A recent study using 2013/14 enrolment data provided by provincial ministries of education for every independent school (that’s a more appropriate term to describe schools not ensconced in the public systems) in Canada revealed a landscape contrary to the stereotype. A professor at the University of Illinois … “The facilities, the resources, can be fairly basic in those schools.” Even elite schools fundraise furiously, claiming that tuition fees cover only annual operating costs, and that they need more money to maintain the facilities and purchase new equipment. Additionally, schools vary in admission process, programs and size. Entrance Scholarship to Grade 7 is available. You can also do a curriculum check yourself, to ensure that the independent schools you’re considering follow courses of study that are the same or better than their public counterparts in your province. Any school outside the public system tends to get labelled as “private,” in the same way that we tend to refer to all tissues as Kleenex, or all bubbly water as Perrier. Whatever the case, don’t feel as though you have to stick it out. And if you’ve heard of a great school in your city, other parents have heard of it, too. I mean look at what it costs. Share on Linkedin Read Explainer: What is Universal Basic Income? They either felt really good, or they decided it wasn’t for them. Private schools themselves can be tiny (esp some religious schools) or huge. Read How does assisted dying impact survivor pensions? Right? Independent schools have boards of directors they are accountable to. Private school teachers make way less than public school teachers.Average salaries are nearly $50,000 for public, and barely $36,000 for private. A lingering myth about private schools continues to cloud public perception in Canada—that private schools are only for the wealthy few. But Catholic schools offer other potential benefits, whether your family is Catholic or not. On average, the cost of private school tuition for the 2011-2012 school year was $10,740 per child, according to the NCES. Share on Twitter Many Canadians seem to think so. I suppose that if you happen to be fabulously wealthy, losing $30,000 or $40,000 because your child has to withdraw from her private school might not be a big deal. “If they get a reputation as having a school that families abandon ship from, that’s a problem. The StatsCan report identifies two factors that consistently account for differences between public and private school student academic outcomes. “If they find a school doesn’t meet their child’s needs, then they look elsewhere, and not necessarily in their own neighbourhood.”. You can shop around for public schools, too. In other words, you could be paying for your child to receive a lesser education, in poorer conditions, than she would receive in your neighbourhood public school. If you’re convinced that a private-school education is the best thing for your little learner, you’ll be relieved to hear that some of the expenses can be recouped on your income tax return; see a short course in writing it off. The return on college investment is declining That can make a very significant difference to the infrastructure and resources available the school. But there’s no shortage of well-trained educators in this country, so regardless of the rules that prevail in your area, you should insist on a school where teachers are not only certified, but have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in education as well. That’s why, in addition to having their academic record looked at, children are often asked to write essays and sit through personal interviews before a school gives them the green light. In a 2012 Ipsos-Reid poll, 58% of respondents stated they believe private school education is better than public school education; 63% said they would send their children to private schools if they could afford it. After, all, she’s the one who’ll be sitting in front of them seven hours a day. “And inside the glossy stuff was a bunch of photocopied stuff: the complete curriculum for the two-year-olds. Then they go to one of these private schools, and all of a sudden their grades balloon.”, Inflated grades may help the grads of these spurious schools to get into university, but it won’t help them get a degree. “Kids who go there are kids who are trying to bone up on their grades or their language skills, and their records show that they did very poorly in the public system. So, if more parents in Canada and BC are choosing to send their children to private school is this an indication that private schools are really better than public schools? “The teachers are all well-dressed, well-spoken, and they’re strong women — and those are the kinds of people I want to teach her.”, Nancy Ng had a similar experience on a tour of La Citadelle, which nailed the decision to enroll her son, Ian, in the Toronto school’s pre-Kindergarten program. However, the cost-benefit analysis of any particular school must be carried out with a particular student in mind. Are Private Schools Better than Public Schools? There are many reasons to be skeptical of international rankings based upon a single test given to 15 year-olds. And families with lower incomes or academically high-performing kids may qualify for scholarships or bursaries directly from the school, usually covering half the cost of tuition; ask the admissions office for details on how to apply. Sandra E. Martin on August 8, 2019, By However, a private school can be expensive. The trend has grown. Are private schools really better than public schools? Average Tuition. In a 2012 Ipsos-Reid poll, 58% of respondents stated they believe private school education is better than public school education; 63% said they would send their children to private schools if they could afford it. “What else are you sacrificing in the life of your family