Jump to content

Private School...
Can you justify the $$$?


  • Please log in to reply
31 replies to this topic

#1 ~Katia~

Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:28 AM

I'm doing my research for DS who will be going to school in 2014 - both public and private.
Can someone please list the benefits of paying the $$$ and sending a child to a private school instead of public? We're are a middle-income family and obviously will have to budget for it, so I need to be kind of convinced That DS will be much better off in the private system and the $$$ will pay off

Many thanks


#2 liveworkplay

Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:36 AM

Its not that simple a question. Not all schools are equal in either system and not all students need/will respond to the same environment.

Very very generally speaking you tend to get more "extras" at a private school, less need for classroom behavioural management therefore more quality teaching time and they tend to be better resourced. But that is a huge generalisation.

You need to just visit schools and see what you think without the bias of whether it is public or private

Edited by liveworkplay, 11 April 2012 - 08:37 AM.


#3 Apageintime

Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:46 AM

I agree with the PP, its not just about the money.

I went to Catholic school which my parents were happy to pay for because they really valued the extra religious instruction.

You might want your child to go single sex, which may involve private school.

Your child may be good at tennis, and the local state school may have a program for elite sports people.

You may want your child to row, which may only be available at a private school.

You may need to option of boarding later on.

You may love the local state school.

The state school may be closer to home/work and therefore make drop offs more convienient.

Basically you need to work out what is important for your child and family, and work out how much you are willing to pay for those services.

#4 ali27

Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:46 AM

It is a very complex decision to make, especially when your son is so young.
All schools are different, be they public or private and it's hard to decide what will offer the most positive expereince for your child.
Many private schools are extremely expensive and the drain on family income impacts into many aspects of the family - lessening your ability to provide other experiences outside the school environment.
Personally, it's not something I would do in primary years, because of the cost and more importantly to see how your son progresses with his education and where he would gain the most beneficial expereince.

#5 Dionysus

Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:59 AM

I agree with most that has been said.

It depends what schools you are talking about.

I live in Adelaide.  If I lived in certain suburbs I would consider both the private and state school options.

In other suburbs I would choose the state school easily rather than the private school.

I am a public school teacher and believe in a public system.  

I have taught in private schools where the curriculum/choices are so narrow, only a small portion of kids would fit in.  
I have taught in public schools where they cater for everyone.  
I have heard of the mysterious private schools that cater for everyone - I have yet to see it.  
I have also taught in state schools that don't cater to everyone as well.

Philosophically, I don't like the idea of my child going to any school where the cohort is homogenous and they churn out they same kids at the end.





#6 mumto3princesses

Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:28 AM

It would depend on where you live and what the public and private schools are like in your area and your child/children and what you want to get out of the school. For primary it would be a hard decision as they are so young and really don't know what they want or what they really like yet. High School is easier because by then they know what their interests are.

With DD1 for example, I couldn't justify spending the $$ on a private school after looking into our options. We found that the public girls school we are zoned for suits her perfectly and I honestly couldn't see any real benefits by sending her to the private. But if we weren't zoned for that school or couldn't get in out of area, then yes it would be a better option that the other local school.

Plus each child is different. My twins are just starting to work out where their extra curricular activity interests are. DD2 loves gymnastics, dance and singing while DD3 really loves swimming and team sports and is really liking basketball which she had never tried before. They both might do ok at DD1's school or DD2 might suit a creative arts school and DD3 a school that has a lot of sports. That's something we need to look at in a few years time.

Or if I had a boy, I have heard that the absolute best option is a private school if you want him to go anywhere near home.

#7 Dionysus

Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:35 AM

MadameCatty, I wasn't trying to be narrow (and DD was bugging me for breakfast   biggrin.gif ).

A more fuller answer would be that there are so many schools that all do different things that to ask whether private is worth the $$ is to not be asking the right question necessarily.

I do agree with you with Monte - but have actually seen some awful Monte's as well, when looking for pre-school options for my own daughter,

And that's the point - treat each school on it's own merits.

