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Lavers

Public schools

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Im hopefully moving to South Australia next year and I am just doing research on different areas where we would be able to live.

I was just wondering how the public schools match up against the schools in the UK? In the UK the private schools aren't as common and they would tend to try and give you a much better education compared to the public schools, is this the case in Australia?

Would you worry about school rankings or are they all of a good standard anyway? Should I just concentrate on an area I could afford, where I can find work and that seems to meet my families needs?

Thanks

Mark

 

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Schools tend to mirror the suburb so if you're happy living in a suburb chances are you'll be happy with the school. If you want the kids to go private, especially for HS that's quite common in Australia, where I lived it used to be close to  50% of kids go to private HS. I suspect that will be lower in SA but remember  that the Catholic schools are private and there's a roughly parallel Catholic system. 

I think you'd be wise to find a house that's vacant  that you can afford in a place close enough to work in an area with all the other amenities you might think you will enjoy and Hope for the best.

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Thanks Quoll, would you say that the public schools in Aus are on a par with the schools in the UK?

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As with the UK, there are excellent public schools, average public schools and some very bad public schools. I suggest that you look at NAPLAN (similar to SATS) results etc for the public schools you are considering to see if you are happy with the results. 

As you have noticed, there are a lot more private schools here and it is relatively cheap to send your kids to a private school, if that is your thing.  Catholic schools and other religious schools are the cheapest and may only cost about $5000 per child per year. This is the case because private schools are generously subsidised by the Government in Australia. In my experience, the academic results from the low-mid cost private schools aren't that great.  A lot of tradies send their kids to cheaper private schools here in the mistaken belief that their kids will become mini-Einsteins and  climb the social ladder overnight.  There is a lot of snobbery around what school you send your child to and, in this regard, I think the class system is worse than the UK.  Alot of these cheaper private schools also have a limited range of subjects on offer.  We have friends who have moved their kids from private schools to public schools because they did not think they were getting value for money or a good, varied education for their children.

As with the UK, there are some elite private schools where the tuition fees are eye-watering but the facilities and academic results are excellent and, attending these schools, tends to open up an old boys/girls network. In some professions (eg law), which high school you went to may determine whether you get a training contract. However, some of the best (usually selective) public high schools give the expensive private schools a run for their money.  Where we live, the selective Brisbane State High School and some specialist academies have top academic results.

I'm a lawyer who has worked in top-tier law firms in Brisbane for 7 years and now work in-house.  My husband and I decided to send our kids to a fairly local public high school based on the range of subjects offered and our impressions from attending the open day. Our two eldest (twins) got good OPs and are now studying at QUT.  We still have one child there and she is thriving. We liked the school because it had fairly good academic results and was very diverse in terms of ethnicity and the social background of students.  I think it is important to expose your children to people from all backgrounds and not quarantine them with others from a similar privileged background because they are better prepared for the real world.

Good luck with settling in to SA.

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11 hours ago, Lavers said:

Thanks Quoll, would you say that the public schools in Aus are on a par with the schools in the UK?

Are you taking about government schools or public schools as in UK?

Are schools on a par? Hard to say, Australian kids learn to read and write and go to University and figure on the world stage at the end of it. In visible terms, if you like what you see happening in UK schools you may well be distressed at the apparent lack of rigour in Australian schools (not sure about SA but some states have more rigour than others). At each year level in primary you will likely find that Australian kids lag  behind what you think or have seen happening in UK. There's more likely a less "teaching" more "exploratory" approach to learning. And for some kids one or other  approach may meet their needs, for others it's  a disaster.  Australia has one less year of schooling in school and one more year in Uni to get honours so it sort of evens out at the end. 

Government schools are much of a muchness and, as I said, generally reflect the suburb so if you're in a more affluent suburb you're generally more likely to have parents who care about their kids education and consequently the standard reflects that whereas in maybe less affluent suburbs the parents generally couldn't give a toss and their standard reflects that! In general, if you have parents who make a choice for their kids to enter the private system it's because they're interested in and concerned about their kids' education and standards tend to reflect that (parents are paying, they want observable value for money or they walk). 

