Friday, 18 July 2014

Private versus state schools: are they really better?

My niece attends a private boarding school where she is flourishing academically, personally, socially and musically. The opportunities and facilities are superb and I have no doubt she will excel and go on to be massively successful.  If money was no object, I'm sure I would have considered private education at a school like St.Faiths for my children, where little ones wear a stripy blazer and school tie and take part in an innovative and far reaching curriculum. Saying that though, my children have all done or are doing brilliantly well in their own rights and I've not had to take out a second mortgage on my house!  So there are definitely two sides to the story.  This guest post discusses the pros and cons of private vs state school.

"When it comes to education, every parent wants the best for their child. But is private school always necessarily better? With social happiness weighing on your child's future as heavily as the potential for academic achievement, the fact is not every child is fortunate enough to get the opportunity to attend a private school. Before you decide if private education is right for your children, read on for some more information on the public school system.

Benefits of private school education

There is no doubt that private schools have a lot to recommend them. Boasting beautiful buildings, acres of green grounds and a wide range of extra-curricular activities, parents can quickly become dazzled when comparing private schools with their local state schools.

This said, the benefits of a private education run far deeper than aesthetic superficialities. Indeed, by offering smaller classes private school children get a great deal of personal support, become part of a tight knit community with many more opportunities to build up their confidence as well as take on more diverse subjects with state-of-the-art equipment. As private schools often attract more committed teachers, exam results are also often higher, providing students with access to better universities.

How early does private school begin?

Education for your little ones can begin as early as age two with pre-nursery and nursery programs offered on a half day basis, but most full-day
private prep school programs begin at age four. Whilst some parents choose to use the state system for their children's early education they may decide that if they’re going to invest in private education, it may make sense to start as early as possible to get their child adjusted to the school and its ethos.

 How much will it cost me?

Obviously there is an expense to pay with a private education. Although many institutions now offer mortgage-style payments for parents passionate about educating their child privately but who find themselves unable to pay the fees up front, the fact is putting a child through private education from prep school can cost around £150,000 in the long run. Annual fees for day pupils at independent schools range from £12,000 - £20,000 but with prep school fees on top, private education can quickly become a huge investment for any family."


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