"I was a smart kid. I went to private school in middle school and got kicked out."

Travis Scott, Musician

Private vs. Public School? - Which one is better?

pros and cons of private schools compared to public schools

Private schools (also often referred to as independent schools) are schools that are not funded by the government but are financed by tuition payments of students.

 

Some private schools are known to provide a pretty good education. However, apart from many other important advantages, private schools also have some problems. You might think about sending your kid to private or public school right now.

 

In order to facilitate your decision, the pros and cons of private schools are examined in detail in this article.

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Pros of Private Schools compared to Public Schools

  1. May have more sophisticated teaching methods
  2. Smaller class sizes
  3. Better individual learning experience
  4. More independent from local municipality budgets
  5. Higher level of flexibility regarding the curriculum
  6. Private schools may provide special additional classes
  7. Alternative teaching methods
  8. Children may be more eager to learn
  9. Private schools do not require taxpayers’ money
  10. Networking opportunities
  11. Use of latest technologies
  12. Better education on average
  13. Higher chances to get into top universities
  14. Private schools may offer a safer environment for kids

May have more sophisticated teaching methods

One important advantage of private schools is that they often provide quite sophisticated teaching methods.

 

Instead of just educating children in an old-school manner, there is often more group work and other tasks in private schools that aim to give children the feeling of a greater level of freedom and to make classes more interesting.

 

Therefore, children may enjoy attending school more compared to private schools and their grades may also be better due to that higher level of motivation.

 

Smaller class sizes

Due to smaller class sizes, teachers can answer more questions from students and therefore, chances are that children may have a better learning experience. Moreover, smaller class sizes also contribute to a more individual treatment of children regarding their educational progress.

 

For instance, some children may learn faster than others. Through smaller classes, teachers can better focus on children that need a higher level of assistance in order to improve their learning results.

 

Better individual learning experience

In general, kids in private schools tend to have a higher level of individual treatment compared to public schools. This is not only true for classes, but also for assistance with homework or if kids have special problems that need to be addressed.

 

Thus, children in private schools will have a better individual learning experience and are also more likely to get help with other issues they might experience during their childhood.

 

All this may increase the motivation of pupils to study hard, which may give them an edge later on in their life since education is one important key to success.

 

More independent from local municipality budgets

Since private schools are mainly financed through tuition payments and get little to no financial support from the state, they are much more independent regarding which subjects they want to focus on compared to public schools.

 

This higher level of independence will give private schools more room for certain activities that would not be granted in public schools.

 

Higher level of flexibility regarding the curriculum

In general, private schools will be much more flexible in their curriculum compared to public schools. Although also private schools have minimum requirements regarding their curriculum, those requirements still leave plenty of room for discretion and private schools may be able to offer their students plenty of subjects that might not be taught in public schools.

 

Private schools may provide special additional classes

In private schools, kids may also have the opportunity to join special classes. For instance, this may include certain sports that are not offered in public schools. It may also include sophisticated art classes. In general, since private schools have a higher level of freedom regarding their teachers, chances are that they may be able to hire experts for certain niches in order to offer their students a bigger variety of courses.

 

Alternative teaching methods

Apart from conventional teaching methods, private schools often also offer alternative teaching styles. This may include more presentations or other things that children are not used to in conventional public schools. However, since soft skills are quite important later on for a successful career, those alternative teaching methods may provide children with tools that might greatly benefit them in the future.

Children may be more eager to learn

Due to the bigger variety of classes, children may also be more eager to attend school and to learn in private schools compared to public schools. For instance, everyone of us will be more motivated if we like what we are doing. The same is true for kids. If they are really looking forward to some of their classes, chances are that they will be more motivated to learn and study and to get exceptionally good at what they are doing.

 

Private schools do not require taxpayers’ money

Another upside of private schools is that they are mainly financed trough tuition and do require no or only small subsidies from the state. Therefore, plenty of taxpayers’ money can be saved compared to public schools. This may benefit local municipalities since they could spend this money on other important infrastructure programs instead.

 

Networking opportunities

Networking can be a powerful tool for a successful corporate career. Even though most people only start to network in college or later in their job, networking can actually start much earlier.

 

For instance, if you are in school with plenty of motivated kids, chances are that these kids will end up in good jobs afterwards and a connection to those kids might help you to get into those companies.

 

Since private schools are often quite expensive, they are rather frequented by kids from wealthy families. In turn, those families will also often have good connection to renowned companies.

 

Thus, there might be a natural network which kids could build through friendships in private school that will be far more sophisticated compared to the network from public schools.

 

Use of latest technologies

Some private schools may also have better technological equipment compared to public schools. Especially in our nowadays society where technological progress is faster than ever, it is crucial that children adapt to this technology from an early age on since they might suffer from plenty of issues otherwise.

 

People who lack computer skills in our current state will often end up in unemployment since basic technology skills are crucial on the job market right now. With the progress in artificial intelligence, many people will lose their jobs in the future and will be replaced by machines.

 

Thus, it is crucial to learn digital skills in order to be able to compete on the future job market. By sending your kids to private schools, they might get a better digital education and may also have better job opportunities due to this in the future.

 

Better education on average

Although the quality of schools varies both in the private as well as in the public sector, average test scores tend to be higher in private schools. Thus, this indicates that the education levels in private schools tend to be better compared to pubic schools.

 

Therefore, if you want to provide your kid with the best education possible, you should consider sending your child to a top private school instead of choosing a public school.