As for teaching at a school catering for all - I take your point that it probably didn't.  It did, though, cater for a wider spectrum of students than any other school I have taught at/visited/workshopped with.

It had an extensive Special Ed dept. - with classes at different levels depending on the tier - SMD classes, SWD classes, NEP classes, combined with mainstream, not combined...dependant on individual student needs.  It had a separate school leader heading this up, specialised teachers and trained SSOs.

The same school offered intensive University pathway classes with access to Uni lecturers/post-grads and had a high percentage of kids in a Vocational pathway (paid for by the school) studying a range (30+) of nationally accredited industry certificates as part of their school certificate (not instead of)

No other school in my experience has come close to that range of choices for kids

FTR - it was a state school in a low SES area

High SES state schools here do lip-service to trade pathways and their Sp Ed dept is non-existent.  It's largely Uni all the way.

Private schools tend to be the same - or the trade pathways are fully paid for by the family.  So, you send your kid to a high fee paying school, then when they work out they want to be a plumber, you pay for that too.  Which is ok if you can afford it - it's not particularly equitable though.





#8 Tea~for~two

Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:58 AM

I agree with a PP that it is really difficult to make the decision this far out as school standards can change so quickly. So while I can understand the need to be prepared in advance for potential financial and enrolment reasons, I'd keep an open mind and re-assess in 2013.

For example, a massive shift has occured between two schools in my area (north tas). One school, a catholic private school became renowned for its excellent co-curricular program's and student-staff ratios. Fast forward five years and the demand to go to this school has increased so they DOUBLED the enrolment quota. Now the school is chronically overcrowded (some classes are being taken in the staff room as they just don't have the space).

Another school on my area, a public one with an appalling reputation, took full advantage of the recent schools building stimulus and now have a fantastic early learning centre and have worked really hard to address concerns parents have had.

But recently I heard that the first school is in the process of building a new wing to deal with the over crowding, so in five years time it could have changed again!!

Good luck with your decision!

#9 opethmum

Posted 11 April 2012 - 10:21 AM

Seems OP we have similar aged children at the moment. We have decided that my DD will go to a small private non denominational Christian school down the road. Not for the brag purposes but we feel that they have the right attitude towards education and our values coalesce with theirs.

For choosing any school public/private I think that these at a bare minimum needs to be taken into consideration.
1. Their policy on bullying and challenging behaviour in the classroom and at least having a proven record that they take this seriously and that any challenging behaviour is dealt with and is minimised.
2. That they have a good track record academically, does not have to be the best in state but confident enough that your child will be taught the basics and that they have programmes in house to help your child whether they are super bright or need that extra little bit of help to make it.
3. That they have the physical facilities that you are happy with and making sure that you know that your child is going to be in an environment that is conducive to learning and that they have a bit of space to burn off that energy. It again does not have to state of the art but adequate enough to ensure that comfort is taken into consideration.
4 That the administration of the school is sound and not ruled by few and that you as a new parent have an equal say in the running of the school as a parent who has been there since the dawn of time. It is important that the parents and the community have a sound relationship and that it is supporting the children at the school no matter what their parents do etc.

I hope that has helped.
Good luck and I hope you find the right school for your child.

#10 wrong

Posted 11 April 2012 - 04:40 PM

QUOTE (~Katia~ @ 11/04/2012, 08:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Can someone please list the benefits of paying the $$$ and sending a child to a private school instead of public?

If you weren't aware, there was recently a good piece in the SMH Sydney magazine:
http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/forums/ind...howtopic=970712

#11 Pearson

Posted 11 April 2012 - 05:09 PM

The private primary schools in our area have less facilities and more complaints about their teaching and other issues than the state schools. The state schoools have fantastic reputations, whereas the private schools have an increasing dropout rate.

#12 IsolaBella

Posted 11 April 2012 - 05:17 PM

I am happy to go to local State/Catholic (as DH and I are Catholic so local Catholic school for us) for Primary school.