to do that — and even in the life of your kid?” If paying for private school means you forgo life-enriching family outings and vacations, maybe it’s not worth the sacrifice. In the US there is a very small sector of non-sectarian private schools with high fees, but most private schools are, again, religious, with much lower fees than here. If your child has zero interest in a traditional school setting but wants to be a game developer, a private high school may not be worth the cost. “If the school isn’t working out for your kid, then you find another one,” advises Catherine McCauley. We set out to discover what really goes on behind those ivy-covered walls. On top of that, some also require you to make a “loan” to the school help pay for upgrades and maintenance of the facilities. “In the public system, people shop around too, especially at the high school level,” says Paul Axelrod, Dean of the Faculty of Education at York University. “Students who attended private high schools were more likely to have socio-economic characteristics positively associated with academic success and to have school peers with university-educated parents … School resources and practices accounted for little of the differences in academic outcomes” (Statistics Canada: Academic Outcomes of Public and Private High School Students: What Lies Behind the Differences?). Alaska: $7,035: $6,118: $7,756: Alabama: $7,396: Despite its international “superpower” status, a majority of Canadians don’t believe their public schools measure up to private schools. “There are many people who have a ‘dream school’ in mind, which may or may not fit their kid at all,” says Catherine McCauley, a Toronto teacher and guidance counsellor who has worked in both the public and private school systems. So be prepared to plead your case. Over the years — or sometimes overnight — your child’s needs could change. But, there is substantial and growing evidence that there is no value-added in private school education. However, private colleges can be quite expensive. “Private” and “independent” schools aren’t the same thing. “If you have five kids and a toilet that flushes, you can open a school,” Winberg says wryly. The universities don’t even know much about them,” warns Paul Axelrod, dean of the faculty of education at Toronto’s York University. By https://www.universitymagazine.ca/expensive-private-schools-canada Now, that doesn’t mean a school without a board is necessarily disreputable; but it does mean you have to check it out even more rigorously before entrusting your child. That's $889 per month. Private schools, on the other hand, can be run by a single person with no accountability. Our goal is to provide the most relevant and up-to-date information as possible, but, as with all things you read on the internet, we recommend you digest our content critically and cross-reference with your own sources, especially before making a financial decision. It is worth noting that in Canada, secondary schools are called "high schools", and "middle schools" in turn mean the second stage of the primary link. It’s as important to the school that it’s a good fit for your family as it is for you,” observes Michaéla Koch, a Toronto parent who’s been through the admissions process twice with her kids. Too often, parents jump the gun and pay for tuition, assuming that all private schools are preferable to public ones. But, reality is more than appearances and focusing exclusively on appearances—on the evidence that strikes us immediately and directly—can be misleading. More than 85% of BC's private schools receive some provincial funding, thereby increasing their affordability. About 68% of all private schools have a religious orientation, while 32% are nonreligious. Start by trying to find a school for your child, not trying to make your child fit a school.” You don’t have to be an expert like McCauley to find the right school for your kids; you just have to know your kids. Where to buy real estate now: How we found the best deals in Canada, A guide to the best robo-advisors in Canada for 2020, Best high-interest savings accounts in Canada 2020, Compare the Best GIC Rates in Canada 2020. To decide if it's worth the investment, examine these major differences between public and private schools. Less than seven percent of Canadian students attend private schools, but the majority of Canadians believe private schools provide a better education than public schools. Others are major disappointments. What types of resources — musical instruments, computers, athletic equipment, science labs — are available to the students? And, in a study published last month, University of Virginia researchers Robert C. Pianta and Arya Ansari examined the extent to which enrolment in private schools between kindergarten and grade nine was related to students’ academic, social, psychological and attainment outcomes at age 15. Another factor related to increased private school enrolment is marketing. Check out a website for Canadian Accreddited Independent Schools. The good news is that with a little effort, you can find a high-quality school, and protect yourself and your child from such fly-by-night operations. The admissions office should not hesitate to answer your queries on how the school spends its money. You think tuition is pricey? The well-respected private schools that boast 100% university acceptance do so not by giving away good grades, but by making them more difficult to achieve. If you don’t, then public grade school is a good choice as well. Extensive marketing campaigns touting a private school advantage cannot be underestimated. After-school supervision for your eight-year-old? These school are usually co – ed and have a low student – teacher ratio. With only a few exceptions, including in British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, independent schools are not required