#9 SCARFACE CLAW

Posted 26 December 2012 - 10:01 PM

QUOTE (Katakacpk @ 26/12/2012, 10:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
See I don't think that's a decent argument.


I don't think it's meant to be an argument, people are just saying what they like about their private or public school experiences wink.gif

Private here, for many of the reasons mentioned by PPs.

#10 baddmammajamma

Posted 26 December 2012 - 10:02 PM

QUOTE (Goblin Face @ 26/12/2012, 10:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've read a few opinions and in general a lot of people seem to say private primary isn't necessary.
Can anyone share why this is so?
I'm not really interested in the whole public vs primary debate, but just the reasons why people say kids are just as well off if they go to public primary opposed to going private the whole way through.


I think it really depends on the quality of the schools (both public and private) in the area and the needs of a particular child.

I have a child with ASD. For us, the most important qualities we were looking for in a school were (and still are):

* Willingness to allow our professionals inside the classroom
* Experience working with gifted kids with special needs, very proactive G&T program
* Very high touch/high access to teachers & staff

There's no public school in our area that can even come close to what our private school offers on those dimensions. We are fortunate that we can afford to send her to this particular school.

However, I have a number of friends who have chosen public school for their children with ASD precisely because the offerings to support THEIR child's specific needs are much better at a public school. For instance, our private school doesn't have a special needs unit. If I had a child who needed that type of support, you bet your bottom dollar, I'd be looking into public schools.

#11 TheMuriels

Posted 26 December 2012 - 10:05 PM

We also started public this year, but we're swapping to private next year.  We had a horrible year this year and we're so hoping next year will be better.

#12 SeaPrincess

Posted 26 December 2012 - 10:06 PM

QUOTE (EBeditor @ 26/12/2012, 07:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It really depends on the schools in your local area. there is no hard and fast rule. Personally I love the sense of community that our local public school fosters.

I totally agree with this.  DS1 started in private and there was NO community at all.  We had a short drive to get there but nobody lived close to us, the language from the mothers outside the pre-primary classroom was appalling.  We moved to a remote town and DS1 went to the local school and his private kindy and pre-primary did not set him up for year 1 at all.

We're back in the city again now, and the local school has smaller classes, onsite OSHC, lovely community and we are in walking distance of the school and many of the children's friends.  It's also an independent public school, so they do get to interview and choose their teachers and have more say in the use of their funding than regular public schools.  The only thing I would like, which we've had in both previous schools, is a dedicated phys ed teacher.

#13 LynnyP

Posted 27 December 2012 - 10:14 AM

You have to pick the school that suits your child and your family.  There are too many variables to make a hard and fast rule.  My daughter's private primary is fabulous and offers things that aren't available at the local public schools (small classes - most classes have 15 students, boys and girls in different classes with some group time, specialist teachers in the junior school, better facilities etc) but I wouldn't have sent my son to the same school as he was a different child and would have preferred more focus just on academics than the focus on multi skilling plus academics that my daughter's school holds.  He would not have enjoyed just about every teacher and most of the children in a K - 12 school knowing his name!

#14 mummabear

Posted 27 December 2012 - 10:22 AM

Totally dependent on where you live and the schools in your area. We have the choice of a few great public primary schools here, all small, as well as some nice private ones too. But here, in our area, private is absolutely not necessary. However High School...private is the way to go unless you are willing to travel out a little.

There is no right or wrong answer, there are a million variables to your decision!

#15 CupOfCoffee

Posted 27 December 2012 - 10:34 AM

I was another who started her son in the public system and moved him to the private (Catholic) system (for 5 years of his primary education) and now he is back public for high school.

It really depends on the school and the child and finding ones that work for your children.

#16 Literally Literary

Posted 27 December 2012 - 11:32 AM

I absolutely agree that there are so many factors that determine the fit between a child and a primary school. I know of excellent public and private primary schools in our area - so we were spoilt for choice. However, we decided on private primary for both. We chose a (relatively) small (500 in primary, 800 in secondary) strongly academic girls school for our daughter and a much larger (650 primary, 1,500 secondary) one for our son. Both had Emilio Reggio principles underpinning their K-2 centres. Both were extremely strong on developing the child in all areas - academic, social, ethics in ways that aligned with our values and priorities. Given these years are the formative ones in so many ways, we were prepared to go private from the beginning of their respective school journeys.

Edited by Literally Literary, 27 December 2012 - 11:54 AM.


#17 Lagom

Posted 27 December 2012 - 11:49 AM

I don't think it's a matter of private versus public, but of school versus school.  We have gone private for ELC and public for the primary years because that is what suited our family.  We made a list of all the things we wanted from a school and researched all the schools in our area. TBH I think if you have a good public school that can meet your needs in your area you'd be silly to pay private school fees.  You'd be better off spending that money elsewhere IMO.  If you feel that your needs can only be met by a private school and you have the money to do it without causing stress then do it by all means.

