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Wednesday 29 May 2024

Are Private Schools Really Worth It for Kids?

Are private schools really worth it for kids?

As a parent, one of the most significant decisions you’ll make is where to send your child to school. The debate between state and private schooling is ongoing, with strong arguments on both sides. Many parents consider private schools to offer a better education and more opportunities for their children, but this comes at a high cost. So, are private schools really worth it for kids? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the various aspects of private schooling to help you make an informed decision.

The Cost of Private Schooling

One of the most apparent differences between public and private schools is the cost. Private schooling can be a significant financial commitment, with tuition fees ranging from a few thousand pounds to upwards of £30,000 per year, depending on the institution. This cost often includes additional fees for extracurricular activities, uniforms, and educational materials.

Is the investment worth it?

Consider the long-term benefits. If a private school offers a robust educational programme that significantly enhances your child’s academic performance and future opportunities, the investment might be justified. However, if public schools in your area provide a comparable education, you might reconsider the necessity of such a high expenditure.

Academic Excellence

Private schools often boast smaller class sizes, enabling more individualised attention and tailored instruction. This setting can benefit students who need extra help or those who thrive in a more intimate educational environment. Additionally, private schools typically have the resources to offer advanced courses, specialised programmes, and a broad array of extracurricular activities.

Do these advantages translate into better academic performance?

Studies indicate that private school students often score higher on standardised tests and attend prestigious universities at higher rates. However, these outcomes can also depend on other factors, such as parental involvement and socioeconomic status.

Specialised Programmes and Extracurricular Activities

One of the significant draws of private schools is the availability of specialised programmes and extracurricular activities. Many private institutions offer unique educational approaches, such as forest schools which might not be available in public schools. Additionally, private schools often provide extensive Art and Colour Class, sports, and enrichment programmes, allowing students to explore their interests fully.

Are these programmes worth the additional cost?

If your child has specific interests or learning needs that a private school can uniquely meet, the investment might be worthwhile. These specialised programmes can provide your child with unique opportunities to excel and develop skills that may benefit them in the future.

Social Environment and Networking

The social environment in private schools often differs from that of public schools. Private institutions may offer a more controlled and disciplined environment, with a strong emphasis on values and character development. Additionally, private schools can provide networking opportunities that might benefit your child in the long run.

Is this social environment beneficial for your child?

The smaller, close-knit community of a private school can foster strong relationships and a sense of belonging. However, it’s essential to consider whether the social environment aligns with your family’s values and whether your child will thrive in such a setting.

Teacher Quality and Resources

Private schools often attract highly qualified teachers who are passionate about their subjects and committed to their students’ success. These teachers may benefit from better working conditions, smaller class sizes, and more substantial resources, allowing them to deliver high-quality education. They also instil in students the importance of being diligent both at school and at home, emphasising that completing household chores is a testament to their commitment and responsibility.

Does this lead to better educational outcomes for your child?

The quality of teaching and resources available can significantly impact your child’s education. If a private school offers exceptional educators and resources that align with your child’s needs, this can be a compelling reason to choose a private institution.

Admissions and Diversity

Private schools typically have selective admissions processes, meaning they can choose their student body. This selectivity can lead to a more academically focused environment but might also result in less diversity. Conversely, public schools are usually more diverse, reflecting a broader range of backgrounds and perspectives.

How important is diversity in your child’s education?

Diversity can enrich your child’s educational experience, exposing them to different cultures, ideas, and viewpoints. Consider how important this element is to you and whether the private school you’re considering offers a diverse environment.

Long-Term Outcomes

Ultimately, the decision to send your child to a private school should consider the long-term outcomes. While private schooling can offer numerous benefits, it’s essential to weigh these against the financial cost and the quality of local public schools.

Will private schooling give your child a significant advantage?

Assess the specific benefits a private school can offer your child and whether these align with your long-term goals for their education and personal development.

How to Apply to a Private School for Your Kids?

Are private schools worth it?

Applying to a private school for your child involves several steps, each designed to ensure the best fit for both the student and the institution. Here’s a general guide to help you navigate the application process:


Begin by researching various private schools to find those that align with your child’s educational needs, values, and interests. Look into the school’s curriculum, extracurricular activities, and overall philosophy. Visiting school websites, attending open days, and talking to current students and parents can provide valuable insights.

Application Requirements

Each private school will have its own set of application requirements. Common elements include:

  • Application Form: Fill out an application form that provides basic information about your child and family.

  • Transcripts: Submit school transcripts or report cards to demonstrate your child’s academic history.

  • Recommendations: Obtain letters of recommendation from teachers or other adults who know your child well.

  • Entrance Exams: Some schools may require entrance exams, such as the SSAT or ISEE, to assess academic readiness.

  • Personal Statement: Both parents and students might need to write essays explaining why they wish to join the school and what they can contribute to the community. Consider learning how to start a formal letter to make a strong impression.

  • Interview: An interview with the admissions committee allows the school to get to know your child better.

Application Deadlines

Be mindful of application deadlines, as private schools often have strict timelines. Missing a deadline can mean your child may have to wait until the next application cycle.

Financial Aid

If needed, research the school’s financial aid options. Many private schools offer scholarships, grants, or sliding scale tuition based on family income. Be prepared to provide financial documents to support your application for aid.

Submission and Follow-Up

Once you’ve gathered all the required materials, submit your application package by the specified deadline. Follow up with the admissions office to confirm that your application has been received and is complete.

Decision and Enrolment

After the school reviews your application, they will notify you of their decision. If your child is accepted, you will need to complete the enrolment process, which often includes signing a contract and paying a deposit.

Applying to private school can be a detailed and time-consuming process, but careful preparation and organisation can increase your chances of finding the right match for your child’s educational journey.


Deciding whether private school is worth it for your child is a complex and deeply personal decision. It’s essential to consider various factors, including the financial cost, academic offerings, social environment, teacher quality, and long-term benefits. By carefully evaluating these aspects, you can make an informed decision that best supports your child’s educational journey and future success.

As you navigate this critical choice, remember that every child is unique, and what works for one family may not be the best fit for another. Whether you choose state or private education, the most important factor is your child’s happiness, growth, and development.

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