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Private vs Public School


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#1 cb2

Posted 07 February 2013 - 07:46 PM

I still have a few years yet before having to decide on a high school, but am looking into them and what options there are.

Both DH and I went to a Private Secondary school.
He from Yr 7-12
Me Year 7-10 then a public high school 11&12

Reasons I went changed was that the school I was at were extremely academic focused and if you didn't like maths/english and science then really there wasn't much else for you, or if you didn't do well in those 3 subjects

I moved to a school which offered Outdoor Ed, Catering and Home Ec, Performing Arts, as well as the regular and compulsary subjects

Now Private school aren't cheap Yr 7 asks for base start of $7500 and some school are $17,000 for one year not including uniform and other levies

So I ask and this is purely to gain opinions and read other peoples thoughts

Do you think Private schooling is better than public?

If yes why?
If no why?
Do you think there are different opportunities and benefits from attedning one over the other

Do you send your child public or private? Why did you make that decision?
Money is not the main factor here I am purely wanting opinions on the level of education and if you think Private offer a better education than a public school, and wheter from your experiences students do better and perform better at one over the other

Thanks

#2 jules77

Posted 07 February 2013 - 07:58 PM

I don't think you can really say one is better than the other.

There are also many factors that come into play: the child and his or her needs, personality and interests; the schools in question; the staff at the schools and so on.

There will never be one answer to what type of schooling is better. The local public school will be perfect for one child and the place of nightmares for another.

I went to a private, Catholic girls secondary school and my husband went to a systemic Catholic secondary school.

We will probably send our boys to the local state primary school as it has much nicer grounds than the local Catholic school (which is all concrete), and the private Catholic high school up to road, as it is in walking distance from our house.

Edited by jules77, 07 February 2013 - 07:59 PM.


#3 icekool

Posted 07 February 2013 - 08:09 PM

It depends on the child ie their interest sport or academic.

Some schools (private) are very focused on sport and provide a supportive sports environment
Some schools are more academic focused.
Also it depends on the child if they want a small or large school.

I went to a private school as there wasn't any good school around us

#4 Dionysus

Posted 07 February 2013 - 08:12 PM

There are some state schools I would stay well clear of and some private schools I would stay well clear of

It is a mis-leading and grossly unfair generalisation to say that all private schools are better than all public schools for all kids



#5 *LucyE*

Posted 07 February 2013 - 08:14 PM

Do you think Private schooling is better than public?
No, because each school needs to be judged on its individual merits not the sort of fees it charges.

Each child is also an individual and ideally, schools should be chosen for them not just where their older siblings might attend.

Do you think there are different opportunities and benefits from attedning one over the other
Not from a simplistic private vs public view point.

My children attend a private school, but there are other private schools I would not consider. I would consider some of the public schools over most of the private schools in our town. Some of the public scools here are very well resourced and have excellent teachers. Others not so much. I judge the school itself not a stereotype.

Do you send your child public or private? Why did you make that decision?
Private. Family association, coed, family feel, holistic approach to education (eg not just about academic grades and test results), extra curricula activities, and
gorgeous environment/great facilities.

Edited by *LucyE*, 07 February 2013 - 08:16 PM.


#6 cinnabubble

Posted 07 February 2013 - 08:15 PM

OP, you would know from your own experience that what constitutes a "good" education varies according to the individual.

#7 liveworkplay

Posted 07 February 2013 - 08:17 PM

Depends on the school and child. Each needs to be judged on individual merits.

#8 76 feral others

Posted 07 February 2013 - 08:19 PM

I know people who went public who have done extremely well for themselves and I know people who went to private and have ended up no hopers. Can't judge whether one is better than the other.

My kids go public because the fees seem crazy and they can get an awesome well rounded education at the local public school. Plus a lot of private schools (not all but I don't know of many) are religious based and that is not important one iota to my family.

#9 BadCat

Posted 07 February 2013 - 08:27 PM

Purely anecdotal but my DD and her best friend go to different high schools.  After 2 years the private education and the public one still look very much alike.  They both offer a wide range of extra options and a decent education.  The girls are both doing very well in their chosen schools.  

