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Why I think private school fees are justified

There is a lot of chat in social circles and in the media about the ‘exorbitant’ fees charged by private schools, and I believe much of it is ill-informed. Why?

Having worked in both government and private schools I can tell you the difference is staggering. As a government school teacher I taught with unqualified and demotivated colleagues in under-resourced classrooms and was offered no training or professional development. In private schools I taught in technologically well-resourced and air-conditioned classrooms alongside qualified teachers who cared passionately about education and the children in their care.

I’m not saying all private schools are perfect, but there is a culture and philosophy in them that means children who have experienced the broad, balanced and skills-based education these schools provide undoubtedly have an advantage in life. I have seen from my own circle of friends the difference in confidence, language and inter-personal skills between children from the two types of schooling. More importantly, employers see this too. Yes, these schools are businesses and all this inevitably comes at a price as the costs of salaries and providing up-to-date facilities increases. But even with the rising costs I believe private schools still offer value for money. As parents what price do we put on our children’s future?

So, if you are lucky enough to be able even to consider private schooling, instead of asking whether you can afford to pay school fees, ask yourself whether you can afford not to pay them if you want your children to have the best start in life.

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