For many parents, the thought of sending their kids to private school is enticing, but the assumed costs often associated with private schooling can hold them back.
With so many options for (seemingly) free public education, you may find yourself asking: Is private school actually worth it?
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the differences and benefits you and your child will get from enrolling in a private school. Here are some key points and statistics that might help you decide.
Do Private Schools Provide Better Education?
The key deciding factor for any parent when in the position of choosing between a public and a private school should come down to the quality of education their child stands to receive.
From smaller class sizes to classrooms that are better equipped with the tools and technology necessary to power a modern curriculum, a private schooling experience is undoubtedly the most engaging, immersive, and results-oriented approach to childhood education and development.
When you choose a private Christian school such as MCA, you’re also opening the doors for a well-rounded education that is built upon the principles of Christianity and godly values.
Our focus on teaching and living a Christian worldview, while also taking the time to know students as individuals, ultimately leads to students who are better equipped to continue learning, begin their career, and face the world.
The Advantages of Private Schools
Here are the main advantages of private school education. These are the top reasons parents believe private schools are worth it and provide good value.
- Smaller class size
- Enriched education
- Dedicated teachers
- Safer environment
- IB programs for international families
Private Schools Typically Have a Smaller Class Size
One of the core advantages of private schools is small class sizes. By default, most private schools have a smaller class size, leading to a more engaged class due to a reduced student to teacher ratio.
At MCA, we never exceed a class size of 13 students to 1 teacher, helping to ensure every child gets the one-on-one attention and education that they deserve.
However, limited class size is just one aspect of private schooling that leads to enriched education.\
Private Schools Provide an Enriched Education
Enriched education is the next big advantage of private schools. This is essential for young learners as enrichment programs extend the core academic subjects and provide an extra challenge to keep students engaged and interested in learning.
At private schools like MCA, the curriculum goes beyond STEM coursework and other core classes. Our student-centric approach works to develop character through leadership opportunities and community service work.
We encourage every student to participate in clubs, sports, and arts programs, and we currently offer 25 such programs for them to choose from to ensure every student can explore and develop a myriad of interests and passions.
Beyond participating, we also believe that having dedicated and passionate teachers are essential to ensure positive outcomes in whatever programs students do choose to join.
Passionate and Dedicated Teachers
A Fraser Institute study showed that 91% of parents list teacher dedication as the main reason for choosing a private school.
Teachers in private schools most often are highly qualified with a higher degree in their field. These teachers are passionate about their subjects and motivated to engage young learners, acting as true role models.
Parents also have much more open communication with private school administration and teaching staff. It creates better opportunities for you to get involved in your child’s education.
Our approach also extends to the tight community we have built, which consists of involved parents and leaders who inspire learning in every aspect of our students’ lives.
Private Schools Offer a Safe Environment
Private schools hold up to a strong reputation for maintaining high safety standards. Discipline, respect, and better student-to-teacher ratio ensure higher control of student behavior as well as safety monitoring of school grounds.
Tighter communities built-in private schools also work to ensure dangerous behavior such as bullying are discouraged and exceedingly rare.
Safety also extends to high health and hygiene standards, which are especially important during trying times of the Coronavirus pandemic.
MCA is proud to offer one of the safest and most diverse educational environments around. Our secure campus for on-site learning combined with our At-Home Learning model for distance education provides the ideal learning environment for children JK-8.
In addition to that, we also offer a private busing service. This door-to-door transportation service can help your child stay safer as well as help you have extra peace of mind. (No busing this year)
For busy parents and working families, there are also before and after school care programs. This special care program is aimed to keep children safe and engaged with learning.
IB Programs for International Families
Finally, private schools in Canada provide special international student programs. International Baccalaureate Programme or IB Programme is highly beneficial to international families as it helps their children get integrated into the community with many opportunities to learn and improve their English as well as effectively learn academic content.
IB programs are intended to provide a unique, international take on core studies, while also providing a foundation for high school and university.
With over 147 students from 18 different countries, we are proud to be one of the leading private IB program schools in the country.
What’s more, almost all (98%) of our graduates are accepted into AP/IB programs, showcasing the direct impact a tailored, private school education can have for a student’s performance and future opportunities.
Private Schools vs. Public Schools in Canada
In Canada, fewer than 7% of students are fortunate enough to attend private schools. Yet the majority (nearly 6 in 10) Canadians feel that private schools can provide better education for our children.
The conviction that private schools provide a better education than public schools is based on several elements. Let’s go over the two biggest facts.
Private School Students Achieve Higher Test Scores
Countless studies have been conducted comparing average test scores, college acceptance rates, and career outcomes to try and ascertain whether private schools truly provide better education.
Claims regarding higher performance amongst private school students are backed by the fact that private school students consistently perform better on standardized tests.
The test score difference between Canadian students attending private and public schools is significant. Specifically, in a PISA test study, private school students scored 43 to 47 points (8-9%) higher than public school students.
Clearly, differences in resources and practices as well as differences in curricula do reflect on test scores and student performance.
Private School Students Experience Higher Attainment Rate
Private school students also experience higher attainment rates, meaning more private school students go on to complete high school and university education.
The same study from earlier indicates this as well. The difference in high school graduation rates is about 3%, but differences in postsecondary enrolment and graduation rates were substantial.
By age 23, private school graduates were on average more likely to have graduated from high school, attended and graduated from a postsecondary institution, attended and graduated from a university, and begun graduate or professional studies (university programs leading to a master’s, doctoral, or professional degree).
By the numbers, 35% of private school students had graduated from a university by age 23, compared with 21% of public school students.
Moreover, private school alumni were almost three times as likely to have started graduate or professional studies (13% versus 5%).
The Cost of Private Schooling
Unfortunately, the reason as to why more parents are not sending their children to private schools often comes down to the perceived expense associated with private schooling.
While the tuition of a private school may cost more than a traditional public school program, it isn’t an expense that parents are expected to handle on their own.
Many financial aid programs are available to Canadian families who would like the opportunity to send their children to a private school.
Here at MCA, we strive to make quality education available to all through our financial aid programs, ensuring consistent and fair evaluations for all through our FAST system, which is our new Financial Aid Tuition bursary program. It’s worth noting that you can apply at any time throughout the year.
If the perceived cost of private schooling is holding you back from pursuing enrollment for your children, you should certainly investigate a financial aid program to help cover the expense.
Why MCA Is Worth the Investment
When you consider the multitude of advantages – all of which equate to a more engaging learning experience, better performance, and deeper character development – private school tuition is most certainly worth every penny.
If you are interested in learning more about our programs here at MCA or if you’d like to speak directly to an Admissions Specialist who can answer all your questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.