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Can you afford private school?
593 replies to this topic
Posted 01 February 2008 - 12:09 PM
The answer to high private fees is at public schoolsA recent BankWest study found that nearly one in 10 families sending a child to a private school spent more than half their take-home pay on the children's education.
Read the article about the rising cost of private education and some thoughts on a solution here and discuss below.
Posted 01 February 2008 - 12:14 PM
Our fees aren't to bad. We send DD to a catholic school up here in NQ and our fees are about 2.5K/yr. I know what some people are paying down south and OMG we would definately struggle.
What we pay is all inclusive of books, excursions etc so the only thing we have to fork out for is uniforms etc.
Posted 02 February 2008 - 11:19 AM
That is such a sensible essay. Reality rather than ideology - lovely.
Can I send a copy to my MP?
Posted 02 February 2008 - 11:47 AM
I cant see how the government could possibly offer the same facilities as private schools unless they have some corporate or community sponsorship.
The extra funds and contribution of time to fund raising that are expected of parents at my childrens' private school over and above the tuition fees could never be matched in the public sector. Our donations are "optional", but pretty much expected every term. We are also expected to participate in fund raising events, raffles, school fairs etc. It is the school community that raise most of the money for the "extra" facilities that make private schools (in my view) worth the extra cost.
Perhaps the community needs to get more involved with its local public schools. The Parents, local businesses, corporate sponsors will be the way forward in improving their local school facilities.
Like the article says "in the long run we are all dead" so if you are sending your child to a public school why would you risk waiting for the government to improve the service? It is the parent contribution in terms of time and money that will make the difference.
ETA to answer the question...yes we can afford private school because we go without other things. Our kids' education is a priority for us over and above everything else. We feel our kids are best served at a private school.
Edited by Gin and Tonic, 03 February 2008 - 10:00 AM.
Posted 02 February 2008 - 12:03 PM
I can afford to send my children to a private school but I choose not to. I have much more faith in the public system.
When looking for a school for our kids we found the class sizes in the private schools around here were much larger than the public schools (e.g. kindergaten at private school had 32 kids per class whereas the public school had had 20)
I also like the fact that the public schools have a wide mix of students covering all races, religions and academic ability. They represent the way the "real world" is which helps to instil tolerance and acceptance of differences and makes the transition from school to work and/or university easier.
I'm curious to know what extra facilities most of the private schools have that the public schools don't. Maybe it's just the area I live in but the private schools around here don't have anything that the public schools don't.
Posted 02 February 2008 - 12:08 PM
Maybe it's just the area I live in but the private schools around here don't have anything that the public schools don't.
Same here. The teachers and culture of the school, as well as, opportunities is what is most important to me. I have several friends that live in different areas, who have their children in private school, and truly believe that because they are paying for the privilege that their children will be better educated. I think for some people it is more of a status symbol than anything else.
Edited by Autumn74, 02 February 2008 - 12:09 PM.
Posted 02 February 2008 - 02:41 PM
Our daughter will be starting at a coed anglican school in reception next year. The fees are extremely reasonable - a fraction of what I currently pay in childcare because I am ineligble for anything other than the minimum childcare rebate. So the answer to the first question is yes - we can afford it quite easily in comparison to childcare. The schools fees for primary school (it is a very large school set on a number of campuses are less than $2000 pa). The school has far more facilities than any public school in our area. I did not want my child to go to a school where there was not a large mix of students from various backgrounds and the school has a larger than average for private schools number of students on school card (in part why the fees are so low because its how govt funding is determined towards private schools). It is also a very strict school in terms of behavioural standards, educational standards etc and has an excellent reputation.
A previous poster asked why send your children to a private school - because when I graduated from university with an accounting degree - not a single one of the 'big 6' firms would even interview anyone that graduated from a public high school. Only those students who came from private schools and who incidentally had much lower academic results were interviewed. It hasnt hurt me in the long run - I have had a great career which started in government and I'm sure that I'd have no trouble getting a job with them now given my experience but it really did make me realise that as much as I hate it - where you went to school really can matter and I want to make sure my DD has every opporunity that I can.
Posted 02 February 2008 - 02:41 PM
Yes we can. I think everyone can afford things that they want in life. If you really, really want something in life you go out and make it happen. If it is not deep down a true desire, you are less likely to truely do all the best that you can to achieve it iykwim.
All private schools are obviously different to each other, as with the public schools system. The one that we have DS booked into is co-ed and Anglican. It really comes down to personal preference. We don't look at the opportunity of one day sending DS to a private school, as a "status symbol" as someone else has said. Rather, we look at it as, something that we are working hard to try to achieve for him. We call it an "opportunity", because it is simply that...a chance to give DS an education, end of story. The way in which every one chooses to educate their children is entirely up to the individual. I went to an all girls private school and DH went to a state school. We have seen both sides ( many years ago! ). We also work in the profession, so might have different views on certain things in the schooling system. I am not the type of person to say - " I went private, so DS will go private ". It does come down to what schools you have in your area, and what you are comfortable with for your child. There are many fantastic teachers out there in the public system, that do a great job. There are many out there that don't. You have the same issue in the private schools, but possibly not at the same extreme iykwim.
