Private schools don’t always have universal advantages, but some of the most common reasons some parents prefer these sorts of institutes is their generally low faculty-student ratio, the higher caliber of most students, and the ability for families to offer input that can be heard and lead to changes in curriculum or otherwise. In many cases independent schools have better facilities and materials, too, and usually also have higher percentages of students who go on to pursue university studies. No two private schools are equal, which means that advantages in one place won’t necessarily occur somewhere else. Parents who hope to improve the education of their children through private schooling usually need to research campuses on an individual level and make a choice based on actual data rather than basic beliefs and overarching advantages more generally.
Importance of Independence
For many people, one of the biggest advantages of private school is independence. Public schools in most places are run by local or national governments, but private institutions aren’t. Most governments mandate what private institutions do on a broad level, but it’s often the case that these sorts of schools have more freedom when it comes to things like religious education in the classroom, types of extracurricular activity offered, or the variety of enrichment opportunities available. Parents who want their children to receive a certain kind of education often look to the private sector for this reason.
Many independent schools have smaller enrollments since the families participating tend to self-select a bit more. Classroom space is often more limited, and school administrators typically have the power to decline admission to certain people once they’ve met their target enrollment numbers. As a result many private institutes are able to offer a small community atmosphere that allows for a lower student-to-teacher ratio. With smaller class sizes, teachers are often able to focus more attention on individual students, and have more time to get to know students better. This can lead to better test scores and overall academic performance. Classmates may also get a chance to form more intimate bonds.
Another advantage is that, in many cases, these sorts of schools have fewer disciplinary problems than their public alternatives. Part of this may relate to the smaller community atmosphere. When teachers and staff know students better, they are able to take appropriate measures applicable to particular students, and students also feel like they’re more accountable and “known.”
Private schools also typically have the option of expulsion, which means that students who aren’t good fits or who continually act out can be asked not to return. Expulsion can happen in public schools, but it’s usually a lot harder. Public education is often viewed as more of a “right” than a privilege. While this may not seem like one of the advantages of private schools, the possibility of expulsion might make some students less likely to fight, to take drugs, or to cut classes.
When parents pay for their children's education, they often have a say in how classrooms are managed. Many schools see tuition payment as a sort of “vote” in how things are done, and concerns or suggestions are often taken seriously by school administrators and board members. Things are generally a lot different in public schools, when even the best suggestions or most serious concerns can get caught up in governmental review processes. Parents who voice concerns in public education settings frequently complain of being treated as "nuisances." In the private school arena, though, they are essentially paying customers, and are often treated as such.
Quality of Campuses and Materials
Tuition can also be seen as a way of purchasing a better experience on the fringes. Many private schools are housed in modern, up-to-date buildings with state of the art technology. Most materials are new, and textbooks and other learning materials tend to be the best and most recent editions. Libraries and athletic facilities are also usually updated very regularly. There are of course exceptions, but in many cases schools use the promises of top-notch learning spaces as a way to impress and attract tuition-paying families. Some public schools are also able to offer these advantages, but a lot depends on government spending and educational funding allotments.
Statistically speaking, private schooling tends to produce more university-bound graduates than public education does, and private graduates more often win admittance to the most elite institutions. Though this advantage really is student-dependent, private academies do tend to place more of an emphasis of higher learning, and often have very robust counseling services that encourage and in many cases actually coach students when it comes to applications and entrance exams.