Secondary school we will be going Private. It is what I did as a child too.



#13 *dreamer*

Posted 11 April 2012 - 05:35 PM


QUOTE
more complaints about their teaching and other issues than the state schools.


I'm really curious as to how you know this?

Edited by *dreamer*, 11 April 2012 - 05:37 PM.


#14 Feralishous

Posted 11 April 2012 - 05:45 PM

we've chosen our local public school (which is great) and will put the extra cash towards extracurricular activies, depending on our kids interests.
if they are interested we might consider private secondary, but tbh i noticed that the private students performed rather poorly in 1st year uni (for the classes i tutored anyway) as they lacked self motivation, and were enjoying the 'lifestyle' at the tavern most of the time.

#15 Dionysus

Posted 11 April 2012 - 05:56 PM

QUOTE (trishalishous @ 11/04/2012, 05:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
...
if they are interested we might consider private secondary, but tbh i noticed that the private students performed rather poorly in 1st year uni (for the classes i tutored anyway) as they lacked self motivation, and were enjoying the 'lifestyle' at the tavern most of the time.


I wrote this in my first post but deleted it due to lack of references to cite.  

I 'know' that one of our local Uni's did some studies on it and concluded that more private school kids get to uni, but more private school students drop out in the first year of uni

I am going to keep looking for this research

#16 Dionysus

Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:47 PM

from what I recall about the research, the findings concluded the higher drop-out rate was less to do with partying and more to do with the inability to take a lead role in their own learning

#17 9021OH

Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:49 PM

Honestly? I just like the uniform.

I guess the extra curricular options are better, gets them out of the house on a weekend and active which is always a plus.

#18 Expelliarmus

Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:56 PM

You cannot compare private and public schooling. You need to compare schools.

#19 LucidDream

Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:42 AM

QUOTE (MadameCatty @ 11/04/2012, 09:15 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When people talk about private schools they tend to forget it's not just the religious schools.  ds attends a Montessori school and if anyone comes close to catering for everyone, it would be a Montessori school because that's part of the whole concept.  The child learns at their own pace and interests - child led learning.

We consider education to be extremely important and I spent a lot of time looking into different systems and Montessori really appealed and match our own ideas of child raising, so for us, it's worth the extra money.  We are hardly rich but this is really important to us.  I want ds' education to be inspiring and exciting, not lacklustre and "adequate" as mine was in the public system.  I know not all public schools are like this but I didn't want to be at the mercy of whatever local school we were given according to the area we lived.


I also have DS1 in a Montessori school cycle 1, and the more I look into  the way children learn, the more determined I am to keep him in for the  whole of primary school.  DS2 is starting cycle 1 next year, so that will be quite a bit of money going on school fees.  Can I justify it?  Absolutely.  I am so happy that I am giving my boys an inspiring learning experience at the very beginning.  I just wish every child could have a Montessori start in life!

Edited by LucidDream, 16 April 2012 - 09:43 AM.


#20 ~ShellBell~

Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:31 AM

Some really good points made by PPs ... it totally depends on your situation, your child, the schools available etc.  I was always very pro public school & I sent my two eldest kids to public school up until the end of last year.  I had researched all the local schools & believed I had made the right decision ... I had even spoken to a lot of the high school teachers I knew to see if they saw any difference in the primary school kids coming from the various public & private schools & they didn't see to see much of a difference.  I just couldn't justify spending quite a bit of money on private school for the primary years when I'd rather use the money for extra curricular activities & later schooling.  

