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Porcelina

Why did you choose private schooling for your children ?

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Porcelina

Those of you with kids in private school - please let me know why you chose private schooling ? I’m talking more about independent, mid to high fee private schools (so not systemic Catholic). 

We are at the point where we have to soon make a decision as to whether we send DS to a private school . Fees are around $17-$18k for year 7 which I know  in Sydney is still only considered mid range , but it’s a big cost . He’s currently in a local public school for primary . 

Hopefully this doesn’t turn into a public vs private school thread , that’s not my intention. Just genuinely curious to see what benefits there are (real and perceived) which lead to people’s decision to choose private . 

Edited for wording 

Edited by Porcelina
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Babetty

I can reply from my own experience - I spent 2 years in a "good" public high school in Canberra and then due to move to a regional city where the state high school was huge and overflowing, I went to a mid rang newer co-ed private school (Anglican). 

The big difference for me was that at the public school, because I was bright and well-behaved, I sort of felt "average" - no one really needed to pay any attention to me. I got good marks and didn't cause trouble. Whereas at the private school I felt encouraged and supported and I realised that I was smart and to have confidence in myself.

DS is in grade 6 this year at the local state school. Next year he'll be switching to a mid-range Anglican private school! (Not the very expensive boys' school DH went to which we considered and rejected). We're looking for support and encouragement to fulfill individual potential, not high pressure. 

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Kiwi Bicycle

For a friend, an independent private school suits her child better. Her 13 year identifies as gay, likes dyed hair and wearing gender neutral clothing. They also had been doing IB while schooling overseas, so this school continues that. Her child wouldn't fit in a relgious private school or a more conservative area public school and this private school encourages individuality.

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Jane Jetson

We've gone Catholic, but for us it was about specifically not being the schools we were zoned for.

The primary school we were zoned for has had a lot of difficulties around bullying and a few other things, and the other public schools around it were hard to get into because (a) everyone wanted to and (b) the Territory Government closed a bunch of public schools, reducing out of area opportunities.

The zoned high school did a terrible job with my niece and nephews, one of whom has SN - like both my DDs (ADHD). I'm not keen on a repeat. I also believe strongly in letting kids have some say in their high school options, and DD1 really wanted the all-girls option, where she is thriving being an oddball nerd and ignoring beauty standards without boys there giving her a hard time.

I also felt that if things don't work out (and they could very well not have done, there is no such thing as one sector = good/other sector = bad) we'd have more options to turn to, and not just end up with "well, here's how you're zoned and you can't go out of zone" etc.

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Mooples

Ds will be fyos at a mid range private school next year. Quite simply we don’t like our local public primary or high school so private it is. If we move into an area with better public school choices, them they will go there. I work in the public education system. For us it is only about the particular schools, not an ingrained opinion that private is a better education than public. 

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blueskies12

I have chosen independent because our local state primary school that we are zoned for has 1000 kids. It also had a high number of out of school suspensions. I wanted a smaller school. 

Edited by blueskies12
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MumsyToBigOnes

I have had kids in both systems as different fits for different kids. I don’t believe it’s one system vs the other but just which individual schools fit different individuals and it was a mix for mine. 

For us, ‘typical’ well adjusted kids were a good fit for the local public schools whereas atypical kids with SN were more suited to our local private system. You will get some private schools that won’t touch SN and others take them no issue. I will say my SN kids did start in the public system but it just didn’t work. All kids were given the opportunity to go private but some just didn’t want to and there was no real reason for them to do so. 

I don’t believe teaching is better in one system vs the other, just management of the kids (and that’s not meaning tossing out problem kids either). We found pastoral care to be the priority in the private schools we used, which fitted the fact it was essential for some of ours, whereas this was non-existent in the public schools we used for others which was okay as they coped just fine without any. 

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SkeptiHandsOnMum

Because my exDH thought it was important, and I was not as principled as I am now.

That said, they had a great school experience (they are in the workforce now) and there was nothing to complain about (other than the expense). I suspect that their experience may not have been particularly different in the public system (they are "run of the mill"/"middle stream" sort of kids), and I would not have given money to anything related to the catholic church. 

I would love to see more independent schooling that is not church-aligned.