We sent our kids to private schools and I don't regret that for one moment even though it meant financial stress for us but having observed first hand the behaviour in some of our local HS I wouldn't have put my dog in one.  Primary, not so bad and they generally do a good job. You'll just need to do the eyeball test and see if you like what you see coming out of school and also if the kids seem happy to go in in the morning. 

Only problem with private is that you might not get in!

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Thanks for the reply Loopylu & Quoll

I have only really been looking at government schools as I don't know what my situation would be until we got settled (That's if we make it to Aus).

Just wasn't sure why there was so many private schools in Aus and if that meant that the government run schools weren't that good.  In the UK your kids just tend to be placed in the nearest one with not much chance of moving there school as they can only take in so many kids.

Do you still get "decent" parents sending there kids to government schools or would most only look at private? 

How is it in Aus for parents taking there kids to school in there pyjamas haha

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56 minutes ago, Lavers said:

Thanks for the reply Loopylu & Quoll

I have only really been looking at government schools as I don't know what my situation would be until we got settled (That's if we make it to Aus).

Just wasn't sure why there was so many private schools in Aus and if that meant that the government run schools weren't that good.  In the UK your kids just tend to be placed in the nearest one with not much chance of moving there school as they can only take in so many kids.

Do you still get "decent" parents sending there kids to government schools or would most only look at private? 

How is it in Aus for parents taking there kids to school in there pyjamas haha

Our two sons are grown up now but they attended the local government primary school - a 10 minute walk from home then they went to a boys' high school (also government) a 20 minute bike ride from home.  We chose to send them to a boys only school as it had a good reputation.  

I never saw parents in their jammies at the school gate.  😄

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1 hour ago, Lavers said:

Thanks for the reply Loopylu & Quoll

I have only really been looking at government schools as I don't know what my situation would be until we got settled (That's if we make it to Aus).

Just wasn't sure why there was so many private schools in Aus and if that meant that the government run schools weren't that good.  In the UK your kids just tend to be placed in the nearest one with not much chance of moving there school as they can only take in so many kids.

Do you still get "decent" parents sending there kids to government schools or would most only look at private? 

How is it in Aus for parents taking there kids to school in there pyjamas haha

Of course you get decent families sending their kids to government schools! It really depends on the locality they are in, the offerings of the local school, any old boy connections etc.  Historically, there was a large Catholic migration into Australia which is why the Catholic system is so strong.  In Australia, government schools are obliged to find a place for a kid who lives within their priority enrolment area but you may request a place at a school which is not your local one - the school may choose to accept you or turn you down.

In opposition to Toots, I have actually seen parents dropping their kids off in pyjamas - not too often, that's true but there have been a few places in my past where that would not have been out of the ordinary!  But, in general, no parents dont usually drop their ankle biters off in pjs and fluffy slippers.

 

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My children went to a government school - private doesn't necessarily mean better and as Quoll says you certainly get decent parents sending their children to government schools.  My daughter went to UWA a lot of her cohort went to private schools - but as she said they all ended up in the same place doing the same thing.


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1 hour ago, Lavers said:

Just wasn't sure why there was so many private schools in Aus and if that meant that the government run schools weren't that good. 

The private/public school debate is very political in Australia.  "Private"  schools receive government funding  - so they are comparatively less expensive than elsewhere.  Comparative studies of academic outcomes at year 12 show that it is not private versus government which is the determining factor but the socio economic area from which the students come.  So  government schools based in an advantaged socio economic area perform as well as - and sometimes better than - private schools.

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How is it in Aus for parents taking there kids to school in there pyjamas haha

I'm fairly ancient - and in all my decades in Aus I have never seen that.  Maybe I have just lived in classy areas.  🤨 

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Thank you all for your help, I am obviously looking too much into it.