But what I have learnt from experience is that sometimes there really is a difference that the money can make when it comes to a school.  In our situation we had never ending issues at the public school.  I laid awake worrying about my kids for quite a while before I eventually took them out & sent them to another school, which just happens to be private.  The difference is quite remarkable, one I would never have believed ... from what I have seen, the extra money is definitely worth it.  BUT that is just MY experience.  There are definitely some great public schools around.  The biggest difference I have seen between the public & private schools, apart from extra facilities & extra curricular offerings, is that the teachers really look like they want to be there ... they clearly love teaching & it shows in everything they do ... this was the biggest problem at the public school, the teachers just looked like they were going through the motions ... very sad ... but that could just have been an issue at that particular school & nothing to do with the public v private thing.  The other difference has nothing to do with money but has turned out to be the biggest positive to the private school.  At my girls' old school there was some very very difficult children.  In my eldest daughter's class, kids were getting hurt, strangled, etc to the point where I was worried to even send her to school.  Because the school was public, there was not much they could do about the situation ... they were trying, I am sure, but apart from the odd suspension, they do not have the power to expel a child absolutely as in the public system all children have to be accepted ... the school essentially told us they could not do much more about the situation (so I only going by what they told us).  At the private school, they have the absolute power to expel & exclude a child if that child is a danger to other kids.  To me, this is a huge thing.  At least I can now send my kids to school knowing that they are in a safer environment.  Like I said though, this was our experience only ... I know that there are some great public schools out there.  Also I know that a particular class can just be a problem ... my younger daughter's class had a great bunch of nice kids & we had no where near as many issues with her.

So, you can only explore all the different options & make the best decision with the information you have.  I found speaking to parents who had kids at the different schools helped a lot.  Good luck with your decision OP  original.gif

#21 Heather11

Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:34 PM

Agree totally with Howdo.  

You need to get first hand information.  Visit the schools and have a look around and become involved in your community where you mix with parents who already have children in the school system.  Going to playgroup, kindergym, local sports etc. where you can speak to other parents will give you an idea of what the schools have to offer.

We don't know what schools you have to pick from.  There are some great public schools out there, in other places there are not.

Unfortunately for us we live in a low socio economic area and the behaviour and bullying that happens at the local public school was a real turn off.  Also there were some parents who were just as bad as the children in this respect, seen this first hand.

Cost to attend private schools varies greatly too.  You may have a $1200 a year Catholic Parish School or a $20000 a year Grammar School.

As a PP mentioned, uniform was important to us too.  Some public schools have a strict uniform others don't.  Some of the clothes I see the public school students wearing leaves a lot to be desired also I didn't want my children to feel pressured into having to wear certain clothes to be in the cool group.

#22 kmama

Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:04 PM

My 4yo daughter goes to an ELC that she will continue with until the end of year 6 (we envisage) and we love it, the class sizes are small and they cater for children of all capabilities. If your children have learning difficulties then they have options for that. If they are bright then they also cope with that by not just having them complete the next year's readers or Maths problems but exposing them to different areas such as public speaking, charity work, robotics, working with disabled children etc and that was a big factor as even though we live in a reasonably good area none of the surrounding local schools could give me any real answers to what they would do with my daughter when she started in prep already reading which is what she has done on her own - we did no more encouragement than read copious books to her. Having said this, we also really like the headmaster, he is friendly and greets the children at a different gate every day amongst many other things. Private to us is a no brainier and we are very very pleased with our choice and my husband and my own schooling which was also private.

#23 roses99

Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:15 PM

You don't need anyone here to convince you either way.

What you need to do is write a list of the schools in your area and then investigate them all. Check them against a list of what you're looking for in a school. Visit the schools. Talk to parents and teachers. Consider what's best for your child, though, and try not to be too influenced by the priorities of other people.

If there's a state school that ticks the boxes, then that's great. If you prefer a private school, then work out if you can afford it. Work out if it's worth whatever sacrifices you'll need to make.

Only then can you make the right decision.

Anyone who makes general statements about 'public is best' or 'private is best' is narrow minded and - I dare say - not terribly well acquainted with education.


Edited by roses99, 16 April 2012 - 09:16 PM.


#24 Mrs Dinosaurus

Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:29 PM

I agree...