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Freddie'sMum

We have sent our kids to both Catholic and public schools (NSW).   First Catholic primary  school - wonderful.  Second Catholic primary school - woeful.  Then to the local primary school - outstanding.  Both girls loved the local primary school and still talk about how great it was (they were only there for 1 year and 3 years respectively).

IF we had the money I would want both girls to go to an all-girls either Catholic or private school.  We simply don't have the money.  They now both attend the local public high school and they are already used to lots of disruptions, kids who don't want to be there, lots of boys dominating the classroom .... so now I just feel massive guilt that we can't send them to private schools.  My impression of private schools (esp for girls) is that they get much more encouragement, don't get held back by boys, and can really study and focus on their education.  

Edited by Freddie'sMum
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my3cubs

My children started in a public primary in Adelaide which was high quality, although my DS who is autistic, wasn’t supported enough. We then moved to an outer area of Brisbane, where the public schools were large & had massive bullying issues. I then put them in an Anglican coed school, my son remains there & my girls have since moved to a girls grammar school. The big differences is the size of classes & school population, programs offered in the way of learning support, gifted education & performing arts. 

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*bucket*

My oldest DS was in private for secondary school. He has ASD and we felt he would struggle at either of our local state schools, and the private one was very small for Years 7-9 (there were 2 classes at each level with about 17 kids in each). It was perfect for him. They employed is aide from primary school one day a week for the first month to help him settle and for the teachers to ask questions. They made a huge effort to transition him to the larger campus for Years 10-12 and he did really well. DD went to the same small campus for Years 7-halfway through 9. It was great to start with but there was a serious lack of girls (7 in her year level, but about 20 boys) and a lot of bullying and it all was a disaster. She then went to one of the local state schools. Younger DS went to the other local state school for 7-9 (he got into an accelerated program), and then changed to a different school for 10-12. So all up, six different campuses/schools for three kids (and five sets of uniform 😒). You have to go with what fits the kid.

I went to private school, my DH to state. We were very happy with local primary, but DS would have been terrified of the enormous number of kids at state secondary.

Edited by *bucket*

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ytt

It's not public, private, religious you have to worry about. What you have to worry about is what is the best fit for each of your child.

I work in a public primary school. My kids went to a public primary school, I went to catholic primary and all girls convent school (for the religious education).

I was adamant that my children were going to go public all the way, my husband had a horrible public high school experience and said private.

I did a support day in our only local high school for a special needs child that was going to high school and I was horrified. A student passed me on the stairs, elbowed me and pushed me back (I was obviously an adult in staff polo shirt). From that day our kids were going to a private school.

DS went to an all boys catholic school (for some reason he wanted to go to an all boys school). it was such a bad fit for him, we were new to the area and didn't realise that it was a strong sporting school (DH hated sport). We pulled him out after a year (should have pulled him after a term) and put him in an Anglican school with friends he went to primary with - omg he flourished and found his highly intelligent flock.

DD was having problems in primary after I left to go to a different school, so I switched her in year 5 to the same school her brother went to. It was awesome until she met with a bully who started in year 8. I should have pulled her then, I thought the school would deal with it but they didn't. DD went through hell and limped through until she left in year 10.

During this time I  found out the local high school is amazing for trades and people we are interested in learning, I just met a horrible student on the day I went there and thought negatively of the school. I've heard of so many success stories and areas where the school excels.

 DD shone when she left at TAFE and then later at a special purpose school for kids that are disengaged in education, so much that she applied and got into uni with her TAFE qualifications - sadly Covid meant that she has postponed this year and will go next year when she should have anyway (she should be in year 12 this year).

So my advice is pick a school that suits your child, if they don't gel with the school don't hesitate to change. 

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annodam

From my personal experience with the public system in the western suburbs of Melbourne going to School was hell on Earth, no structure, no routine, all crappy Teachers who didn't GAF basically.

No way was I ever putting my kids through that!

Perhaps if I had a positive experience with public School then I probably would've enrolled them ---  I didn't, so I haven't.

I only have 1 at School now anyways, eldest is at Uni.              

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ytt
13 minutes ago, Freddie'sMum said:

We have sent our kids to both Catholic and public schools (NSW).   First Catholic primary  school - wonderful.  Second Catholic primary school - woeful.  Then to the local primary school - outstanding.  Both girls loved the local primary school and still talk about how great it was (they were only there for 1 year and 3 years respectively).