At the end of the day the cream always rises to the top 👍

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6 hours ago, Skani said:

I'm fairly ancient - and in all my decades in Aus I have never seen that.  Maybe I have just lived in classy areas.  🤨 

LOL, probably.  I worked in some of those much less classy areas!!!

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I’ve never seen the pjs ,either. In Victoria it would be very unusual as would having no footwear. Different sort of place, different social norms.Here the state schools can be very good but it depends where you live and also who the head teacher is. We have 2 state high schools near us, one good , one not so good because the head is a slackar** basically. Three of ours went to private schools and one to a state school but they all ended up at the same Unis. I think the private ones had more confidence in themselves though. Of our many grandchildren, some are state, some private and again I think the privately educated ones are more confident but they come out similar in academic results.

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14 hours ago, starlight7 said:

I’ve never seen the pjs ,either. In Victoria it would be very unusual as would having no footwear.

Why does it mean no footwear? In Qld its not uncommon to see people in supermarkets in pyjamas and flip-flops!!!.

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I do think a lot depends on the Principal, which is why it's a good idea to make an appointment to see him/her.  My granddaughter (8)  was removed from an overseas school in March, and has been living with me in an inner northern suburb of Brisbane until her parents return next year.  The local state school, about 7ks from the CBD, has a fairly low ICSEA (socio economic status) ranking, and draws a lot of kids from public housing.  Aboriginal and Torres St Islander kids comprise 15%.  There are quite a few refugee kids too.  Unlike many of the local schools, it is not catchment controlled. (The main reason is that as a consequence of the postwar baby boom and high levels of immigration at the time, it once had 1500 kids; now it has fewer than 300, although that number is steadily increasing.)  So we didn't know what to expect,  but have been very impressed.  The Principal is a youngish go-getter.  Having successfully pushed for airconditioning for the whole school (by no means universal in Brisbane, despite the summer heat and humidity), she has now succeeded in getting the pool not only refurbished but  heated.   She runs a tight ship as to discipline, uniforms etc.   The school's NAPLAN scores have been steadily improving.   The P and C is active, and out of hours school care is available.  My granddaughter is thriving there; her only complaint is that boys outnumber girls in her class by 2:1.  (No idea why.) So I am glad I didn't listen to someone who told me it was a "bad" school.  Pure snobbery - she was quick to make it known that her toddler was already enrolled in a so called elite private school.  Snobbery can be very expensive in Australia. and the opportunity costs of sending kids to an expensive private school can also be high.

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14 minutes ago, Nemesis said:

Why does it mean no footwear? In Qld its not uncommon to see people in supermarkets in pyjamas and flip-flops!!!.

Sounds like the kind of thing you'd see in Walmart (USA).

It's not warm enough to do that in Tassie except for the summer   ..............  bare feet I mean.  I've not spotted anyone out and about in their PJs yet.

walmart.jpg

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1 hour ago, Toots said:

Sounds like the kind of thing you'd see in Walmart (USA).

It's not warm enough to do that in Tassie except for the summer   ..............  bare feet I mean.  I've not spotted anyone out and about in their PJs yet.

walmart.jpg

Is that you really toots 😂😂

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2 hours ago, Lavers said:

Is that you really toots 😂😂

They are my special 'going to the shops' pyjamas.  😉

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5 hours ago, Toots said:

They are my special 'going to the shops' pyjamas.  😉

I really like your bear ears 😂 it finishes off your outfit well

Edited by Lavers
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Our catchment area (the school I work at) has a rough area. The children coming up to High School are generally behind the state averages and poor attenders in comparison to the school where my child go. There are exceptions of course, but not many. Rentals are cheap and you could buy two houses for the price of one if you were looking at where I live. We live in an area which would be deemed more affluent and having know some of the teachers there's only a few poor attenders school wide and NAPLAN is above state average. My point is, they're both government schools.

High School wise we have gone private. It offers more than the local government school and doesn't have the behavioural issues. Again being a teacher and through various PDs and networking events you find things out about different schools that maybe the general public wouldn't find out. There's a no size fits all to this, this is my personal experience. But checking NAPLAN data would be a good start.


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