Major Differences Between Private and Public Schools

School fees in Singapore, private primary school

Pursuing education and learning is vital in every child’s life. Choosing the right school for your child is very important as it significantly impacts their knowledge, all-around development, and future success. Parents must consider a lot of factors when selecting a school. It is essential to research and look out for various options, including public and private schools, and to take into account factors such as location, curriculum, extracurricular activities, and the overall culture and philosophy of the school. Additionally, it’s important to visit the schools and talk to parents, teachers, and administrators to get a sense of the school’s environment and see if it’s the right fit for their child. 

Six major differences between a private and public school

Understanding the differences between the two types of schools is crucial for making an informed decision for your child. Here are the basic differences between a public and private primary school.

1. Admission process 

The admission process in both schools is different. Private schools have the freedom to choose their own admissions criteria and are not limited by a student’s address. On the other hand, public schools must admit students within their designated attendance zone. However, some school districts may have programs or exceptions that allow students to attend schools outside their designated zone. This is where the admission process becomes more accessible in private schools. 

2. Funding 

School fees in Singapore are another major differentiator between the two. Private schools are typically not funded by the government and rely on tuition, donations, and another fundraising to operate. On the other hand, public schools are funded through a combination of federal, state, and local government sources. The state and local governments primarily fund public schools through taxes. It’s worth noting that public schools in some states have been facing budget cuts, which has led some to rely more on fundraising to support their operations.

3. Curriculum 

Public schools are known for their strong emphasis on academic success and for preparing students to excel in the foundation and standard examinations. On the other hand, private schools, particularly international schools, provide more holistic education and focus on developing children’s overall abilities. They offer internationally recognized curricula such as IBDP, Cambridge IGCSE, and IB PYP, which can help students access better job opportunities and settle in different countries. Even if you are relocating to another country, the process is very easy for a private school. 

4. Teaching staff

Teachers are the most important aspect when it comes to comparing schools. It decides how your child is going to engage in everyday studies in the classroom and beyond. Teachers also help in making the children feel comfortable at school. Private schools have more flexibility in their hiring practices and may or may not require the teachers to be certified. In contrast, public schools are typically required to follow state regulations and, therefore, must hire certified teachers. Certification requirements might also vary by state. 

5. Class size 

Class size plays an important role in determining the type of school you want to choose for your child. Private schools often have smaller class sizes than public schools. This is beneficial for a child because this ensures that they are attended individually by the teachers. Additionally, private primary schools may also have more flexibility in terms of class size because they are not held back by the same budgetary constraints or regulations as public schools.

On the other hand, public schools have a larger student-to-teacher ratio, and class sizes can be larger, sometimes with as many as 30 students. This is often due to budget cuts or inadequate funding, which limits the number of teachers that can be hired and results in larger class sizes. However, the situation may vary depending on the district, school, and state. 

6. Infrastructure and resources 

The kind of infrastructure and resources a school has are key highlights when it comes to choosing the best schools. As a parent, the school fees in Singapore you pay matter. Private schools may have more resources to invest in their facilities, but publicly funded schools need more access to government funding for infrastructure improvements. Ultimately, a school’s quality of infrastructure may depend on various factors, including the school’s budget, location, and leadership. Also, please note the school’s teaching standards and ensure how well it aligns with your child’s requirements. 

Final words 

Private and public schools differ in funding, curriculum, class size, resources, teaching staff, and autonomy. When choosing a school for your child, it is important to consider factors such as location, curriculum, class size, extracurricular activities, and the school’s overall culture and mission to make an informed decision. Ultimately, the best school for your child will depend on their needs and preferences.

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