In most areas of the country, there is a wide choice available ranging from private schools to government run state schools, and sometimes the decision making process can seem rather overwhelming in the face of all of the information.
In an attempt to make the process somewhat easier, here is a brief and succinct comparison list of what parents should be considering when making the decision of whether to go state of private.
1. How Much Does It Cost?
State School – There are no fees for pupils attending government run state schools. These schools are funded through both local and national taxation and provide cost free education for all attending students.
Private School – Private schools do not receive funding through taxation as state schools do, and instead charge an attendance fee for each pupil to maintain their existence. These fees can be in the range of £2,000 to £20,000 ($3,000 to $32,000) per year.
2. What Are The Class Sizes?
State School – Classes in state schools tend to be larger, which can have both positive and negative effects. Whilst a large group of up to 35 has the potential for wider learning, there is also a question of how much individual teacher time each student receives.
Private School – Classes in private schools, on the whole, tend to be much smaller than numbers recorded in state schools, with the average being 15 students to each lesson. This can provide more individual teacher contact but restricts wider perspective learning.
3. What Are The Extra-Curricular Activities Like?
State School – The majority of state schools offer the traditional range of extra-curricular activities including numerous sports clubs, drama clubs, many clubs and after school sessions dedicated to different subjects.
Private School – It would be fair to say that private schools offer a more far wide-ranging spectrum of extra-curriculars, with certain establishments offering grander activities such as rowing, sailing and other more expensive pursuit opportunities alongside the more traditional activities that they have in common with state schools.
4. What Is The State Of Teaching Like?
State School – The standards of teaching in state schools has been known to vary between individual institutions. Whilst the schools are regularly examined in terms of their quality by OFSTED, the larger class sizes and potential funding restraints have sometimes been cited as reasons for pupils not being provided with the absolute best education experiences that they would like. With so many students to attend to, there is a risk of letting certain individuals slip below their potential, but most state schools have special departments in place for these occurrences.
Private School – Private schools have a reputation for being much more on the ball with regards to their students’ progress and results, for the simple reason that their pupils’ results are one of the key factors in persuading prospective parents to choose their institution over others. With smaller class numbers to contend with, it is easy to imagine how a struggling private school pupil can be more easily identified and assigned help before the problem becomes an irreversible one in terms of exam results and overall learning.
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