Here in Australia the old private versus public school debate is in full swing. I’ve never really had much of an opinion on it in the past, but with my son getting older each and everyday, it’s something that my wife and I are going top have to think about in the years to come.
The main obvious difference between private and public is the cost. Public is funded by the tax payer, while private is funded by the parents (although in Australia the tax payer also helps pay for private schools).
So what are you paying for if you want to give your child a private school education? I’m not 100% sure to be honest, I only went to public schools so it’s difficult to have an informed opinion on what a private school offers, so I have had to ask some friends that I know who attended private schools.
1 – Education Level
Many proponents of private schools will argue that you recieve a better education by going to a private school than if you go to public school. It’s hard to argue one way or the other with this, but what I do know is that recent studies have dispelled this assertion.
2 – Results
My friends that went to private schools tell me that they were very focused on getting good results. The system was based a lot more around doing well on exams, than it was on learning the material. Now I’m not saying this happens at all schools, but it did seem to be a common theme from what many of my friends have told me.
3 – Connections
The big thing that I do agree with when it comes to private schools is that you will have the opportunity to mic with a lot of people who will go on to have good connections. What I mean here is that generally speaking kids that go to private schools come from more wealthy backgrounds and many of these kids will go on to be wealthy simply because of the family they were born into. Getting to know these people may help you in your own endeavors later in life.
There also seems to be far less undesirable kids at private schools. From what I understand, private schools are far more strict when it comes to rule breaking, and trouble kids often get told to leave.
4 – Sports
If your child shows some natural sporting ability, then many private schools pride themselves on their facilities to aid in developing kids for specific sports. This can be a real boon for kids that are talented in this area, as the public system is very generic in its commitment to sports.
5 – Religious Education
Many of the private schools in Australia also engage pupils in a specific religious denomination. This can be seen as both a positive and a negative. The positive is if you want your child to have a better grasp of a specific religion, you can send them to a private school that teaches it. The negative is if you don’t want to have your child taught about a specific religion (it may differ from what you practice) then you may be short of options.
When I went to school (a while ago now) public schools also taught religion and it was 100% Christianity. I’m not sure if that’s still the case, but if you want your child to be raised with a specific religion, then selecting a private school would probably be the best option for you.
So what do you think? Is it worth paying the money for private school or not?