This article will focus on what type of education is offered at private schools, independent schools, and prep schools. The names ‘private school’ and ‘independent school’ are actually one and the same thing, depending on the country you live in. The difference between these and public schools is that they are not funded by the state in any way.
This means that parents are paying for their children’s tutoring and not relying on the government to pay. Most private or independent schools offer scholarships or bursaries to children who perform well in certain subjects or sports at public schools. These entitle the successful applicants to receive the remainder of their education, or part of it, for no charge.
This is done to provide those children with an opportunity to excel further in the unique atmosphere of a private school. The scholarships are awarded in various categories, e.g. Sporting, academic, or arts. The reasons for scholarships are twofold; firstly, the individual child is afforded a head-start in education and, secondly, the school giving the scholarship is enrolling a high achiever which is good for their image.
Although many public schools have excellent reputations, there are definitely some benefits associated with an independent school. The most significant of all is the student to pupil ratio. Classes are small, enabling each child to receive more attention from the teacher. Also, the objective of an independent school is to nurture and develop a child’s natural talents.
Furthermore, an independent or private school is able to implement more sophisticated learning programs. Teachers at such schools are not paid a standardized salary like their counterparts at a government funded school. Instead, they are paid according to their experience and abilities in the same way that the corporate sector does. This means that the caliber of teachers is of a high quality and, again, the children receive the benefits.
There is also a stronger relationship between teachers and parents at a private school. Parental involvement is considered to be an integral part of their child’s learning cycle. Parents who can afford private schools are certainly making a worthwhile investment in their son or daughter’s education. As mentioned earlier, this is not to say that public schools do not produce outstanding students who go on to achieve in all areas of life.
A preparatory school is also called a prep school, or a primary school. Again, the terminology and description varies in countries. In the USA, for example, a prep school is an independent, or private, secondary or high school. In contrast, other countries including the UK, a preparatory school is one that prepares pre-adolescent children for high school. The age-group in this case is 8 to 12 year-olds.
When it comes to education, another decision facing parents worldwide is whether to send their children to single-sex schools or those that are co-educational. Lengthy studies done around the world indicate that children who have received education in a single-sex environment learn better and achieve more. A study done in Australia involved 270,000 boys and girls and it was found that both sexes obtained higher results at separate schools.