So really, you need to look at the schools in your area and find the right fit for your child.  I was never going to choose the private school because our family consider 7 lessons of RE per fortnight to be a waste of time.  If we had a non-religious private school I would have considered it but in the end would likely still have chosen public because I fail to see the point in paying a bucketload of money for the same education you can get for "free".

#10 cameo

Posted 07 February 2013 - 08:38 PM

We are facing this at the moment - DS is in Grade 5.

I think it completely depends on the child and the childs skills/weaknesses.  I went to a private school from year 7 which I loved but then in Year 9 it was bought out by a fancy private school and in Year 11, we all had to transfer to the main campus.  It was horrible and cliquey and I didn't enjoy the last few years and therefore did fairly average in Year 12.

I would have been much better off in a smaller school like the one I was originally in.

You may have a brilliant Public school near you which may not offer everything the Private school does but you can provide other opportunities to your child as needed (extra tuition, swimming lessons etc)

If you don't have fantastic Public schools around, if they don't have great academic results, then I would go Private.

DS goes to school in a very wealthy area (although we are not) and 90% will go Private to schools that are around $24,000 a year which is way out of our budget.  We might be sending DS to a private school whose fees are around $12,000 a year which is still alot but affordable once I start work.  We will send him there hopefully.

It is a big decision but you have to see what will suit the child.  DS won't have any friends at the public high schools and we won't him to start with his friends.  I know he would be fine on his own but he is a small and sensitive boy and the thought of him being vulnerable and on his own terrifies me.

Good luck with your decision.



#11 mumto3princesses

Posted 07 February 2013 - 08:54 PM

Depends on the child and the public and private schools. One isn't necessarily better than the other but one will be a better fit for each child.

We chose a public high school for DD#1 and are happy with our decision. It always has a huge waiting list for out of area applications. It almost has a private school feel to it being a girls school. It only goes to year 10 and then she will change to a huge campus which will be co-ed.

#12 elizabethany

Posted 07 February 2013 - 09:31 PM

It really does depend on both the child and the school.

I am in Canberra, and with the system we have, the schools are ranked, and that affects the individual scores.  The best ranked school is public, the second and third private.

The private schools generally have more support for the students, but the public ones offer more choice in classes (due to more students in the year level).

Things to consider in a school:
1. Does it offer IB? (optional, depending on student)
2. Does my child need support or are they self sufficient?
3. Are classes that support my childs vocational choice offered?
4. What is the quality of the school like?
5. What is the quality of the school community like?

#13 farfaraway

Posted 07 February 2013 - 09:45 PM

QUOTE (elizabethany @ 07/02/2013, 10:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It really does depend on both the child and the school.

I am in Canberra, and with the system we have, the schools are ranked, and that affects the individual scores.  The best ranked school is public, the second and third private.


Just curious, but which rankings are you basing this on? I'm also in Canberra, and every ranking i have seen for both primary and secondary schools has either Radford, Canberra Grammar, or Canberra GirlS' Grammar in the top 3 spots. Most assuredly all private schools.

I do agree though that it is impossible to make a blanket statement about schools and that different schools will suit different kids to greater or lesser extents.


#14 Fifi LaRue

Posted 08 February 2013 - 12:37 AM

QUOTE (**Mel** @ 07/02/2013, 08:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There are some state schools I would stay well clear of and some private schools I would stay well clear of

It is a mis-leading and grossly unfair generalisation to say that all private schools are better than all public schools for all kids


I agree with this!  DS and DD both go to a Private College (P-12) and it's a great school.  We choose it at the time, because it offered a great Special Education Program while also a great G&T program, which is difficult to find, and that was important for DS.  DD went there purely because DS was.  DS is flourishing at the school it's very academically focused, so for someone who is Gifted it's a great fit.  We are currently considering changing DD to the local public school, which is also a great school, because unlike DS, DD isn't academically minded, and is floundering somewhat at our current school.  It's not that the school/teacher are failing her or doing anything that is actually negative, it's just that being so academically focused it's now becoming quite stressful for DD.

You need to find the right fit for your child.

