How to Choose the Right School

If you’re a parent, you’ll understand how big a decision this is, even if you’re making it in a neighbourhood that you’re familiar with. If you’re new to an area – maybe you just moved to Pelican Waters – then it’s a big decision that you may not feel too confident about making.

How to decide

As you may or may not already know, Australia has state schools (which are referred to as public schools, which can make it confusing for Brits, who refer to private schools as public schools…), Catholic schools and private (as in fee-paying, just to make life easier for the Brits among us).

State school or private?

Many people, when they’re new to an area, think that a private school will be the best option for their children as it can seem that paying for education gives you more choice and control. However, it’s not always as simple as that.

Give yourself a bit of time to find out what the state schools are actually like and also, where they are and who goes there. If it turns out that most of your neighbours are using the nearby state school and they’re not total bogans (that’s chavs to the Poms), then it might be a goer. If you go straight to the private school you may find that fewer of your immediate neighbours go there and it might slow down your integration. Then again, it could be entirely the other way around! This is why you need to find out.

You can’t forget about the fees

Fees ain’t cheap, that’s for sure, but if you really like the look and feel of the private school nearby, then go for it. It may be an option to start off private, get a better feel for the area and the schools, then transfer to state (or, indeed, do it the other way around!).

Whatever you’re thinking, you shouldn’t make any moves until you’ve scoured the My School website for information and you’ve visited a few forums for honest reviews.

The bottom line is that Australia’s state schools are mostly very good, so realistically, you can’t go too far wrong.