But I would add that if you are seriously considering a private school in 2 years then you better start making calls now, some of them have offers out years in advance. I know some of the ones I looked at when I was pregnant with DS (thankfully told to by a friend) told me I should put the paperwork in as soon as he was born!

I'm not sure how true or widespread it is in real life, but of the three we put our sons name down for we received one offer and two wait lists (we later got a scond offer from our first choice and accepted it). My DS will start in 2015.

#25 rocknmum

Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:46 PM

FWIW we chose a local catholic primary school, which we are very happy with.  The public primary school would probably have been great as well.  
But, the high school we are zoned for is awful so in our case sending our girls to the catholic primary school gives us better options for high school.

But you really need to visit the schools.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

How a baby can survive alone for days on end

The baby found abandoned in a Sydney drain may have been alone for up to six days without being fed, leaving many asking how he could have survived.

When it begins to look a lot like Christmas

A child's excitement at Christmas time is a beautiful thing, but one dad ponders whether his toddler daughter is getting into the festive mood a bit too soon.

Hospital lets dads the experience some of the pain of childbirth

A new experience is radically altering men's views of childbirth.

Italian doctors questioned over formula bribes

Italian police have placed 12 doctors under house arrest on suspicion of promoting baby milk formula over breastfeeding.

Heartwarming prank gives single mum the house she was hired to clean

Cara Simmons arrived at work to clean a large and beautiful house in time for a party planned for that evening. It was soon hers.

Those special moments of sibling bonding

Every now and then your child does or says something that is truly memorable.

Why we should stop telling new parents to 'enjoy every moment'

A few weeks ago, some dear friends of mine had their first baby. As the proud dad texted me a picture I had to fight the natural instinct to say “Enjoy every moment!”

Baby monitor footage posted online

Footage of Australian babies and children sleeping in their bedrooms are among the images on a Russian site showing live feeds from thousands of homes and businesses around the world.

Did this new dad really hit on his wife's midwife?

Was there really a man who was actually there by his wife’s side as she laboured and gave birth to his child, all while he was making what he perceived to be meaningful eye contact with a midwife?

Keep calm and ignore the Tantrum Trolls

Tantrum Trolls are a small but growing species of predatory bottom-feeders who delight in picking on parents at their most vulnerable.

It's okay to never 'get over' the death of a loved one

The death of children, siblings, and parents has long term impacts on the rest of our lives.

What Mark Latham needs to know about depression and motherhood

In a bizarre bid for relevancy, Former Opposition leader Mark Latham has deduced that because one female journalist had this week light-heartedly thanked antidepressants and caffeine for getting her through a medical degree while raising two small children, that ergo, all 'inner-city feminists' are selfish harridans who despise their offspring.

'We're just trying to keep our child alive': life with FPIES

We have a beautiful seven-month-old son, and his allergy rules our life.

Transgender dad breastfeeds his babies

A transgender man who breastfed his first baby - despite having his breasts removed as part of his transformation from female to male - has now had a second child.

Couple face $1 million medical bill and bankruptcy after babymoon birth

A Canadian couple were slammed with a million dollar medical bill after their daughter was prematurely during their babymoon.

Win one of 5 Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Sport

Australia?s No 1 selling car is now available in a Sports model and we have 5 to give away to some lucky Essential Baby families.

Cigarettes, junk food dominate supermarket sales growth

One in every five dollars spent at supermarkets goes on cigarettes or junk food, according to industry data.

Teacher under fire for breastfeeding in class

There is no doubt mums have a right to continue breastfeeding after they have returned to work, but one teacher in the US has taken it to the extreme.

Video: Baby sniffs beardless dad to make sure it's him

She looks him up and down and then touches his chin, but baby Lindsey still isn't sure this clean-shaven man is her dad.

The tragedy of losing a favourite teddy bear

We were green and uninitiated, perhaps a little naïve when it came to the favourite toy responsibility.

It's possible to workout while pregnant

Medical experts say intense fitness routines can be done safely during pregnancy - if the mums-to-be follow some guidelines.

