When to send your child to private school

when to send your child to private school.

Private education can be a big investment for parents. Deciding whether to send your child to private school from primary school is a big decision for families.

Dr Andrew Greenfield, Child and Educational Psychologist believes it could go either way.

“A lot of parents think from a foundation’s perspective that primary school is where they need to put all their effort in and send their child to a private school.

But a lot of parents believe the opposite when they think…it’s high school where children are developing a lot more skills in a lot more areas, so therefore they value high school.”

Nevertheless, Dr Greenfield believes the early years are ‘incredibly important’.

“That’s when they are learning basic skills, literacy and maths skills so that’s incredibly important.”

Factors to help decide when to send your child to private school include:

Your child’s learning ability

Dr Greenfield believes this would certainly benefit children with learning difficulties.

“Private schools are a lot more beneficial for children who have learning difficulties, language issues or attention issues or any sort of developmental difficulties because private schools obviously have smaller classrooms.”

Private schools may also have more resources available to benefit children with learning difficulties.

Attending a private school from a young age may also benefit children who excel in their learning.

“They could be bright and gifted; they’ve also got resources available as well, like gifted and talented programs and resources.”

Consider your family values and background

Many parents choose private or independent schools, to instill values that align with home from a young age.

Private and Independent schools offer education through a variety of different backgrounds.

Parents may wish to send their child to a private school from a young age to learn about religious or other values.

You may wish to send your child to a single-sex school for a range of reasons. Many private schools cater to single-sex learning, whilst only a small portion of public schools do.

Does your child have a niche interest or skill?

Private schools have programs and resources for students and families interested in different areas or skills from a younger age.

For example, students at International Grammar School (IGS), students are taught in many languages from the age of 3. Whereas in the public school curriculum, bilingual education generally begins in high school years.

when to send your child to private school.nternational Grammar School. school kids learning languages. independent schools in Australia.
Credit: International Grammar School

Public education in primary or high school provides a well-balanced education. The Australian curriculum allows children to experiment in different interests.

However, if your child is interested in a specific interest, private schools may offer more programs, facilities and extracurriculars from a young age.

For example, your child may be interested in performing arts and wish to attend a school with an acting studio and theatrette. Alternatively, your child may wish to pursue snowsports at school from a young age.

Private schools offer many niche electives, programs and facilities in NSW and Victoria.

Fitting in at School

You may consider how well your child is fitting in to decide when to send your child to a private school.

“I guess once the child has already been established academically or socially, then obviously the child doesn’t really want to (move) for a whole lot of reasons.”

Dr Greenfield, Child and Educational Psychologist.

Is it better to have your child in the same private school from kindergarten to year 12?

“Kids are changing all the time so it is nice to be able to have the same group of friends but it’s not absolutely essential. It is nice to have but there are a lot of factors that go into that.”

Dr Greenfield, Child and Educational Psychologist.

Parents of children with an age-gap may prefer sending their younger child to a private school from a young age so they attend the same school.

This may be valuable to parents to help keep up with school policies and information, and make drop-offs easier.

Ultimately, when to send your child to a private school is a parent’s decision.

Choosing a school for your child can be difficult, if you wish to receive further information please see Choosing a School NSW 37 or Choosing a School VIC 34.

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