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Thread: catholic vs public primary schools

  1. #1

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    Default catholic vs public primary schools

    I know every school is different but I just have to ask.....

    For those of you that have used both private/Catholic school & public....

    What was the biggest difference between the 2?

    In your opinion, is it worth paying the extra money for the private/Catholic?

    Now after experiencing both, which is your preference?


    DH has told me that our children will be going to the Catholic primary school which is associated with our church. I have told him that I would prefer to send them to public schools for primary & Catholic schools for high school.



    I know I shouldn't put it down to the cost BUT we are really struggling at the moment to make all our monthly payments on only DH's wage (mortgage is fine, we set that aside, that will never be a prob, but its all the other ones that are causing probs, especially our new car) So I worked out how much it will cost us WEEKLY for our school fees alone if we go Catholic. It's $50 a week & thats not including uniforms etc!

    DD's CC is currently costing just under $90 a week now as shes only going 2 days, DH said "see its alot cheaper than sending her to CC." then I said "BUT Tobias will be going to CC for 2 days a week PLUS Briannas school fees, we dont have the money!" he said "We'll FIND the money"

    I wish it were that easy, but its just not.

    Our local public school around the corner from our house has an optional Religion class & has prayer group aswell.... wouldn't this have to be similar? I know the Catholic school is much smaller....

    I just dont know. DH is just so set on the Catholic School but I'm looking at it realistically......

    So I want to find out everyones experiences here please.....

    TIA

  2. #2

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    It depends a lot on the individual school, teachers, programs offered etc
    And a lot depends on the child.
    Can you go to the schools you are considering and talk to the principal about the programs offerred, what level your child is at etc?
    I was talking to a primary school teacher (in the public system) on the weekend, as we're undecided (read arguing) about whether to send DS to public or private and it really is a complex one, there are so many factors to consider.
    I think we probably spoke about it for a goos 30-40 minutes and in the endshe thought there was maybe 1 school in our area that could cater to his needs, otherwise we should look at a (particular) private school

  3. #3

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    I honestly think it depends alot on where you are, the size of the school etc.
    Jaz was in a small public school for kindy, but with 12 kids & none her age it was getting too small coz she was hanging around with older girls who were talking about boys etc. Way too old for her!
    We moved to a bigger town & I had the choice of where to send her. I chose the Catholic school. The public had something like 300 kids & the town in general was full of vandals, drugs, violence & abused kids. I personally didn't want Jaz coming home asking to go to one of these kids places & having to explain why I didn't particularly like that idea. (So & so's mum & dad are alcoholic druggo's with strange people hanging around etc)
    We paid $850 for the year. It was a great school, it gave her alot of extra help & self confidence. She was having troubles at school & they got her extra reading help etc. It was great.
    But outside school wasn't great, so we moved again.
    We now live in a small coastal town & the public school here has 50 kids. She has been there since November last year & loves it. I like smaller schools coz they are alot more like extended family. I find they care that little bit more about each kid. I was talking to Jaz's principle last week & she mentioned how much of a drama queen she was! The principle at her last school didn't know her well enough to see that. There were about 180 kids there.
    So, basically I'm open to either. I base it on the school & the families involed. I went to a Catholic primary school & had a positive experience & I want the same for Jaz.
    The school she is at now is perfect for us

  4. #4

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    I was in a bit of the same dilemma before DS1 started school. He goes to a catholic primary school with fees of around $50 per school week - excluding uniforms. So we pay fees for 40 weeks a year, as opposed to child care 50 odd weeks a year.

    Public schools tend to have less students per class than catholic school - DS had 25 in kindy (first year of school here/prep) and his friends in public schools had 16 - 20 on average. It did seem like a lot.

    Uniforms are soooooooo much cheaper in public - OMGosh I cant believe my friend bragging it cost her $50 for the winter uniform ( which is non compulsory too) yet mine is $80 for a full tracksuit with the logo etc. AND having a little boy, he goes through them a bit quicker with rips and tears etc.