Baby for Asher Keddie and Vincent Fantauzzo

Fans followed every step of her on-screen pregnancy in Offspring, now Asher Keddie is going to be a mum in real life too.

What parents really want for their kids

Are our hopes, dreams and expectations for our children what they really need?

'I had a feeling something was seriously wrong': the fight for Kaden's diagnosis

Before even giving birth, Katie Myers' maternal instincts warned her something was wrong with her baby.

Win a family pass to Disney Live!

We have 4 family passes to give away to see Disney Live! presents Three Classic Fairy Tales, touring Australia this December/January.

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

Win one of 5 Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Sport

Australia?s No 1 selling car is now available in a Sports model and we have 5 to give away to some lucky Essential Baby families.

Join PADDINGTON on the red carpet!

To celebrate the release of PADDINGTON, we are giving five lucky winners the chance to win a family pass to the exclusive Australian Premiere in Sydney on December 7!

When your pregnancy causes a relationship rift

Some dads-to-be don't miss a beat when their partner is pregnant; others struggle with a range of issues and can become withdrawn, right when their support is needed most.

Couple uses group photo trick to announce pregnancy to loved ones

Katharine and Kris Camilli devised a clever trick to immortalise their family and friends' reactions to their exciting pregnancy news.

Why Tracey Spicer has given up make-up

"After 30 years on television, I had become what I despised: a painted doll who spent an hour a day and close to $200 a week putting on a mask."

Knowing you are one of the lucky ones

I am secure, confident and strong, but the responsibility of protecting my children can almost bring me undone.

Why I am so emotional now I have kids?

There are so many ways in which parenthood changes us as women, but one of the most noticeable, for me, has been the changing state of my emotions.

Baby survives despite sharing womb with 'foreign body'

Baby Maia was conceived against the odds, only to find she was sharing a womb with an ominous "foreign body".

Video: Baby shows dog how to jump - or vice versa

They say dog is man's best friend, but this playful pooch seems to have chosen a jumping baby as her number one buddy.

10 ways to soothe a crying baby

New paernts can get frustrated when their newborn gets fussy and can't settle down. When you're feeling overwhelmed, try some of these simple tips to help soothe your baby.

20 baby names that are becoming more popular every year

The data-lovers at nameberry.com have been at it again – this time, they’ve discovered the names that are continually rising up the ranks, ready to take out some top spots in the next few years.

10 great meals to make for new parents

Ideally, you want to give food that isn’t expensive to make, isn't too difficult to create, and freezes well; stews, bakes, soups and pasta sauces are perfect.

'It's not you, it's me': Boston bombing survivor mum to have leg amputated

Rebekah DiMartino is going through a break-up. She even wrote a farewell love letter. But it's not to her husband.

What it's like to go through early menopause

In a cruel twist, Carla had been breastfeeding and perimenopausal at the same time. But she's far from the only one to go through menopause early.

Weird pregnancy products

Some pregnancy products come to market and are just awesome. Others just leave you scratching your head.

Restaurant served alcohol to two-year-old

Busy restaurants can be forgiven for getting food and drink orders mixed up from time to time, but not when the confusion leads to a two-year-old being served an alcoholic cocktail instead of the child-friendly beverage they ordered.

Julia Morris tells of miscarriage on a flight

Julia Morris has spoken about the devastation of suffering a miscarriage while on an international flight.

Woman's survival after birth 'a story of two miracles'

A US mother is home and tending to her new baby less than a month after surviving without a pulse for 45 minutes.

Best maternity swimwear and beach cover-ups

Thinking about a tropical babymoon but have nothing to wear? Here are some great swimwear and beach cover-up options for mums-to-be.

Metal shards hidden in playground

Pieces of sharp metal have been seemingly deliberately placed in rubber matting and across equipment at a kids' playground.

 

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

Get the "Santa" shopping done without the kids in tow.

 
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.