Private vs State – The Big School Debate

It’s only as I’ve gotten older and become more aware of the fact that there are two different academic paths parents can chose for their children that the big private vs state school debate has interested me.

I’ve been state schooled since primary school and am currently going through state education in secondary school and I’m receiving an absolutely wonderful, high level of education. My parents have never been against private schooling and have never completely ruled out the chance that my sister and I may attended a privately run establishment, however, we’ve been extremely lucky in the fact that there have been really excellent state schools nearby wherever we have lived, meaning that my parents have enrolled me and my sister there because there was no need to send us to private school in order to assure we got a very high standard of education.

On the contrary both sets of my cousins, one set of which my sister and I are very close to, have been or are currently being privately educated and so I think it is very interesting to see if this creates/ has created any prominent differences between us. They’ve been in private education since they began school at the age of four and it has never strongly effected our relationship. Recently we’ve all discussed the differences between our education and yes, there are the obvious; their education is more intense than ours: they end school far later than we do and are possibly required to do more things within school than state school educated children are, their class sizes are considerably smaller and therefore the learning environment is slightly more intimate and individual, the facilities are more developed and high tech because the school can afford to update them frequently and lastly the pressure to do well is considerably increased because the all pupils that attended their school are very intelligent. However, those differences are just about all, it may seem like there are a lot, but if you think about it, there really aren’t.

I also have friends who attend private schools and yes, there are the cocky, extremely intelligent individuals who have wealthy parents, however, the majority of girls and boys who attended privately run institutions are just like those who attended state schools. We’re young people who attended our schools in order to get a good education which will set us on the road to success in later life. In the end it comes down to the choices our parents make for us when they enrol us into education.

I mentioned wealth briefly in the paragraph above and I think as much as we don’t want it to, wealth does have a very big part to play when it comes to education. The cost of private schooling varies depending on the school, but we all know private schools cost a lot of money. I can happily and thankfully say that my parents have never had to rule out the option of private school because of the cost, however some parents do. I know that these days privately run schools are extremely adamant of the fact that they will try to open their doors to any child that meets the academic requirements, through programs such a bursaries and scholarships, however, there is a only a certain amount of money set aside by private schools to help those in financial need, therefore, the majority of children who attended private schools have parents who are rather ‘well off’ and can afford to send their children to private school whilst also maintaing a good lifestyle for themselves and their offspring.

So overall, I believe that the big decision on whether to send your child to private or state school is affected by quite a few factors, but in the end it comes down to feasibility and parents preferences. In my opinion there isn’t to much of a difference and I don’t think that society should define individuals depending on their education. I’ve thought about what I think I may do if I have children in the future and obviously things change all the time, and I am thinking extremely far ahead, but I’ve come to the conclusion that if I’m financially stable enough to send my children to private school I probably will, however, if like my parents, I decide that the state schools nearby are just as good or that I would be financially better off not sending my children to private school, then I won’t.

What are your opinions on the private vs state school debate?

Connie x


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