One of the strengths of the Australian education system is that we have choices about where to send our children to school. But I know parents certainly feel the weight of making that choice. To help parents with their choice, as a private school graduate, I celebrate what private schools offer to those students whose parents choose to invest in their education.

pin1. Being smart is cool

At private schools, being smart is cool. In some schools if you want to work hard on your studies, get good grades and are “smart”, a child can be labelled a dork, a geek or a nerd and can be subjected to teasing and bullying.  When you’re surrounded by other kids focused on academic achievement, it can be so much easier to reach your potential.

Recent research by the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) claimed that achievement in independent schools was two years ahead of government schools and one year ahead of Catholic Schools.

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pin2. Pastoral Care – it’s not just about academic results

Academia is the focus of a child’s learning but personal development and the growth of the child as a whole person goes hand in hand with academic preparation. During a recent conversation with a highly respected private school teacher at his retirement function I asked what set this school apart from others. He answered “The pastoral care. We’re not just teaching maths and English, we’re teaching them how to be high functioning adults”. And this can be seen in the school’s mottos from (translated from Latin into English) “By our deeds we shall be known” to “Born for Greater Things”

pin3. World Class Facilities

If you haven’t visited a Private School recently, look up their “Open Day” and take a look. From state of the art science labs and IT departments to Olympic size swimming pools; ... read more

… from purpose built music concert halls and performing arts centres to English learning departments that are the envy of some universities; from design spaces and pottery rooms with their own kilns to sustainable gardens and more – these places are amazing.

pin4. Smaller Classes

It is widely accepted that smaller class sizes benefit all students and reduce the likelihood of any child missing out on the attention they need and deserve to produce their best. With class sizes as low as 18 compared with public school class sizes as high as 29 there is little wonder in my mind why private schools achieve the results they do.

pin5. Parental Involvement

As a private school parent you will be encouraged (and expected) to be highly engaged in your child’s education in a way that you might not otherwise be at a public school. What sort of extra engagement are we talking about? That depends on your particular talents, abilities and availability. If you are a full time working parent it may be that you will be the netball or football team’s umpire on the weekend, while if you have more time during the week you may be on the school committee or the fundraising committee.

pin6. Everything in one place – a team for your child

At private school your child will do their studies, their music lessons, their summer and winter sport, their theatre productions, their tutoring, their choir, their debating club, and most other activities in one place. This means that their coaches, teachers and mentors are all in one place working together to get the best from and for your child without you needing to coordinate multiple people from many different groups and environments to work together for your child.

pin7. A balanced program

Every parent wants their child to have a balanced and well rounded upbringing and education. If we define a balanced program as one that includes education, sports, arts and extra curricular activities then this is what private school strive to provide. Most have compulsory sport for every student, as well as opportunities to be involved in school theatre productions, choirs, orchestra and bands, school study trips, camps and tours, and extra curricular activities such as debate teams, army cadet programs, social giving programs and volunteering. Private schools aim to provide every opportunity a child needs to find what they are passionate about and enjoy.

pin8. More affordable than you may think

While private schools usually cost more than public schools, it is about the value you see in it and where your child’s education fits into your priorities. It can be daunting to pay the fees in the year that they are due from your after tax income. But with a little preparation and the right planning it can be significantly easier than you may think.



Author: Toby Webb

Toby is a product of a Melbourne private school education which provided him with a diversity of skills that enabled him to pursue careers in both the arts and financial planning.  His financial planning practice specialises in helping parents plan for funding their children’s education.  He is the father of two pre-school children so he is living the same dream as his clients.


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How to Securely Fund your Toddler's Private School Education