In my opinion, smaller class sizes is probably the biggest advantage of a private school over public schools. The only way to find out is to visit the school and see for yourself, as Michelle Wille did when scoping out St. Margaret’s, the school in Victoria, B.C., that she ultimately decided on for her daughter. After that, there are no guarantees. “What else are you sacrificing in the life of your family to do that — and even in the life of your kid?” If paying for private school means you forgo life-enriching family outings and vacations, maybe it’s not worth the sacrifice. How much are teachers paid? To decide if it's worth the investment, examine these major differences between public and private schools. To run a school, you’ve got to be both.”. For more information please read our policies. That’s why, in addition to having their academic record looked at, children are often asked to write essays and sit through personal interviews before a school gives them the green light. If public school isn’t the right choice for your child, but private school seems cost prohibitive, Catholic schools might be worth looking into for their price tag alone. They either felt really good, or they decided it wasn’t for them. If you don’t like your kid’s private school, move on. If our teachers don’t “click” with your kid, forget it. The good news is that with a little effort, you can find a high-quality school, and protect yourself and your child from such fly-by-night operations. Instead of paying thousands of dollars a year in private tuition, I had money in my budget to send Jenny on trips to Europe—France, Switzerland and more—during middle school and high school. If a child stays in private school from junior kindergarten until grade 12, for example, parents can be on the hook for $500,000 in just tuition, which … Please contact us here. “If the school isn’t working out for your kid, then you find another one,” advises Catherine McCauley. In a 2012 Ipsos-Reid poll, 58% of respondents stated they believe private school education is better than public school education; 63% said they would send their children to private schools if they could afford it. However, a private school can be expensive. The well-respected private schools that boast 100% university acceptance do so not by giving away good grades, but by making them more difficult to achieve. “Think of your child first and what their needs are — social, emotional, physical, intellectual. And I have to say these people who are opening them are well-intentioned. Some preparatory schools are more competitive than others. The average cost to attend a private college is about $26,000, and elite liberal arts colleges can run as much as $50,000 annually. That said, while you may have dreams of raising a Nobel laureate, sticking your kid in a school with the best reputation for high-performing students may not help her bring home good grades, even if she is exceptionally bright. Is your credit card’s travel insurance enough? As for the duration and the beginning of the school year in private schools in Canada, it begins in September, and ends in May. This is larger than student enrolment increases by 54.6%, and larger than funding increases for public schools by 90.0%. Too often, parents jump the gun and pay for tuition, assuming that all private schools are preferable to public ones. The price for secondary education in Canada at prestigious private schools with full board varies from 35,000 to 70,000 Canadian dollars per year. “Students in public schools in a similar socio-economic context as private schools tend to do equally well,” according to the OECD report, which concluded that “there is no evidence to suggest that private schools help to raise the level of performance of the school system, as a whole” (OECD, Private schools: Who benefits?). Are Private Schools Better than Public Schools? So before you apply, narrow your top contenders down to a shortlist of two or three schools. To find CAIS member schools in your area, log on to www.cais.ca and click on Listings. Then, of course, there’s tuition: a hefty $9,000 to $35,000 a year for day students, or up to $65,000 a year for boarders. In BC, key factors that coincide with private school enrolment increases is an historic era of labour conflict, budget cuts, school closures and overcrowding in the public school system from 2000-2016. I mean look at what it costs. Meanwhile private school enrolments have increased from nine percent in 2000 to 13% in 2017, almost double the national average (Source: FISABC). For starters, you have to pay about 100 bucks for the honour of filling out a pile of paperwork that puts your kid in the running for a place at the school. “I loved when a student was sitting in class in Grade 1 and he was upset about something, and the teacher, instead of getting mad at him, excused all the kids to go to their table and do some reading, and she sat down on the floor with him and just talked him through what he was upset about. But they can be tiring and stressful for your kid, not to mention expensive for you — private schools charge a fee for each application, which means that putting your kid’s name in at a half dozen places could set you back close to a grand. Read “How do I become a money coach in Canada?”, Read Strategies for smarter charitable giving. There is a growing body of research evidence that attempts to answer this question. High Schools. Many parents think that tuition insurance is a waste of money or that they really don’t need it. Newly revised to include the financial fallout of COVID-19,... MoneySense is a journalistic website with freelance contributors who help produce our content. There are many reasons to be skeptical of international rankings based upon a single test given to 15 year-olds. And keep that chequebook handy. Others are major disappointments. Important: Each province and territory in Canada is responsible for designating schools at the post-secondary level that may enroll international students. Share on Twitter If your child has zero interest in a traditional school setting but wants to be a game developer, a private high school may not be worth the cost. If your child is entering Grade 5 and up, it’s important to get her take on the teachers, as well. According to Private School Review, the national average private school tuition is approximately $10,671 per year. Another factor related to increased private school enrolment is marketing. If you start your kid in Grade 7, you’re looking at a $200,000-plus investment in his education — before university. “If you have five kids and a toilet that flushes, you can open a school,” Winberg says wryly. Right? The biggest thing parents worry about is regret. This is an increase of 41.3% (Source: BCTF). Anyone who scrolls through the rankings of BC schools will find evidence that students who attend private schools have better on average academic performance than public school students. Maybe. In order to enter a private Canadian boarding school, following documents are required: A copy of the student's passport or ID card All of that, it was tougher for them.”