#15 somila

Posted 08 February 2013 - 05:47 AM

I'm always a bit sad to hear "child isn't academically-minded so we'll send him/her public" (not you specifically, PP, I've heard someone else say that only this week).

I have an academically-minded child who is at a public high school.  I have no doubt he will be challenged and supported to do his best as so many others have been in the past.  (Latest school results are great and have been since the year dot - I know many of these students.)

I would consider sacrificing our old-age/overseas travel fund (I've never been OS) for a private high school if he was desperately unhappy and it was the best option, but not otherwise - we have an amazing range of schools in our area from all sectors. (Yes, lucky us.)

OP you need to look at specific schools, your budget and your child and make your choice, knowing you can change that decision if circumstances change.

Best wishes.



#16 cb2

Posted 08 February 2013 - 06:06 AM

Thank you everyone for your replies and comments.
There are some good points raised which I will consider.
Like I said I was just looking for peoples opinions and thoughts on both and you gave me that and some other food for thought which I didn't consider. Such a big decision and I want to give my child the best education I can.
Also having no older siblings/cousins/friends with children who have been before us makes it harder to ask specific related questions so that is why EB is a great resource and such a bunch of knowledgable people original.gif thanks again original.gif

#17 3plusme

Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:16 AM

There have been a heap of these threads done before on this topic.
I choose private because I have girls and I want them to go to a girls school.  I also want them to socialise with like minded children and send them to a school with the same values as me.  Our private school has a big focus on respect and community and building the girls confidence which is important to us.
Having said that though, a school in my opinion is only as good as the teachers that work there and it's principal as well as the kids that go there. If we couldn't afford private school I would get into the catchment area for a fantastic public school and there are a few around.



#18 Dionysus

Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:48 AM

QUOTE (3plusme @ 08/02/2013, 07:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There have been a heap of these threads done before on this topic.
I choose private because I have girls and I want them to go to a girls school.  I also want them to socialise with like minded children and send them to a school with the same values as me.  Our private school has a big focus on respect and community and building the girls confidence which is important to us.
Having said that though, a school in my opinion is only as good as the teachers that work there and it's principal as well as the kids that go there. If we couldn't afford private school I would get into the catchment area for a fantastic public school and there are a few around.



Always know your place, huh?



#19 GenWhy

Posted 08 February 2013 - 08:10 AM

I went to public schools in primary and they were great. Even the tiny country town one I attended had excellent teachers so we learnt a lot. My parents sent me to private high school. The school was new and didnt offer a lot of options. We were scaled down in TEE and I think I would have been better off at the local public school.

My kids all went to a private school initially. We weren't impressed with the level of teaching or the lack of bullying policy etc. We eventually decided to send them to the local state school and kicked ourselves for not doing it sooner. Best school ever. Unfortunately we were swayed by people telling us what a dreadful reputation our school had which is why we didnt opt to go there initially. For high school it will depend where we are living as to whether we go public or private. I'd prefer public but if it's a school in our zone that doesn't have a strong TEE focus I may look outside the zone or pay privately.

I agree it's not public vs private - each school goes on it's merit.

ETA: our kids are now at a different public school and as we live in a tiny town, it's the only option available. We are extremely unhappy with the way the school is run, the teachers and the poor focus on reading and writing. Just shows how widely state schools can vary as can private schools.

Edited by GenWhy, 08 February 2013 - 08:20 AM.


#20 FeralBob!

Posted 08 February 2013 - 08:17 AM

DD is at a public school now and I see no reason for this not to continue into high school. I want her to have a co-ed education and I also want her to mix with a variety of people, not just the ones whose parents can afford to pay for a private education. I also do not want her learning religious values that our family doesn't subscribe to Plus, TBH, her public school now is head and shoulders IMO above any of the local private schools in term of the curriculum and the range of activities. And the class sizes are smaller than at least one, if not more of the private schools.

#21 StopTheGoats

Posted 08 February 2013 - 08:18 AM

We have our son on the list at a couple of very different private high schools but equally high on our consideration list is our local public high school. Our decision is going to be based entirely on the personality and needs of our child at the time. If he's clever, likable and flexible then the future equivalent of $150k on his 25th birthday is going to be of more value to him than a private education.

