When it comes to schooling, the private versus public debate wages on — without a simple answer for parents. What might be right for your family, may not be for another. Have you considered what the advantages of a private school education are for your son? Or how a public school environment could benefit him?
Think about what aligns with your personal values and preferences. What are the specific needs of your son? When it comes to making a decision, a good place to start is considering the advantages and disadvantages of each learning environment.
Here are some important advantages of a private school education.
Specialised teaching and staff
There is no question that teachers are the greatest asset to any school. Of course, great teachers can be found in the private and public system, but does your son have a specific academic need? If so, private schools often employ a greater number of staff and specialised teachers to better meet your son’s needs.
The team can include learning support staff, to assist students that need more help, or gifted and talented specialists for learning enrichment. Private schools often employ external specialists, such as experienced sport coaches or musicians with notable careers, to lead departments and provide support within the academic and co-curricular domains.
When it comes to boys’ schools, as outlined by the International Boys’ Schools Coalition, educators teach specifically to the intellectual, physical, social and emotional lives of boys. Boys’ schools appreciate the complexity of boyhood; they recognise that boys grow and mature at different rates, and use teaching strategies to address boys’ learning styles. Staff at all-boys schools have made a conscious decision to teach boys, with an appreciation for what makes boys, boys.
Focus on character and values
Most private schools offer families a religious-based values education alongside the academic and co-curricular offering. As a result, there is often a greater emphasis on character, education and discipline. Ask yourself if this is something that is important to you? Do your own values and beliefs align with those of the school?
Boys’ schools in particular should not only focus on how to excel academically, but on how to grow young men of integrity and empathy. Does the school also promote wellbeing and develop resilience to help students achieve their potential? The IBSC believes that schools should place particular emphasis on responsible decision-making in everyday life, and becoming a man of good character.
Individual support and relationships
Although you shouldn’t presume a private school will have smaller class sizes, it is generally the case. The result is that there is greater individual attention to each student, which is especially important if you have concerns about your son’s learning needs. Again, a greater number of specialised staff allows boys to be better supported — whether they need extra attention or more of a challenge.
Check the size of the classes and the student–teacher ratio when researching schools. With greater individualised attention, so does the opportunity to form closer relationships. This can strengthen the student–teacher relationship and in turn, the relationship between school and home.
Choice in offerings
While each school is different, private schools tend to have a greater academic and co-curricular offering. There is often greater flexibility when it comes to subject options and timetabling, as well as participation in a wide range of academic competitions, tours and trips. There is also a comprehensive selection of sporting, creative and extra-curricular activities to choose from.
If your son has a keen interest or is talented at sport, it might be an opportunity for him to play with and compete against some of the best players in the state, while training under highly experienced coaches.
All-boy schools can also provide an environment that supports and recognises the importance of subjects like — Literature, Language, Music, Dance, Drama and the Visual Arts within the curriculum — assisting students to find their innate creativity and imagination.
A private education offers boys many advantages, but ultimately parents should choose a school that best fits with their son’s needs. The easiest way to understand a school’s advantages is by reading the School’s Prospectus. If you are interested in learning how a Christ Church education could benefit your son, please download our Prospectus.