Public vs private school – is the value worth the cost?

The ongoing debate of public vs private school raises many questions; which is better? What are the benefits? Is the value worth the cost? Each type of education provides its own unique set of advantages that are suited to different families’ lifestyles. The perceived value of a private school or public school is down to personal choice. As a parent, you have high expectations for your child and want the value of their education to be high, regardless of the cost.

The benefits of a private school

There are a number of advantages for independent schools that can help justify the higher cost.

1. Smaller class sizes
Studies suggest that smaller class sizes can lead to improved learning outcomes for students. Smaller classes allow teachers to give each student more individual attention and high-quality feedback when addressing questions and challenging concepts to improve students’ learning. The teaching approach is not ‘one size fits all’, enabling teachers to tailor their lessons to their students more effectively.

2. Advanced facilities
The facilities at a private school have often been heavily invested in and developed specifically for a purpose. Students have access to facilities such as interactive learning spaces, state-of-the-art sporting facilities and extensive libraries. Use of these facilities can enhance students’ learning experiences, helping them to grow in their skills both inside and outside the classroom.

3. Greater breadth of opportunities available
The wide range of extra-curricular activities and curriculum options that are often available to students at a private school allow students more choice, diversity in their breadth of skills and the opportunity to explore areas of interest. Performances, exhibitions, tournaments, musicals, sporting competitions and events support course selections and co-curricular activities to further develop these skills.

The benefits of a public school

Public schools, although much lower cost, offer their own set of advantages.

1. Affordability
The cost of public schools is significantly lower than that of private schools. The Australian Scholarships Group estimated that for children born in 2018, it could cost up to $475,342 to put a child through private school in Metropolitan Australia. Compare this to an estimated cost of $66,320 to educate a child through the public school system. Public schooling offers families a significantly more affordable option to suit their lifestyle and lessen financial pressures.

2. Convenience
Typically, public schools are locally based and much closer to home, making it easier for students to get to and from. This offers convenience for parents and can be time saving for their busy schedules. The journey to school is often supported by public transport, making this an effective mode of transport.

3. High quality education
Regardless of facilities and extra-curricular options, public school students can still gain a quality education and strong learning experience. An analysis of school NAPLAN results suggest that students in public schools perform just as well as their private school counterparts, particularly for schools with a similar socio-economic composition where results are very similar.

The cost of education will always be a consideration in the decision-making process, and the right choice for your child is unique to each family. Each schooling option offers unique benefits in many different ways; however high-quality education and perceived high value is a shared requirement for all parents when choosing between public and private schools.

Seeing a school in action is a definitive way to decide between schools for your child. At Christ Church Grammar School, we have a unique approach to educating boys and building good men. If you would like to experience this for yourself, join us at one of our upcoming tours

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