#22 FeralProudSwahili

Posted 08 February 2013 - 08:43 AM

I am pro-public schooling, for a variety of reasons.

#23 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:39 AM

Do you think Private schooling is better than public?  I think it's hard to give a blanket answer that covers all scenarios.  In some areas, the local public schools aren't great and maybe going private is a viable alternative to ensure your child receives the support and resources.  But alternatively, I  haven't seen much benefit from private schools in terms of academic merit.  But I have seen cases where private school connections have helped mediocre people into jobs (but it hasn't helped them keep the jobs).

I am pro-public school.   Just feel that from my experience and from what I have observed, kids who are supported and encouraged to learn and grow, both from parents and teachers, will thrive and excel just about anywhere.  They don't have to be in a private school to do that.  They just need engaged teachers, a supportive principal and parents who are willing to care and help them as much as possible.  If you get that trifecta, you are on to a good thing.

Do you send your child public or private? Why did you make that decision?
DD1 just started school this week.  She is attending our local public school.  We are fortunate that it seems to be a fabulous school with great teacher-parent communication and an active school community.  We looked into a few different schools (public and private) and having moved to this town in the past few years, we were working from a clean slate, no pre-conceptions.  All the public primary schools seemed as good as the private schools we looked at, probably better for a few of them.

We haven't decided about high school yet.  A lot can change in 6 years - a change of principal is all it can take to change a school from crap to outstanding (or vice versa).  The plan is to send the kids to the local high school, unless something drastic happens in the meantime.

#24 AMPSyd

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:29 AM

Our local public primary is awesome, absolutely awesome. High School however is a different story as the ones we are zoned for are in a poorer socioeconomic areaa and have horrid reputations and the good High Schools close by don't accept out-of-area applications. For us it just HAS to be private. Many kids from our current do this.

However, if we moved in zone to a better High School I wouldn't have an issue with public. We once weighed the costs of relocating vs paying private fees - we decided to stay put and pay the private fees.

#25 Froger

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:52 AM

QUOTE (AMPSyd @ 08/02/2013, 10:29 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
High School however is a different story as the ones we are zoned for are in a poorer socioeconomic areaa and have horrid reputations and the good High Schools close by don't accept out-of-area applications. For us it just HAS to be private.


I used to think this way as well. My kids used to go to a private school where the students consistently got well above state average in Naplan and OP. My kids were doing very well (apart from one who was doing average) and I put it down to the excellent teaching at the private school.

I then got separated and had to send my kids to the public high school and public primary school. These schools are in well below average SES areas, no one at all in the top 25% SES goes to them according to the my school website, majority in the bottom 25% (especially the high school where it is close to everyone in the bottom 25%). Lots of single parents like myself, and just generally people who are not well off. Anyway the schools also had very bad reputations. So I was dreading sending my kids, but due to financial circumstances of being a single parent I had no choice.

Interestingly my children's marks have gone up. My high achieving children are even more high achieving. My average student is even high achieving now, as reflected in his improved Naplan results which are now outstanding. My kids also now love to go to school, rather than seeing it as a chore. They also get to do more extra curricula activities, and are very involved in all aspects of the schools from music to sport. At the private school they couldn't be bothered as it was forced upon them. They hated to practice and do homework. But at the public school my kids take pride in being the students who do all the extra activites and represent the school at sport, music, choir etc. I never have to remind them to practice or do homework as they actually want to do it, as the teachers are so motivating and make everything so enjoyable. My kids are always among the first to sign up to any new activities, which are all heavily subsidised by the school (being we are in a low SES) to make it accessible to the students.

I also find the teachers at the public school to be so involved with students. And if a student is willing to learn and shows motivation the teachers really go out of their way to encourage and motivate the student and give up their lunch times and before and after school times to do extra work with the kids. I honestly couldn''t be more pleased with my local public schools, even though outsiders are very sneering and judging when they know what schools my kids go to.

I think it also comes down to the parents and students, and just being motivated and wanting to do well, more than the school. A good student with encouraging parents will always do well.




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