Is private school education worth it – The Truth about Private Schools in Australia

Is private school education worth it-The Truth about Private
Schools in Australia

There is no simple answer to whether a private school education is worth the fees and other costs.

According to Beck Gill, school education programme director at the K Kangan Institute, it is very much dependent on the individual child.

While his research published this year found that the brightest students in disadvantaged schools lag 212 years behind their peers in wealthier schools, the gap is not always a reflection of the schools themselves.

“Many schools across the country are achieving remarkable results with students from low-income families,” says Dr Gill.

It is difficult to decide whether to send your child to private or public school.

As previously stated, there are numerous advantages and disadvantages to attending a private school, and you should weigh all of them in order to make the best decision for your child and yourself.

In order to find the best education solution for your child, you should also consider his or her individual preferences.

This Blog I have listed few facts about private school that help you decide…

Fact 1: Private schools outperform public schools in terms of academic performance.

It is extremely difficult to obtain data on achievement differences across school sectors. 

These data are gathered through the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth, but they are never published. Relevant performance data held by Departments of Education are also unavailable and unpublished, raising concerns about what these data might reveal. 

Comparisons of the limited raw performance data available, however, show that private school students outperform public school students on average and are more likely to complete school through Year 12.

Private schools’ superior academic performance is frequently attributed to the selection of students with strong academic abilities. 

As previously stated, this is rarely the case. Another popular explanation is that private schools outperform public schools because they have more financial resources. 

Data on expenditure per student in the various school sectors, however, show that public schools spend more per student than private schools. Similarly, there is little difference in pupil-to-teacher ratios between public and private schools.

Moreover, both Australian and overseas studies provide evidence that private schools positively influence school performance and school completion above and beyond the influence of student characteristics (Williams 1987; Graetz 1990). 

That is, all student-related factors being equal, private schools students still perform better. This suggests that school-related factors are important

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Fact 2: Private school students have better post-school outcomes

Academic performance and school completion are crucial in determining post-secondary outcomes. Private school students’ superior academic performance is reflected in their lower levels of unemployment and greater participation in higher and further education.

Fact 3: Parents choose private schools for many reasons, not just
academic performance.

Academic performance is rarely the top priority for parents when selecting a school for their child. This is true for parents of students in both public and private schools.

According to an Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) survey, the values of parents of public and private school students are very similar (Weston 1998).


All parents ranked the following factors as the most important: teachers; drug, gun, and violence control; curriculum relevance; approachability of the school; and absence of discipline problems.


The importance of good academic results was ranked eleventh or twelfth. Indeed, there were very few aspects of education in which the importance of education was stressed.


Recent polls in Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia, and Queensland asked parents to explain why they sent their child or children to an independent private school. 

The results of each survey were similar. The academic performance of the school was not among the top priorities for parents when choosing a school in both cases, as it was in the AIFS survey (Association of Independent Schools of Victoria 2000; Association of Independent Schools of Queensland 2000).

Before making this critical decision, parents must carefully consider the nature of their child, the availability of both types of schools in their areas, and their own expectations for their child’s educational experience.

As it stands, the school system is inequitable and inefficient—public school parents do not receive the quality of education they should expect, and private school parents are forced to pay for their children’s education twice, less a small subsidy.

To achieve funding equity, new thinking is required. Alternatives to the current system include education bursaries for all children and education tax breaks.


Parents can exercise greater autonomy and choice by directing public funding of education through parents rather than education providers.

Fact # 4: Cost is a factor even in education

In a related vein, it amazes me how our cost blinders go up as soon as we discuss education. 

This is typically discussed in relation to a college education, although it is equally applicable to a grade school or high school education. The value argument is especially compelling when the alternative is entirely free (at least of an additional cost beyond the required property taxes.)

Proceed down the US News and World Report college ranking list. There are universities with same academic rankings but charge 4-8 times as much for tuition. 

Your children require substantial guidance to make a prudent college selection. They shouldn’t choose a college based on the aesthetics of the campus or the presence of a high school acquaintance. It’s a proposal of worth. 

What is the cost and the quality of the education? Certainly, one college may offer a somewhat better education than another, but it is unlikely to be eight times better.

The same rules apply to elementary and secondary education. Even though the class size may be 20% smaller, the education is not 20% better. 

How much does it cost to have someone who shares your religion teach your children geometry? Is a 20-point increase in SAT average worth $100,000 in tuition? 

These are the inquiries you should ask yourself. It’s not merely a matter of “what’s better.” Moreover, it is a value proposition.

Should I send my Kid to Private or Public School?

In terms of educational quality, the evidence strongly suggests that private schools provide their students with benefits that go beyond financial resources and the influence of family background. 

What this could be is still up for debate, but it is an important area for future research.

There are several areas where public and private schools may differ, including the quality and dedication of the teaching staff, the autonomy of the principal, and differences in curriculum and instruction.

One of the key factors in private schools’ superior performance appears to be improved discipline and order. It is obvious that the order or ethos prevalent in private schools creates an environment in which academic and other abilities are best fostered and valued.

Did you send your kid to a private or public elementary school? Do you think it made a difference?

We asked this question to many Parents in our local area.. and here is what we found

Richard says..

When my daughter Benny was in the second grade of public school, we realised she loathed math. I am a Surgeon, and my wife majored in Tech , so this came as a complete surprise. 

We discovered after conducting an investigation that she had become bored. 

Benny had independently acquired a great deal of arithmetic from us, but her class was much behind. She was prepared to tackle long division, but her classmates were studying numbers and learning how to count.

Benny’s teacher informed us that she would like to give Benny separate exercises, but Berkeley school policy prohibits this. 

All students in a given class were required to study together. If one student was more advanced than the others, that student would assist the lagging classmates.

Our daughter, however, was bored. That was dreadful. Nothing is more destructive to the desire to study. 
The instructor concurred and stated that she would make an exception. 
Benny was given assignments to do independently while other students worked on more elementary subjects.

Ezzy Says

We spent a lot of time researching my daughter’s kindergarten options. We evaluated these possibilities based on our child’s needs.

Our neighbourhood public elementary school has a superb academic reputation.

My husband and I volunteered a lot to become “founding families” for a new French-English charter school in Oakland.

We also toured private schools.

Almost all of the schools we looked at (public and charter) required sitting at a desk for much of the day starting in Kindergarten or 1st grade. 

Our lively child has never been able to sit still (unlike her 3-year-old brother), and while she’s never had behavioural issues, I worry she may if she had to sit at a desk for hours.
We chose a private school with big classes and no desks. Our daughter influenced this decision. 

I don’t know if our son will follow in her footsteps, but I think he’d be OK sitting at a desk for hours (albeit this isn’t ideal).



Australian Bureau of Statistics 1996, Census of Population and Housing, unpublished data. ——— 1999, Australian Social Trends 1999, ABS Cat. No. 4102.0. ——— 2000, Schools, Australia, ABS Cat. No. 4221.0. Association of Independent Schools of Queensland 2000, 1999 Parent Survey: Why Parents Choose Independent Schools, Association of Independent Schools of Queensland, Spring Hill, Queensland.

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