to hire certified teachers. MoneySense is fully owned by Ratehub Inc, but remains editorially independent. Not necessarily – indeed the research evidence suggests the answer is “no.” I will come back to this point in moment, but first let’s explore the conventional wisdom that private schools are better than public schools. It makes a big difference what any teacher can both see and accomplish with 12 kids vs 24 kids. Is the campus safe, pleasant and well-maintained? This feature offers names and locations, as well as links to the schools’ own Web sites, many of which are packed with information. ), IPE/BC Submission for BC’S 2021 Budget Consultation, Op Ed in Province: Privatizing Private Schools Should Top List of Funding Changes in BC, How GERM is Infecting BC Public Education, New Publication: Education Funding Models in Canada, NEWS RELEASE: Most British Columbians Do Not Support Public Funding for Private Schools, Public Subsidies to Private Schools in BC: 2019. “There are checks and balances in place,” is how Winberg puts it. “We’ve been there many times for open houses,” Wille says. In their 2013 book, The Public School Advantage, University of Illinois researchers Sarah Theule Lubienski and Christopher Lubienski found that compared to private schools students, public school students performed the same if not better on achievement tests once demographic factors were taken into account. If the school’s teaching style doesn’t match your child’s learning style, she may have trouble absorbing her lessons. “Think of your child first and what their needs are — social, emotional, physical, intellectual. As public schools face budget cuts that lead to larger class sizes and fewer resources, many private schools continue to flourish. Reviews on Private Schools in Ottawa, ON - Westboro Academy, Heritage Academy, Lycee Claudel, Collège Nouvelles Frontières, Astolot Educational Centre, North American Transport Driving Academy Ottawa, Bedmas Academy, Home Tutors 4 U, Ottawa Robotics Academy, Interlangues Language School If our teachers don’t “click” with your kid, forget it. The books they were going to read, what different courses of study they were going to be at — this is what we will cover in sciences, this is what we will cover in language arts. This is particularly true when we examine school rankings because private schools’ higher average test scores are at the heart of the conventional belief that private schools are better than public schools, along with their typically well-funded programs. Need bus service? Contrary to popular belief, most private schools are not crammed to the rafters with state-of-the-art computers and Guadagnini violins. In addition to observing them in action, you can also chat with the teachers to get a sense of not only their philosophies on teaching, but their level of contentment as well; when teachers feel valued and happy in their jobs, they’re more effective in the classroom. In a 2012 poll by Ipsos-Reid, two-thirds of … First, make sure any school you’re considering has membership in a national or provincial association that enforces strict educational standards, such as the Canadian Association of Independent Schools. Those steps can be essential to finding the right fit, especially in schools where the number of applications far exceeds the number of empty desks. Newly revised to include the financial fallout of COVID-19,... MoneySense is a journalistic website with freelance contributors who help produce our content. So how do you find that perfect match? Elementary. Or it might be as subtle as faculty changes that result in your kid being less enthusiastic about learning. A smaller class size means more individual attention and more intervention before issues arise. And your class size is going to be smaller — they put a ceiling on class size, and they don’t go over it because they’re accountable to a board. The private elementary school average is $9,944 per year and the private high school average is $14,821 per year. That said, while you may have dreams of raising a Nobel laureate, sticking your kid in a school with the best reputation for high-performing students may not help her bring home good grades, even if she is exceptionally bright. In my opinion, smaller class sizes is probably the biggest advantage of a private school over public schools. Read You’re not the only one ghosting companies that don’t do digital well, Read Unique ideas for your last will and testament, Read Creating your will: a guide for couples. That's right, private school. For starters, you have to pay about 100 bucks for the honour of filling out a pile of paperwork that puts your kid in the running for a place at the school. “I got the glossy stuff,” says Michaéla Koch, referring to the information package she requested from the school both of her children attended starting in pre-Kindergarten. For tips on how to do that, see Class distinctions. I thought, Holy God, you just don’t see that anymore.”. The designated learning institution list includes universities, colleges, CEGEPs, vocational schools and private career colleges and language schools. Like most parents, you’ve probably wondered how much private school really costs. “There are private schools now that are fly-by-night places. What do we teach while the world is burning? Between 2000–01 and 2016–17, funding for BC independent schools increased by 95.9%. © 2002-2020 Ratehub Inc. All rights reserved. I was duly impressed.”