We are yet to start on the school part of DS life ( Prep next year in Qld )yet, but are slowly heading in the direction we need to, to make it all possible. We are always open to the public option too. We will cross that bridge when we come to it. DS might not do well in the school that we have in mind. He might do better in a public school - who knows?!
Edited by justoneson, 02 February 2008 - 02:52 PM.
Posted 02 February 2008 - 03:27 PM
We will save for it. My daughter has been booked into an independant catholic school when she was a baby and we will do the same for our children starting from year 7 and attend local catholic primary schools. It certainly won't cost us half our salary only our mortgage can do that
Both dh and I went to single sex catholic schools and it is what we want for our children. There are lots of opportunities, extra -curricular activities, extra discipline, charity groups and for us I want our children taught with catholic values....it is very important for us. I loved the education I received, the fact that religion was a part of everything we did and this is very important to us and our family.
I have to say that when I graduated from university and firms were recruiting, my friends ( who all studied economics, commerce or law) were interviewed and selected irrespective of where they went to school with the focus on grades, tertiary entrance scores, year 12 results and extra curricular activities. Both dh and I attended top universities and were accepted into graduate accounting career programs with top firms with a mixture of private and public school students and this was back in 1996 so I have to say that in general you are selected based on merit and your achievments rather than where you went to school. DH still works for the largest accounting firm with plenty of public school people so perhaps it just appeared to be the case that only private school people were interviewed!
Edited by just-call-me-martha, 02 February 2008 - 03:30 PM.
Posted 02 February 2008 - 04:36 PM
We do not have a private school in our town however will send our children out of town to attend private boarding schools because of the social issues in this town. For many years the MAJORITY of parents who care about their childrens education send their children out of town to ensure that their child goes to a fully staffed school. We now have no choice but to do the same as the children who are left behind to complete their high school in town are the children of parents who do not supervise their children as well as they should, prefering often to throw money at them. I dont want to send my children away to school however have no choice at this stage.
Posted 02 February 2008 - 04:46 PM
We are probably going to stay at public school for primary and switch to private for secondary. We will have no mortgage by then and feel we owe it to our kids to give them the best chance at being whatever they choose to be.
Posted 02 February 2008 - 05:04 PM
I'm looking at schools to book my kids into now. Like some of the other pps, even the grammar schools look affordable when compared with child care. I'm looking for highest average university entrance scores in my area, even though both kids are under 3, because if they do want to go to uni, they will then be able to stay in the same school with their friends from kindergarten to year 12.
I went to lots of schools, both public and private. The state I first lived in kept moving the gifted and talented children's class around between schools, and then next state I lived in didn't have one at all, so I kept looking for better teachers. Unfortunately my own experience of public high schools was that they were impersonal and violent places.
My kids may not end up academically inclined, but if they are, I want them on a waiting list for a good school with good teachers (with my evidence base being university entrance scores, which may not be perfect empirical evidence, but in my opinion is better than relying on anecdotal evidence about where the good teachers or happy kids are - like everyone I stop to ask about how good their pram is, everyone seems pretty happy with where they have decided to send their kids to school).
Where I live, this leads me to a coed anglican school, with high fees, but I will pay them, and hopefully my kids won't end up moving around between schools all the time like I did.
Posted 02 February 2008 - 07:02 PM
For me it wasn't if the school was private or public it was who met each of my criteria. It turned out that a private school in our area did that. The fees are not astronomical compared to some so yes it is affordable.
If the school that was not really in my 'comfortable' price bracket then I am fully prepared to work for however long to ensure that I can provide my children with the best possible start.
Posted 08 February 2008 - 11:40 AM
My children attend a small private school. Fees are approaching the 5000 mark. It is a lot of money out of the budget each week and with interest rates increasing I do get concerned.
I have moments when I think about what else the money could be spent on (ie mortgage) but I still feel we have made the right decision for our children. It is a small school with a very caring environment. There is a strong emphasis on values and concern for others that I love.
I cannot judge state schools other than from when I went there in the dim dark past, so I may well be paying for something I could get for free. My children are extremely happy so I would find it very hard to change them. I think you have to go with your instincts if you are lucky enough to afford the choice.
Posted 08 February 2008 - 12:30 PM
As mentioned previously, childcare fees don't differ that much from some private school fees. If my kids went to creche full time that would be more than $35,000 a year for two kids in inner Melbourne. Year 12 fees for the schools are around $20,000 per child, per year.
We will be able to afford to send our kids to private schools for high school but I'd like to think that in the perfect world there wasn't such a disparity between the systems. However, where we live we are very much limited in our public school choice and overwhelmed in our private school choice.