#18 somila

Posted 27 December 2012 - 06:08 PM

To answer your question in a VERY general sense I think many people can live with the ethno-socio-economic diversity that is often present in public primary schools while the children are still small, cute and relatively harmless, but they get twitchier when it comes to who they would like their children to associate with in their adolescent years.

On a personal level, the local public schools around my area are great (primary and high school) and I would only choose a pay-for-tuition school if my children were miserable and I thought it was our only option.

There is such diversity within each "sector" of schooling that the "public versus private" debate is fairly irrelevant.

#19 mum850

Posted 29 December 2012 - 04:37 PM

QUOTE (somila @ 27/12/2012, 07:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
To answer your question in a VERY general sense I think many people can live with the ethno-socio-economic diversity that is often present in public primary schools while the children are still small, cute and relatively harmless, but they get twitchier when it comes to who they would like their children to associate with in their adolescent years.


You know I never thought about it but yes this rings true for me.
My kids go/went to public primary and our school is great.
The high school we are zoned for is not very good academically.
I am sending my kids private for secondary. When the rubber hits the road in terms of serious academic study in later high school, I want them to be in an academic environment (hopefully) with mostly kids who want to do well and whose parents want them to do well and with teachers not having to spend much time on crowd control. I think i am more likely to get that in private land. The extracurricular stuff seems better too. The grounds and facilities are absolutely better but that's not an important thing for me.

#20 mombasa

Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:11 AM

DH and I agreed on some aspects we felt were important to us in a School for our girls then looked for a School which best met our needs and wants, in our case it was a Private School.

#21 Chchgirl

Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:15 AM

QUOTE
I don't think it's a matter of private versus public, but of school versus school


I totally agree with this.

I have one in primary and one high school aged (year 9 this year) and have lived in different areas and countries and have seen it all.

I believe in my experience it is totally depended on the area you live and what your individual child's needs are. Nobody can tell you what is right and wrong.

Good luck!

#22 IsolaBella

Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:04 AM

[quote name='EBeditor' date='26/12/2012, 10:32 PM' post='15185426']
It really depends on the schools in your local area. there is no hard and fast rule. Personally I love the sense of community that our local public school  [quote]

For us the local catholic school was a great fit. We will do local prep -4th grade then start 5th at the catholic private school which will take them through to year 12.

Local school helps them make contact with those in the local community. School is a small school with specialist teachers. 250 students max. Local public school is 100-150 students per year.



#23 Bel Rowley

Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:12 AM

I don't think private education is "necessary" for primary or secondary. Of course everyone should choose based on what is best for their child/ren, and that may be public for some and private for others. At this stage our intention is for our children to be fully educated in public schools from Prep to Year 12.

#24 Monket

Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:52 AM

I too have never understood the public primary then private high school thing.  I think that every stage of your child's education is important, particularly thoses early years when they are developing their attitude to learning.  In saying that, I don't think private or public really comes into the argument.  As others have said, you need to choose the best school for your child.

I agonized over school choices prior to DS starting prep.  I am still agonising over it.  I chose a small independent private school because that seemed like the right choice at the time given my child's needs.  We had a quite awful year with both kids for different reasons.  I really would have liked to change schools but DS loves it.  I am hoping that a different teacher may make the difference but if the problems turn out to be a school culture thing, rather than the teacher, we will change schools next year.  DD wants to go to balloon animal making school so I am not quite sure how she will go this year....there is a distinct lack of balloon schools in the area!  We are grateful that DD will have a different prep teacher to DS as the school is having two prep classes this year.  Yay!

I also think it is hard to judge a school until you actually attend it.  School is such an individual experience that I don't think there is a right or wrong answer.

#25 mum850

Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:15 PM

QUOTE (Monket @ 02/01/2013, 12:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We had a quite awful year with both kids for different reasons.  I really would have liked to change schools but DS loves it.


Monket why do you not like the school while your son DOES like it? Just curious...

I hear what people are saying about the different school different child thing and it makes sense to some extent. However the COST (financial and other) of each is way different. When I say private, I am talking about the $20K a year thing. The financial cost is of course huge. The not being in the same area as the local kids, the having to toe the line religion wise, BUT better facilities, better extracurricular stuff....

versus

the (arguably) poorer facilities, worse behaviour, yet WAY cheaper cost. (Don't' flame me. I have kids at both.)

I guess what I mean is, the cost of a private school is so much greater than a non private school, that you have to be sure that is it "better' in some way, to justify the cost. It's not a matter of what school is better, it's more is the cost justified for how much better it is.
(And certainly some expensive private schools are NOT better than the free public school for individual children. But if privateland was not thought to be 'better' overall by many  people then private schools would be all out of business in a heart beat....)




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