IF we had the money I would want both girls to go to an all-girls either Catholic or private school.  We simply don't have the money.  They now both attend the local public high school and they are already used to lots of disruptions, kids who don't want to be there, lots of boys dominating the classroom .... so now I just feel massive guilt that we can't send them to private schools.  My impression of private schools (esp for girls) is that they get much more encouragement, don't get held back by boys, and can really study and focus on their education.  

There is a lot of b**chiness and needing to fit in to in  an all girls school. It can get really really nasty. I was not a popular kid and felt it, I was looked down on as my parents sent me there for the religious education and couldn't afford all the stuff the other kids had. Didn't help the school was in a very rich area (although the Catholic school was considered a 'poor' school). The kids at the Anglican school next door were called Mercedes and Porschea lol . 

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Tinky Winky Woo

Lower price schools but worth every cent.  Kids are achieving and thriving.  As opposed to when in public.  Unfortunately, it is not necessarily the public schools fault, it is lack of funds, not being able to do anything to stop a lot of issues students have, and being overworked.

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Dianalynch

Both are going to an independent secondary school, one might have to go earlier, both are bright but not neurotypical, the public High school does not cater to this in a meaningful way, the local independent has specialist programs, capability and resources to support it. I did not want this to be the outcome, I am a supporter of public education, I tried to make it fit, but it doesn’t. The fees also suck big time. 

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nom_de_plume

My kids are academic and sporty (well at least the boys are, it's too early to tell with DD). The public school we are zoned for does art very well, but not academics or sport. It's a very easygoing school (no uniform), where it's easy to fall through the cracks. It just wouldn't suit them.

DS1 is at a public school several suburbs over that has an excellent reputation for academics and a good sports program. If DS2 doesn't get in to the same school, he will be going to an independent school. The independent school is very highly regarded academically and sportingly. 

I would never send my kids to a single sex school. I went to a Catholic all girls school and it was a horrible experience. I have no friends from high school and they were basically the worst years of my life. I got a decent education but it came at a huge social and emotional cost.

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DirtyStreetPie
6 minutes ago, Tinky Winky Woo said:

Lower price schools but worth every cent.  Kids are achieving and thriving.  As opposed to when in public.  Unfortunately, it is not necessarily the public schools fault, it is lack of funds, not being able to do anything to stop a lot of issues students have, and being overworked.

I work in a public school. It's an absolute sh*tshow - complex population with needs that aren't being met, not enough money, insane workload. Before I went on mat leave, all the teachers in my staffroom were sending their kids to private and selective schools; if that's not a disendorsement of the public system, I don't know what is.

That said, I'm pressing on with the public system. The local primary school is AMAZING - I'm so impressed and happy with everything I've seen so far - so my son will be starting prep there next year. But I'm dreading having to choose a high school, because the local options terrify me (I work at one of them!). I just hope they improve over the next decade. They must! I'll try to do my bit, but it's like pushing sh*t uphill.

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Freddie'sMum

DSP - that's what gets me too.  Our local primary school is just wonderful - they got a new principal a year or two ago and so many good things are happening there now.  Today was a warm spring day in Sydney - just over 30 degrees - the high school science class our 12 year old sits in doesn't have air con or fans or even freaking shades / blinds.   Add another 10 degrees to that temp when it's summer and it's just unbearable in there for the kids and the teacher !  I guess the best both DH and I can do is just encourage them to aim high, ignore the kids that don't want to be there (these are the year 7 kids who have already figured out they can make as much disruption to the class as they want because there appears to be no punishment / consequences) and to do their best.  

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SplashingRainbows

We tried public first. I really wanted it to work as I believe education should be accessible to all. My husband was educated publicly, me privately. He did not understand or see any vLue in private schooling. 
 

but the lack of support and resources for my bright, sensitive, curious little boy were not there. The mix of kids was not right for him. 
 

We moved to Mid range private this year And the difference is incredible. Both kids are thriving and we’ve been nothing but impressed. My husband said to me recently ‘you were right, it was the right decision for our kids’. 
 

the teachers at the public worked incredibly hard. I have nothing against them.  But too much is out of their control. 