Our major challenge is deciding on co-ed or single sex. I went to a progressive co-ed private school that celebrated diversity while DH went to a very conservative boys school. It's influenced our thinking at many levels which is why we are struggling to decide where to send the kids. We have different motivations for sending our kids to private schools too (although he'd hate me for saying this). I think there's an element of snobbery in his preference for the single sex schools and wanting to fit with the leafy eastern suburb set. I'm far more interested in more progressive schools that are strongly connected to their own and other communities and where academic results and the pathway to university isn't the sole driver of the school's philosophy.
I'm hoping the mortgage will be gone by the time the school fees hit so that we don't have to change our lifestyle.
Posted 08 February 2008 - 12:35 PM
For us, private education is a priority.
After food and housing, education comes third.
We have a lowish income, yet our DD1 has just started at a private school where fees are around $2,500/term.
We will need to do without a lot this year in order to afford her education, but having seen how fantastic the staff, facilities and whole environment is, I have no regrets at all.
Posted 08 February 2008 - 01:18 PM
I can afford to send my children to a private school but I choose not to
My children are not school age yet, but I would much prefer to spend the money I would on private school on tutoring... NOT that I think tutoring would be required with my children attending public school, but more for grasping concepts and one on one teaching.
Posted 08 February 2008 - 02:02 PM
I could send ds to private school, but I would be freaking nuts to part with the money when the public school he attends is so awesome! He has 15 in his class this year, can't ask for a better teacher/student ratio!
I will however be sending my kids to private high school.
Edited by mummabear, 08 February 2008 - 02:03 PM.
Posted 08 February 2008 - 02:53 PM
DH will be working his butt off to send DD to the private school of our choice. It only has 490 students in the whole school (Prep to Year 12) so we have already sent in her enrolment even though she doesn't start Prep until 2013. We don't want her to miss out. We have friends whose children go there and it they say it is a very good school and well worth the money. The fees aren't astronomical but they aren't cheap either, but when it comes to my DD's education then DH and I will make sure that money isn't an issue.
Posted 08 February 2008 - 04:05 PM
Hmm, no we can't, but if we REALLY wanted to I'm sure we would find a way to send them. As it is, we are actually happy to send them to public and use the money we save on extra-curricular activities that the children will also benefit from. We'd also like to provide a life-learning experience for the kids when they're a little older (6 months driving around Oz) so will save the dollars for that.
If we went to private school, there would be NO money for Piano lessons, Scouts, School camps etc etc.... or whatever else might be taking their fancy.
Posted 08 February 2008 - 04:16 PM
We had always planned on sending our children to public primary then private secondary but I'm not particualry impressed with the schools in our area and so we have been looking at private schools.
We can afford it and may have to pull in the purse strings a bit for the couple of years that all three (hopefully!) children will be in at once, but it is much less than the 1/2 take home pay mentioned in the OP.
We have an investment that should take care of most, if not all of their secondary school fees.
Edited by jacki, 08 February 2008 - 04:20 PM.
Posted 08 February 2008 - 06:05 PM
Yes, we can.
As PPs have pointed out, school fees are much lower than childcare fees.
We've got our children booked into a co-ed Anglican school that offers an excellent academic record as well as top sporting, music, and other extra-curricular facilities.
They'll go to a public primary school so they meet a good cross-section of society in their peers; they'll go to a private high school so they have every opportunity to find and pursue their passions.
We also want them to have the best chance to get into uni (if that is the path they choose to follow), and the school we've chosen consistently out-performs all the others in the region as far as uni entrance scores go.
So cost is really a secondary issue for us. We will simply make it happen.
My parents managed to send three of us to a reasonably pricey private school on farmer's and teacher's wages, so I think we can definitely do so on professional wages, even if I'm only working part time.
Posted 13 February 2008 - 08:43 PM
DSS went to a public primary, but we left him with the choice for high school. His love is rugby, so he was given the choice of a private school with up to a 10k price tag, applying to state high for a sport scholarship, or attending the local high school. He went for the public option as he couldn't justify that he would use the extra facilities for the extra cost and got into state on a sports scholarship.
Planning to be living in NZ by the time bubs due June goes to school and at this stage will be attending a private school because of the way Aucklands school system is structured. So I really think it really depends on the schools in the area and also on the individual child. DSS is a really energetic and outgoing teenager and going to state with 400 kids in his grade suits him, maybe not the same for a more reticent child who would suit a smaller school.
Posted 13 February 2008 - 09:04 PM
I am very happy with the public school my boys attend. We could afford private but I feel more comfortable supporting the public system. If I wasn't happy with the public schools here I would look at private.
I don't really understand the logic behind saying private schools cost as much as daycare-I understand that you are used to paying that out but 13 years of school on top of daycare/preschool is a lot of extra money that could be used for other things for the family.
Posted 14 February 2008 - 01:29 AM
We can easily afford to send our two to private schools, but would not waste our money on an education which can be achieved at a public school.
With well educated parents, who place a sizable emphasis on education, my children will be able to achieve just as well in the public system, as they would in the private system.
Edited by Angel and Boo, 14 February 2008 - 01:32 AM.
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