    HOWEVER - I love the spirit of the school which of course is influenced by the principal and the teachers - they deal with you and your child on a personal level, are very strict on behaviour (which my son needs a bit off ), and consolidates the faith we have and observe/demonstrate in our family.

    The school fees seem high especially when there is no relief like the CCR with child care - I would recommend you talk to the principal first, tell him your financial situation, and see if you can agree to a payment plan of say 50% of the fee until your second child starts school or something like that ...?? Worth a try, it really is. Alot of ppl pay in catholic schools, unlike public as it is voluntary contributions really - so they prob wouldnt get alot of requests - give it a go. You may be pleasantly surprised.

    If Tobias is in day care 2 days, does that mean your daughter will ned before or after school care for those days as well???

    When a second child starts - it is usually a sliding scale of fees to cos you only pay eg building levy once as a family, not per child etc.

    HTH in some way

  5. #5

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    No catholic school will refuse a practicing catholic family's child on the basis of not being able to afford it. You should enquire discretely about what provisions can be made if you genuinely want a catholic education but are having a monetary shortfall. Part of the reason for the fees is because, realistically, some families subsidise other families who are not able to pay the same amount.

    My DD1 has been in both school systems. She did reception in the catholic school, then we moved interstate into a public school, then back into the catholic school this year. So far she is much happier and positive in the catholic school. She says the children are kinder and nicer there, whereas there were problems in the public school with one-up-manship and social exclusion (a particular group of girls set the tone unfortunately). The uniform is an equaliser. Also, they seem a bit stricter at the catholic schools - over little things - like not writing on your arms, no graffiti on your stationery, making sure you finish your set-work/homework, keeping your workspace tidy. These are all important skills but were not really given any emphasis in the public school. The other thing I prefer here (and it could be because the catholic school is either bigger or better funded) there are more specialist teachers. So it means that music, computing, information literacy etc are all taught to a higher standard.

    I have another friend who put her children into catholic school last year after much soul searching. She says she can't believe the difference it has made on her kids' confidence. They are treated as individuals by the teachers and the general feeling in the classroom is more ordered and supportive.

    Hope that helps with your decision.

  6. #6

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    Thanks girls, you have certainly given me something to consider Re the money side of things!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marydean View Post
    No catholic school will refuse a practicing catholic family's child on the basis of not being able to afford it. You should enquire discretely about what provisions can be made if you genuinely want a catholic education but are having a monetary shortfall. Part of the reason for the fees is because, realistically, some families subsidise other families who are not able to pay the same amount...
    I can attest to this one, at least it definitrely happened at the Catholic Primary and Secondary Schools that I went to. They were Josephite run, not sure if it differs among different orders though.

  8. #8

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    We have been there and done this argument over and over- and I a public school teacher. In the end we have decided to go with the public system, mostly because I want my kids to go to thte most local school, I have a big thing about kids living in the area they go to school. Secondly I really believe in the education system I teach in, therefor believe that I should trust that system enough to educate my children.

  9. #9

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    My neice and nephew go to a catholic primary school in the city and DD goes to a public school in the country and it is interesting that apart from religion DD has a much broader education - dance, drama, language, music, art, phys ed, than they do at the catholic school - ie dance once per TERM. I find it interesting......

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by *Ali* View Post
    We have been there and done this argument over and over- and I a public school teacher. In the end we have decided to go with the public system, mostly because I want my kids to go to thte most local school, I have a big thing about kids living in the area they go to school. Secondly I really believe in the education system I teach in, therefor believe that I should trust that system enough to educate my children.
    Same here Ali except for me there is no question as we are not catholic.
    When I taught in a "rough" part of Sydney a lot of the real problem children got taken out and put in the catholic school to "sort them out" according to their parents so often they can get a lot of troubled children.
    Also they have no set numbers per class whereas in NSW a kindy class can not be more than 22, Yr 1 no more than 24. I have heard of Catholic schools with 30 kindy kids per class while we usually have no more than 20 often less.
    I would go and look at your local school, if she is going to start next year they will have orientation programs etc this year to show the school to prospective parents.

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