Public Vs Private School

4 May 2021 The Alchemy Team

The private vs. public debate is a raging one between parents, students and teachers. There is a wide range of schools in Australia, ranging from the local government schools to schools like SHORE and SCEGGS.

Although private primary schools have 30% of the pupils while the private secondary schools have 40% of the student, opinion is still divided among parents. Some prefer private schools, while others are content sending their kids to the local public school.

The Costs 

The average annual cost at a private school is between $20,000 – $32,000, while local public schools are free. However, there are accompanying costs of school fees which are usually less than $1000 per year, including the excursions.

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Parents paying tens of thousands of dollars per year for private schools expect the additional cost to come with a better educational outcome. Many parents also have a private tutor to aid in their child’s education.


Private schools in Australia pride themselves on quality infrastructure, which is the first thing that attracts parents to such schools. State-of-the-art buildings and a conducive learning environment top the priorities of private schools.

Public schools, on the other hand, though with quality structures, are a jungle of concrete with a not-so-stimulating environment. This is mainly because of the limited funding the schools have to deal with and a large number of students the school has to hold.


Getting into a private school isn’t as easy as getting into a public school, especially in year 12. Private schools have a lengthier and more rigorous selection and admission process with various requirements that lock most children out of the opportunity.

In public schools, admission is usually decided based on your locality, and that’s about it. The admission process is much easier and almost automatic for students enrolling in any class.


Surprisingly, the performance between public and private schools is relatively balanced. Private schools perform slightly better. But this is partly because they get to pick and choose the students they want in the school, and it’s almost impossible to get admission in year 12 unless you’re an academically gifted student.

Public schools, on the other hand, don’t get to choose students. But they still perform remarkably well and some just as well as private schools.

Are Private Schools Better than Public Schools?

Most parents would expect this to be a straight answer. But, it is quite complicated. According to research, the school you send your child doesn’t make much of a difference to the academic scores as long as the socio-economic differences are taken into account.

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However, private schools do offer more opportunities to children and tend to focus on creating wholesome students who excel in a majority of activities.

However, some public schools also have robust extra-curricular activities to their credit. Therefore, the decision as to whether to opt for a public or private school boils down to the options available to you, your financial ability and what is best for your family and your children.  

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