North to South

Private Schools and Suburb Advice

7 posts in this topic

Hello,

 

We are looking at moving to Adelaide from the UK and at the top of our priority list is our daughter who starts senior school next year so we want to make sure we're in an area that can provide the best schooling. We are only looking at Independent/Private schools and would appreciate any guidance on which ones we should look at / which ones are the best and why?

 

We have a budget of about $1 million for housing which will leave us mortgage free, but will look at extending this for the right house in the right area. We are not to concerned about being near a beach as being near the right school is our priority and would therefore appreciate some views on what areas would be the nicest to live in with this budget - We need a 3/4 bedroom house ideally.

 

All comments would be most welcomed.

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We had a daughter in St Aloysius city in adelaide (ages 11 -14), great school, medium to high fees, good outcome, I liked the principal and she had good solid values, we lived just behind Pembroke School in the eastern burbs, but there were rumours of drug problems there so we skipped that, My wife is from adelaide and went to another of the schools along that porthrush stretch of road , no point in me reporting these as we have no opnion on this.

 

Overall, adelaide produces schools as a product or commodity , seymour girls had below required intake last year, so too had scotch girls, easy in, but so be prepared to pay, overall it's not that expensive compared to say mayfield girls in Kent or say westminster in london , you'll get through a senior school kid in under 12-14K per annum, but compared to the school our daughter goes to in Tunbridge Wells, the adelaide schools have a mountain to climb in terms of breath of variety ,agility, skills and pastoral care, the adelaide schools are just well, very narrow, their focus seems too tight. We found an exceptional school in Adelaide, we also found an exceptional school in the UK, but that's down to just hacking into it and doing the grudge work, you won't find an easy answer here on a forum , to assuage you of the concerns you have for your greatest asset : your daughter.

 

It's good job you will be mortgage free as Adelaide does not have a huge pond of opportunities to earn income, your best bet (and this will be hard) is to get your child into a fashionable public school amongst the adelaide middle class, and work the PTA (parent teachers association) with all the might you can, this will open doors for you and your wife to slide may even open opportunities for your work (whatever you do) in due course.

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It's probably worth noting that not all private schools here are better than all public schools from an academic achievement perspective although a lot seem to have more funds for extra curricular activities. There is a huge range of private schools and which would be best for your daughter will depend a lot on what you want from a school. A lot of private schools are single sex catholic schools. There are others that are other denominations and some that only really pay lip service to religion. The costs of private school vary enormously here as well. The top private schools will cost you in the region of $25k a year plus extras, others will be more like $5k a year. It might help people to recommend schools if you gave a bit more information about what you are looking for in a school.

 

$1m would get you a nice house in most areas although you will get far more for your money in some suburbs than others. A lot of kids here seem to travel quite far to get to senior school. I catch the bus at 7am and there are usually a few kids on there catching the bus to schools pretty far away. I personally have always wanted to be walking distance to school for my kids so I can understand wanting to be close to a school but you also have to be happy in the area you are in.

 

I think you need to do a bit more research on schools and areas yourself and consider a bit more what you want for an area and a school. Have a look at realestate.com.au to see what you could get for your $1m in different areas and have a look at myschool.edu.au to look for non government schools in Adelaide. I'd also recommend having a look at the Poms in Adelaide forum as there is a fair bit of discussion on there about areas to live.

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As has been said, many people don't live close to their choice of private school and so travel either taking them in the car or using the school bus or public transport.

 

My husband went to Westminster which honestly isn't in the most amazing suburb and most of the kids came from outside the immediate area. Same for other private schools I know people send their kids to today. Some live a good 30 minute drive away as they don't want to live near where the school is located. Others live closer by depending on the area but many do live a fair way away.

 

http://www.westminster.sa.edu.au/Pages/Home.aspx if you want to take a look. I know people with kids in Scotch, St Johns and others who are all very happy with their choices.

 

Agree with NicF about researching areas and choice of schools across the greater Adelaide area. $1 million will vary across the city and depending on where you settle your access to schools will vary. We are considering private for high school in a few years and if we end up with our preferred schools will be looking at a 20-30 minute drive each way if we do the school run. The closest private school to us isn't really an appealing option to us so we are looking further afield. We have good options for state high school also and will see when the time comes what is best for ours as things can change.

 

http://www.myschool.edu.au/ can be a handy tool when you are more familiar with areas and what schools they may contain.

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If you are not too worried about being near a beach, then the Eastern suburbs are generally considered to be the best, in terms of schooling, accessibility etc. As far as private schools are concerned, bear in mind that even if you are not religious you can still attend a religion- based school. My two went through a good church-based school and successfully emerged as confirmed - albeit with an educated knowledge of the alternatives - atheists! The education here I think is as good as - if not better than - the uk, so don't be put off by negative comments by those who may not have had success here.

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Spend that Million on the house quick, lest the prices increase, besides SA needs the income :)

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