 

Higher chances to get into top universities

Children from good private schools often also have it much easier to get into top universities. This is often due to the fact that through a better individual learning experience, children may be able to improve their education levels faster in private schools. It may also be due to the fact that some private schools have excellent connections to universities and it may be easier for students to get into those colleges due to these connections.

 

Private schools may offer a safer environment for kids

Some public schools are also known to be rather unsafe and there are often violent incidents in those schools.

 

Thus, in order to protect your kids and to ensure their safety, it may be senseful to send your kids to private school, especially if you live in an area which is known to be unsafe and where public schools have a quite poor reputation.

 

Therefore, depending on where you live, it might also make sense to send your kids to private schools just for safety reasons.

Cons of Private Schools compared to Public Schools

  1. Private schools can be expensive
  2. Students may have to stay on campus longer
  3. Religious beliefs often play a major role
  4. Lack of regulation regarding qualification levels of teachers
  5. Low salary for private teachers compared to public schools
  6. May be harder to get in
  7. Private schools may experience funding problems
  8. Private schools may suffer from a lack of diversity
  9. Less extracurricular activities
  10. High level of pressure

Private schools can be expensive

As we have seen before, there are many pros of private schools and it can make sense to send your kid to one of them. However, there are also some issues related to private schools. For instance, private schools are often quite expensive and it is often not affordable for lower or middle-class families to send their kids there.

 

Private schools can be regarded as luxury and therefore, you may often find a high percentage of kids from wealthy families in those schools while the big majority of parents will choose public schools for their kids instead due to this financial aspect.

 

Students may have to stay on campus longer

Some private schools also require their students to stay on campus all day long due to classes and other activities. Therefore, by sending your kid to private school, your kid may have problems to find friends outside school since there will simply not be enough time left due to the strict curriculum. Moreover, some children also do not want to stay in school all day long, which may lead to additional motivational problems.

 

Religious beliefs often play a major role

Some private schools also have a quite long tradition and religious aspects often play a significant role in their curriculum. Even though religious aspects should not be considered to be bad in general, they still imply the risk that some minorities are socially excluded if they believe in other religious models. Thus, religions can lead to the social isolation of some kids in private schools.

 

Lack of regulation regarding qualification levels of teachers

Another significant downside of private schools is that there are often no official requirements for the qualification levels of teachers. Therefore, basically everyone can apply to teach at private schools and the overall quality of teachers might be quite poor due to that. Thus, before registering your kid at a private school, make sure to talk to teachers to get an impression on whether they are trustworthy and well educated or not.

 

Low salary for private teachers compared to public schools

Also the salary at independent schools is often quite bad. Teachers at private schools often earn significantly less money compared to teachers with similar duties at public schools. This may lead to a state where the good teachers apply to public schools and only the bad teachers will be left to private schools. Therefore, a low quality of teachers may also be a significant problem that is caused by the low wages in many private schools.

May be harder to get in

Some private schools, especially those which are known to provide a pretty good education, often have long waiting lists since they only have limited capacities. Therefore, if you want to send your kid to one of those schools, you might have to wait a quite long time. Thus, make sure to apply as early as possible in order to secure your spot.

 

Private schools may experience funding problems

While basically everyone is allowed to attend public schools, private schools may have pretty high standards and it may be quite hard to get into those schools. Private schools may also require certain backgrounds and only students who fulfill those requirements may be accepted. In those private schools, the level of diversity among students will be rather limited.

 

However, a lack of diversity is often quite harmful for the development of children since their horizon will stay rather narrow compared to studying with children with many different backgrounds.

 

Private schools may suffer from a lack of diversity

While basically everyone is allowed to attend public schools, private schools may have pretty high standards and it may be quite hard to get into those schools.

 

Private schools may also require certain backgrounds and only students who fulfill those requirements may be accepted. In those private schools, the level of diversity among students will be rather limited.

 

However, a lack of diversity is often quite harmful for the development of children since their horizon will stay rather narrow compared to studying with children with many different backgrounds.

 

Less extracurricular activities

Even though private schools are often quite good for certain subjects, they often also offer less extracurricular activities compared to private schools. Therefore, if it is important for you that your kid also learns many other things apart from the regular school stuff, chances are that private schools will generally not the best option for you.

 

High level of pressure

Some private schools are also known to put plenty of pressure on students. Especially schools that are known for academic excellence will try to keep their good reputation by pushing their students to the best grades possible.

 

However, this pressure might not be healthy for every child and some children may even develop mental problems due to this.

Top 10 Private School Pros & Cons - Summary List

Private School Pros

Sophisticated teaching methods

Better individual treatment

Higher motivation to learn for students

Alternative teaching methods

Networking opportunities

Staying up-to-date with technology

Does not require taxpayers' money

Higher level of discretion in their curriculum

Better average education levels

Better career opportunities

Private School Cons

May be expensive

Often influenced by religious beliefs

Children may have to stay in school longer

Lack of regulation regarding teachers

Less extracurricular activities

Quality greatly varies across schools

Pressure can be enormous

Lack of diversity

Funding problems

Low salary for teachers


Should I send my kid to private or public school?

Whether you should send your child to private or public school is not an easy decision. As we have seen before, there are plenty of pros and cons of private schools and you should evaluate all of them in order to make the best decision possible for your kid and yourself.

 

You should also take into account the individual preferences of your kid in order to find the best education solution.

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About the author

 

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.

 

As I went to university and got my Master's degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.

 

After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.

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