Private education

Advantages and disadvantages of independent schools

An independent or “private” school is a primary or secondary school that has independent financial resources and governance and is funded through tuition and gifts. It is governed by a board of directors. Charter schools may have a religious affiliation and some schools may offer boarding facilities.

Special Assistance Private Schools aim to improve the lives of students by providing services tailored to the specific needs of their students. An example is a dyslexic school or school for severely disabled pupils.

Independent schools reserve the right to select their students, who normally have to pay full fees. Some students get a scholarship in a private school, which makes their fees cheaper. Scholarships are based on the student’s talent (mathematical, artistic or academic).

Tuition and fees vary between specific private schools. Many offer financial aid on a need-based or monthly payment plan. Schools can also help parents identify potential sources of financial assistance from outside agencies. In some cases a student may be charged a fee – this is true in the UK of the Child Forces (Army, Navy and Air Force).

Charter schools generally pay higher salaries for the best teachers and also offer rich learning environments, high academic standards, and a low student-teacher ratio. They also provide close-knit communities, individual learning, and opportunities for hands-on learning. The good reputation of a private school can also help pupils later in life.

Because private schools do not receive money from the government, they are free to create their own curricula, fund programs as they see fit, create their own admissions process for pupils, and set their own requirements for hiring or firing staff.

There are drawbacks to private education that must be considered before a child enrolls in a private school. The main one is usually cost. Even with financial aid, the fees can be too prohibitive for some parents.

You should also consider that your child may not live as close to his friends. If the chosen private school is too far from home, your child may have to board a boarding school, which isn’t for everyone and can be a very isolating experience for a young child.

Because each school selects its own curriculum and teachers without government controls, parents must ensure that they agree with the selection processes.

Fear of overbearing influences at school is a real concern and pupils may face discrimination outside school for being a ‘rich kid’ or overbearing.

Parents should consider these drawbacks carefully, especially the fee side of things if they have more than one child!

Choosing a school for your child is one of the most important things you can do for them, so choose wisely.

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