The Differences Between Private and State Education
What are some of the main differences between private and state education in the UK? Some of the main divisions between these two education sectors relate to cost and funding, as well as the flexibility and specialisation of private schools. In general, private institutions tend to be independent schools with boarding options, while a state school is more typically free and run on behalf a local council, with support from the Government towards its running. Choosing between a private and a state school can often come down to any specific needs that you believe should be met by an educational institution.
Private schools depend on fees and sponsorship to keep going, and charges per term can be thousands of pounds. By contrast, state schools don’t charge fees, and derive their funding from Local Education Authorities and Government funding – private and independent schools typically have a wider range of income sources than sate schools.
While state schools are generally focused on providing a broad-based education around the National Curriculum for ages 3-11, and 11-18 (primary and secondary), private schools can be much more specialist and autonomous in terms of their curriculum. Some private schools might be based around a religious faith, or specifically catered to international students.
Although state schools do provide a wide range of extra-curricular activities, which can involve sports and after school clubs, private schools tend to have more resources to use when paying for facilities, high quality programs, and field trips.
State schools work around the average school day of 8/9am to 3-4pm Monday to Friday. By contrast, private schools that have boarding facilities will act as permanent accommodation for students during term time.
Private Colleges tend to have much smaller class sizes than state schools; this is due to private schools being more selective about admissions on financial and academic grounds, while also being able to set restrictions on maximum class sizes.
While this can vary quite considerably depending on the institution, private schools generally have more comprehensive disciplinary systems and school rules, which are enforced internally, and don’t have to rely on outside support – state schools often have to bring in local bodies to help with behavioural problems and special needs.
Academic Success Rates
The extra resources of private schools does mean that they tend to dominate league tables and achieve consistently higher academic success rates than state schools; more time can be spent at private schools on tuition and exam preparation, as well as on skills for university entrance exams.
State schools generally require teachers to have completed a nationally recognised training course such as a PGCE before they’re legally allowed to take classes; private schools can be more flexible about who they hire, and often target postgraduate and doctorate holding teachers that can offer more specialist knowledge to students.
Olivia blogs about trends in UK education, and is particularly interested in the future of secondary school exams. She recommends looking into options for attending a private college like Lansdowne College London for more specialist teaching and studying.