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ytt
3 minutes ago, Freddie'sMum said:

DSP - that's what gets me too.  Our local primary school is just wonderful - they got a new principal a year or two ago and so many good things are happening there now.  Today was a warm spring day in Sydney - just over 30 degrees - the high school science class our 12 year old sits in doesn't have air con or fans or even freaking shades / blinds.   Add another 10 degrees to that temp when it's summer and it's just unbearable in there for the kids and the teacher !  I guess the best both DH and I can do is just encourage them to aim high, ignore the kids that don't want to be there (these are the year 7 kids who have already figured out they can make as much disruption to the class as they want because there appears to be no punishment / consequences) and to do their best.  

I work at a brand new school (well I've been there 8 years but we keep building new blocks). NO aircon at all and we have horrible summers - we are semi rural. Apparently some architect in an air conditioned building in Sydney designed a school that doesn't need aircon because we have vents in the ceiling. Today we turned up to work  where the RFS were doing back burning only to discover that our classrooms were full of smoke due to vents, outside cleared by recess but our rooms didn't !  We have demountables on site (about to build a new block) and they have aircon and heating and the teachers in those classrooms whinge they have to do duty on a hot day. FFS you have a two duties  a week and then go to an aircon classroom. I have a duty every day and often have to add a few more on and can have two or three a day and then go to a classroom with no aircon - cry me a river teacher. 

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Sancti-claws

My oldest went public for primary - two different schools, about 6 different experiences because principals and teachers have such a huge impact.  She went private catholic for secondary as the public high we are zoned for has a horrible bullying reputation.  She is now at university.

My youngest went public until last year - its not just principals and teachers but also cohort mix and your own child's quirks that have an impact, and she was struggling hugely.  We moved her to a teeny-tiny private adventist school and she has blossomed.  She still has her quirks and I think there will always be the potential for issues.  We are looking at the private christian school for secondary for her, as nearly all of her classmates will be going there, but there are only 3 options private (all varying religion) and the only high school I might feel comfortable for her to access in terms of size we have no current contacts with.

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Jenflea

DD is at a public primary school and her cousins are at a rather expensive Christian school which has neither air con or a canteen! Our air con might only be evaporative but it's better than nothing. I'm gobsmacked that people still expect kids to be able to study and learn and thrive in Australia without air con!

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Lees75

My kids went to our local public primary and are now both at a low-ish fee Christian school. They had a great experience at the public primary - and both achieved really well academically and socially. However, the local school high school my house is zoned to does not have a good reputation and has too many kids, at around 1600. XH and I both wanted a smaller school for the kids, as well as somewhere central, so that it was easier for the kids to transition between houses. I am a Christian, but am not usually a fan of Christian schools, having been to some terrible ones myself. But the kids' school is just the absolute perfect fit for both of them. DD13 was not sure at first, as she is not 100% sure she identifies as totally straight, but she has found her peeps, has a Christian Living teacher that loves a good debate with her and encourages her to think for herself, and just loves the community. 

The smaller school, at just under 500 kids does community so well. They have vertical care groups, which are great, and then they have whole school type community things most fortnights.  Just this term we have had the following lunch events: the infamous teachers vs Yr 12s netball tournament that almost everyone comes and watches, a house music competition, piroshki lunch, a house handball competition and a house volleyball comp. The older kids will play sport against the younger kids by choice.

Their music/drama program is exceptional, which with 2 musical theatre kids, was important for us. My daughter is in Yr 8 and sang at the musical showcase last week. On the weekend she received an Instagram message from a Yr 10 girl who is probably the best singer in the whole school, telling her she was amazing and how she loved her performance. The kids are all just lovely kids. My daughter is a strong feminist and was recently bullied quite badly online by her so-called best male friends from primary school. These were her words, "Mum, I have had a revelation; while I may not agree with everything at our school, the boys are much nicer. The douchiest douche bag treats me better than the boys from primary school who were my so-called best friends. They have taught me to set the bar high and not put up with anything less." Melted my heart. 

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Jenflea

I would love for there to be more options for schools in the ACT, it's basically public or religious.  No SS non religious schools at all. 

Luckily our public schools are supposed to be the best in the country because we shouldn't have to go to a religious school to get a decent education.   The divide p*sses me off frankly. 

Our public schools should be better funded and better equipped. 

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