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    Thread: Private school vs State school in Perth, WA


    1. #1

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      Question Private school vs State school in Perth, WA

      Hi all,

      My children both go to brilliant private schools in the UK which is high in academics as well as pastoral care with small class sizes and a warm environment. I am not a pushy parent at all, but I do know that the private schools in the UK far outweigh the state schools in terms of lwhat they are taught, how much etc as I have spoken with many teachers who have worked in schools in both sectors. I would like my kids to go to private school in Perth but the waiting lists are enormous! I have heard that the Australian education system is more advanced than the UK and that the state schools are really very good. Is there anyone out there that has experience of both, either as parent, teacher or pupil, that could offer me their knowledge on the pros and cons of each?

      It is a huge move to Australia as you all know and of course I am looking forward to what is hopefully a better life. However, I must say that I am concerned about taking my children out of the privately educated british education system into the state australian education system. I am sure that is more to to with old fashioned ideas than what is presently the case but any help would be greatly appreciated,

      Thank you


    2. #2

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      Hi and welcome to the forum, sorry I can't help with Perth but have a peak over at our sister forum www.perthpoms.com
      Our children have had a Catholic Education over here and it's the best thing we have done school wise they have all been excellent.
      tonyman and GilraenH like this.
      If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

    3. #3

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      I've worked in both in Perth. The choice depends as always on money -how much you want to spend on rent, how much on school fees, how old the children are - do you want single sex or coed, what their strengths/interests are, would you be happy with Catholic schools (they take non Catholic if they have space and are cheaper - coed and usually offer same facilities as the expensive schools) or any other religious school? (Catholic schools have their own Ed dept in WA). Top private schools are $20,000 a year for high school in Perth, more chance of a place the older your children are. Most are in high rent areas - eg Western suburbs though there are some good ones in other areas and most are single sex. There are some terrific Govt schools too - rents are higher in their catchment areas.
      sipidan likes this.

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      Hi, thanks for your posts! My daughter is 6 in aug and my son is 3 in august. We are hoping to move next year. I am looking at living in Ocean Reef and perhaps settling my kids to Mullalloo Beach Primary School and applying for the co-ed private school Lake Joondalup Baptist College which they can transfer there when they are offered a place. Any information anyone has on these schools will be great

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      me too, me too!!! We are hoping to move in August 2013, school to start January 2014. I have my daughter's (who wil be 9 and will start in year 5) name regsitered at three of the girls schools, however, they are not sure about availability. She is crrently in a private prep school and in a (for her school) large calss of 18. I am a bit shocked that in Australia te class ize at the three schools I have applied to is 22-24 maxium and they are always full! Does anyone know of any good schools that have small (ie 18 and below) class sizes?

      Thank you - if anyone wants to stay in contact that would be fab as it seems a lot fo our children are similar ages?

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      There are some state schools that perform better than many private schools. I believe Duncraig and Woodvale are very good.

      I would be interested as to what the class sizes are for the lower priced private schools if anyone knows.

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      Firstly I am sorry for the many spelling mistakes in my previous post! We have applied to St Mary's, St Hilda's and MLC. They all have class sizes of 22-24 and are about $20,000 - $25,000 per year. The one thing that is diferent is that you have to pay an endowment fee when you accept a school place - 50 - 75% of year's (not a term) fee and you do not get this back! This is on top of the registration fee.

      I would like to know about smaller class sizes but have had no joy - I did email about 10 schools and all of them were in the low twenties for class size. Ideally we would like a small school and would be prepared to sacrifice some facilities but there does not seem to be one available.

      If anyone has nay other information or research to share that would be most welcome.

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      Quote Originally Posted by sandk View Post
      Firstly I am sorry for the many spelling mistakes in my previous post! We have applied to St Mary's, St Hilda's and MLC. They all have class sizes of 22-24 and are about $20,000 - $25,000 per year. The one thing that is diferent is that you have to pay an endowment fee when you accept a school place - 50 - 75% of year's (not a term) fee and you do not get this back! This is on top of the registration fee.

      I would like to know about smaller class sizes but have had no joy - I did email about 10 schools and all of them were in the low twenties for class size. Ideally we would like a small school and would be prepared to sacrifice some facilities but there does not seem to be one available.

      If anyone has nay other information or research to share that would be most welcome.

      Our three went to MLC and I have friends who have girls at St Mary's, St Hilda's and PLC. I wouldn't worry too much about there being 22 - 24 in the classes. We found the girls had a lot of individual attention and that class size is good for friendships. I remember looking at some small schools in the UK and saying how lovely it was that there were only 16 - 18 in the class and the teacher said they like at least 18 for a good social mix.
      I spent quite a lot of time in school (helping in class/library etc) and was always impressed with quiet, focused atmosphere in the class. The girls listened to their teachers and then got on with the task set.

      However, if you want a smaller school you could try Moerlina or Quintillian in Mount Claremont or there are Steiner/Montessori schools. They're all rather different than I expect your daughter's prep school is though!
      sandk likes this.

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      Caramac thank you so much for your comments. We are validating our visa in Nov/Dec this year (hubby is in Afghanistan at the moment and drew the line to me and EB 'popping over' on our own) and so are looking at all three schools then. St Hilda's have said probably yes, MLC almost defintely no and St Mary's very much on the fence for January 2014 admission. Ultimately we may not get a choice! Could I be very personal and ask what swayed your choice of school? EB is not very academic or particularly sporty but enjoys school immensely. We find concentration is a bit of a chore for her! She is very good at Maths (high 90's in tests) but gaining very low scores in English/Spelling although has a very fertile imagination so does well in creative writing except for her presentation. She is left handed and was very premature so is a year behind in England but will be in exactly the right year group for Australia. She loves singing, plays piano and takes speech and drama. Whilst she likes people she also is very happy with her own company and at her prep school will often go and do some gardening or go on the computer on her own for breaks. Her prep school was originally just for boys and has lots of sport and outdoor play which suits her very much. She is a challenge! We want her to have a forever school as she has now had four schools (because of moving with the military) and Australia will be her fifth school.

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