. The national average private school tuition is approximately $11,004 per year (2020-21). In BC, key factors that coincide with private school enrolment increases is an historic era of labour conflict, budget cuts, school closures and overcrowding in the public school system from 2000-2016. Student loan refinancing can mean big savings in the right circumstances. There is a growing body of research evidence that attempts to answer this question. Ditto. This is an increase of 41.3% (Source: BCTF). Shockingly, there are no laws in place to stop a person with zero educational training to hang a shingle outside their door and start enrolling students. If that contentment is missing, or their outlook on teaching doesn’t match what you have in mind for your kid, you’ll be able to tell very quickly in the course of even a casual conversation. Our analysis compared the results of 229 private and 278 public schools. Most schools levy a one-time, nonrefundable “registration fee” or “new student fee” of up to $9,000 the first year your child is enrolled. And even certified teachers don’t necessarily have a degree in education. Here’s what you need to know, More on private schools from the September/October 2014 edition of, Calculating how much money you’ll need at retirement. But they can be tiring and stressful for your kid, not to mention expensive for you — private schools charge a fee for each application, which means that putting your kid’s name in at a half dozen places could set you back close to a grand. Almost anyone can open a private school. Maybe not. According to Private School Review, the national average private school tuition is approximately $10,671 per year. E. Wayne Ross is a Professor of education at the University of British Columbia and an IPE/BC Board Member and Fellow. In the three years she has worked as a consultant, Winberg says, “What scares me is I’ve seen schools opened and I’ve seen them close. Many private and independent schools are registered charities and, as such, are required to divulge their financial statements. Keep in mind that the degree of flexibility to jump into a different district varies with the number of students enrolled from year to year. In addition, Pianta and Ansari found no evidence to suggest that low-income children or children enrolled in urban schools, benefited from private school enrolment. Schools with fewer than 20 students at Year 12 were excluded, as were select-entry public schools. Private school is a money pit from the moment you apply to the day your kid closes her last book. “We were really helping prepare them with a lot of the skills that will not only help them get into university, but stay in university: the study skills, the organization, how to write. The how-tos in this article, culled from education professionals and veteran parents, will take you the rest of the way. However, by simply controlling for the socio-demographic characteristics that selected children and families into these schools, all of the advantages of private school education were eliminated.”. Sandra E. Martin on August 8, 2019. To find CAIS member schools in your area, log on to www.cais.ca and click on Listings. There are no guarantees at all.”, Be especially wary of schools that promise to improve your high-school-age kid’s grades just in time for the university application deadline. Average class size is 12 to 22 students. VIDEO: How much are your kids costing you? Maybe you’ve even done a little nosing around on the Internet, and discovered that sending your son to Upper Canada College, the most prestigious boys’ school in the country, will set you back about $35,000 a year. High Schools. The provincial government partially funds private schools according to the quality of education that they provide. Your email address will not be published. IPE/BC Fellows hold a range of views and interests relative to public education. “Students in public schools in a similar socio-economic context as private schools tend to do equally well,” according to the OECD report, which concluded that “there is no evidence to suggest that private schools help to raise the level of performance of the school system, as a whole” (OECD, Private schools: Who benefits?). Required fields are marked *. Maybe. “It costs parents a lot to send their kids and they might think therefore that those schools are just flowing in resources, but generally they’re not. Then, of course, there’s tuition: a hefty $9,000 to $35,000 a year for day students, or up to $65,000 a year for boarders. That’s a significant burden for a middle-class family. In 2011, OECD’s analysis of PISA results found that while students in private schools tended to outperform their public school peers, the difference was primarily the result of the higher socio-economic status of private school families. Independent schools often outline their students’ courses of study right on their Web sites or in their brochures. “I often had kids who would say to me, ‘my friend who goes to public school has a higher average than I do and I work so much harder’,” McCauley recalls from her years as a private school guidance counsellor. It’s no small market with up to 8% of children enrolled in a private school — only a small fraction of an education market that could be worth $70-billion annually in Canada based on the amount spent by governments. Despite all the benefits that private universities and colleges offer, are they really worth the price tag? When you add in books, uniforms and lunches (which sometimes cost extra), a year of private school for a student within daily commuting distance can easily inch towards $40,000 a year. Share on Facebook Parents send their children to private schools for a variety of reasons that make sense for them. MoneySense will always make updates and changes to correct factual errors. Enrolling your child in any school isn’t a lifetime commitment. (Source: BCTF). Read Near retirement with no defined benefit pension? While the left side of your brain says you can’t afford it, the right side of your brain counters with the very compelling argument that hundreds of rich, influential and wildly successful men have graduated from this place: Galen Weston, Michael Ignatieff, Robertson Davies. 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