. This feature offers names and locations, as well as links to the schools’ own Web sites, many of which are packed with information. Perspectives is an opportunity for Fellows and others to share their ideas in short, accessible essays. For what it's worth I would recommend only considering schools that have been accredited. For more research-based resources on private schools see “Resources on Private Schools” by National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado. Share this article It might be as dramatic as the discovery of a gift for music that you want to foster, or the diagnosis of a learning disability that needs special attention. It makes a big difference what any teacher can both see and accomplish with 12 kids vs 24 kids. The universities don’t even know much about them,” warns Paul Axelrod, dean of the faculty of education at Toronto’s York University. But, reality is more than appearances and focusing exclusively on appearances—on the evidence that strikes us immediately and directly—can be misleading. While the left side of your brain says you can’t afford it, the right side of your brain counters with the very compelling argument that hundreds of rich, influential and wildly successful men have graduated from this place: Galen Weston, Michael Ignatieff, Robertson Davies. Start by trying to find a school for your child, not trying to make your child fit a school.” You don’t have to be an expert like McCauley to find the right school for your kids; you just have to know your kids. The admissions office should not hesitate to answer your queries on how the school spends its money. I suppose that if you happen to be fabulously wealthy, losing $30,000 or $40,000 because your child has to withdraw from her private school might not be a big deal. This is particularly true when we examine school rankings because private schools’ higher average test scores are at the heart of the conventional belief that private schools are better than public schools, along with their typically well-funded programs. More than 85% of BC's private schools receive some provincial funding, thereby increasing their affordability. Despite its international “superpower” status, a majority of Canadians don’t believe their public schools measure up to private schools. For the two- and the three-year-olds! I was duly impressed.”. Here’s what you need to know, More on private schools from the September/October 2014 edition of, Calculating how much money you’ll need at retirement. Statistics Canada echoed these findings in a 2015 report, which found students in Canadian private schools have more educational success than their public school counterparts because of their socio-economic characteristics, not because of private schools themselves. The provincial government partially funds private schools according to the quality of education that they provide. If a student is removed from private school for behavioral reasons, parents may want to determine with an attorney if the removal falls under what the school can legally do, and whether it is worth pursuing a case in order for the student to return to that school. Average Tuition. Changing schools won’t mar your child’s academic record, and it certainly won’t call into question your ability as a parent. We set out to discover what really goes on behind those ivy-covered walls. © 2002-2020 Ratehub Inc. All rights reserved. And if you’ve heard of a great school in your city, other parents have heard of it, too. However, the cost-benefit analysis of any particular school must be carried out with a particular student in mind. Because the rules on certification and training vary widely across the country, and even within provinces, the best way to find out if a school’s teachers are up to scratch is to ask. If that contentment is missing, or their outlook on teaching doesn’t match what you have in mind for your kid, you’ll be able to tell very quickly in the course of even a casual conversation. Almost as important as the teachers’ training is their desk-side manner, so to speak. A professor at the University of Illinois … MoneySense is fully owned by Ratehub Inc, but remains editorially independent. Then they go to one of these private schools, and all of a sudden their grades balloon.”, Inflated grades may help the grads of these spurious schools to get into university, but it won’t help them get a degree. Like most parents, you’ve probably wondered how much private school really costs. These school are usually co – ed and have a low student – teacher ratio. Many Canadians seem to think so. This longitudinal study of over one thousand students concluded: “… children with a history of enrollment in private schools performed better on nearly all outcomes assessed in adolescence. Before receiving CAIS accreditation, schools must undergo a detailed assessment that examines everything from curriculum to facilities to administrative operations. What's the difference between a private school and a public school? If you have an eighth grader who will be in school for five more years, that's $53,340 in tuition, if fees remain the same. In my area, it's about $10K per year per kid, and I'm told that is really cheap compared to places like the Bay Area and D.C. where it might be $30K per year per kid. And, in a study published last month, University of Virginia researchers Robert C. Pianta and Arya Ansari examined the extent to which enrolment in private schools between kindergarten and grade nine was related to students’ academic, social, psychological and attainment outcomes at age 15. There are no guarantees at all.”, Be especially wary of schools that promise to improve your high-school-age kid’s grades just in time for the university application deadline. After, all, she’s the one who’ll be sitting in front of them seven hours a day. “And inside the glossy stuff was a bunch of photocopied stuff: the complete curriculum for the two-year-olds. 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