Disadvantages of Private Schools

Student Disadvantages of Private Schools

An independent boarding or day school can provide benefits for students and teachers, although there are drawbacks of private schools for enrolled children living & boarding or attending day time only.

What a disadvantage for one child may not be for another.  It’s always important to take time, conduct research, asks questions to choose the most appropriate school for a child’s requirements.

The following negatives of private k-12 education are from my years of experience as a teacher, both in state and fee paying independent schools.

Cons of private schools 

Rural isolated location of some private day & boarding schoolsAdmission criteria to be accepted by a school is restrictive
High standards of academic achievement expectedPrivate school can kick a student out easier
Students pressured to succeed academically from parentsParents pressure teachers or the school
Possible fewer subject lessons offered to studentsDiversity of student’s backgrounds is lacking
Admission criteria to be accepted by a school is restrictivePossible fewer subject lessons offered to students
Child can be left out and feel alone or socially excludedEmotional issues can develop in student not fitting in
Financially poorer student may not fit inProhibitive cost of tuition fees
Teachers are expected to work long hoursStudents have a longer school day
Funding & financial running costs may cause issuesExpected to attending school on Saturday mornings
Not getting permission to leave the school campusSchool students under 16 require sharing a boarding room
Non religious students require taking part in religious prayerTeachers are more often paid less

High standards of academic achievement expected

One of the biggest negatives of private schools is the pressure some students get from parents to do well in maths, English & science beyond they’re academic ability.

Each independent school strives for high standards of achievement in stem subjects for students & teachers in lessons & examination grades. This approach may not be suited for average ability students who attend sports academies or musical school with they’re focus on music or athletics.

Pressure to achieve above average grades

Students pressured to succeed academically from parents with set targets to achieve for class tests & examinations are all in good.

Not all students that attend private school are academically gifted; students can only try, not sacrificing limited leisure time for additional homework each week attempting to raise attainment in certain subjects.

Cons of private schools 

At certain private education schools in USA or UK there’s a possibility less subjects are offered to students compared to state education, as the school wishes to concentrate on stem & a few other educational subjects.

Admission criteria to be accepted by a school is restrictive

Schools test students on the level of education by written assessment and an interview to see if they meet the required standard of education for that specific school before admission.

They are allowed to be selective, not require offering any student a place, with autistic children mainly require to be high functioning before any consideration to be accepted at a non therapeutic or special education school.

Private school can kick a student out easier

Independent fee paying schools can kick out or expel a student out easier than public school, even for poor grades compared to other students in the same year.  They don’t require retaining a student that makes little effort in studying or causes trouble.

Students that like a good laugh at the expense of others, even if it’s a prank or joke can find parents being contacted and told what is acceptable behavior with possible consequences if not changed.

Parent pressure teachers or the school

Parents can try and apply pressure on teachers or school should they’re expectations not be met for they’re child’s education.

Occasionally a parent will try to gain advantage for they’re daughter or son at the expense of other students. 

This can be given at times by a school to keep parents happy as they wish to keep a child that continues generating fees & profit.

negatives of private schools

Student extra tuition requests

Some parents want a child to have extra tuition from teachers as catch up when required at short notice, normally during week day evenings. Thankfully for teachers the school refuses this as learning takes place in classroom lessons, revision for examinations or completing set homework.

Prohibitive school tuition fees cost

Not many parents can afford sending one or more children to be privately educated as schools fees are prohibitive expensive for the average family without stretching the household budget.

There are additional costs parents require factoring in such as extra classes the student participates in at school attracting an extra cost per month.

Add on school uniform, trips, social event outing expenses, sports & activities equipment the cost all adds up. The result is a only a small selection of parents can afford to send they’re child for private education including:

  • Financially stable families.
  • Wealthy parents.
  • Students receive financial aid.
  • Scholarship award students.
  • Parents work & save forgoing luxuries.
  • Company or organization pays tuition fees

A minority of parents default on paying tuition fees, sometimes totaling many 1000s.  The schools never receiving payment as parents have disappeared abroad or unable to pay.

Lack of diversity of student’s backgrounds

Socio economic diversity of student’s backgrounds is lacking as the majority of children tend to come from financially stable or wealthy families.

Independent boarding & day schools do attract students from less well off households, but they are a much smaller segment of various aged children.

Emotional issues can develop in student not fitting in

Picking the right school for a child’s education is important for social, academic and wellbeing needs.

From my teaching experience I noticed the majority of students adjusted no problem around other children during the long day at a private education school, although for a few it was an emotional struggle.

Children can be left out and feel alone especially if they have a reserved personality or are introvert not wishing to mix with others.

On occasion a student can be socially excluded by other children depending on personality, and if the school doesn’t recognize the issue this could cause a physiological problem for the student and affect a child’s learning.

Less wealthy students

Disadvantages of private schools may include financially poorer students not fitting in as some students can be elitist. My years as a teacher I seen & heard some students only accepting other students from wealthy families as friends or social contacts outside of lessons. 

They looked down on financial aid children or if a student doesn’t have the latest fashion or gadgets.

Bulling sometimes occur where a student will call another child names or insults to taunt them for various reasons, although this is swiftly dealt with by teachers.

Students suited to boarding or day school

Not all children are suitable to be packed off to boarding school as they maybe better suited being with family & friends and the comforts of home life attending private day school only.

Students need the right character, motivation, tolerance & whole personality to deal with long school hours, sharing a room and around other students 24 hours a day.

Parents pressure teachers

Teachers & students have a longer school day

For some independent schools in United States and United Kingdom students attendance is required on Saturday mornings until 12.30 resulting in a shorter weekend.

Negatives of private schools include teachers are expected to work long hours, sometimes 6 days a week.  From participating in activities, run extra classes in own time, or look foolish trying to run a school club they have no skill or knowledge is the norm.

Non religious students require taking part in faith prayer

Non religious students enrolled at a catholic school in Houston Texas, Columbus Ohio or other states in America need to take part in religious faith prayer and events at the school, although a small price to pay for good education.

Funding & financial running cost may cause issues

Funding & financial school running cost issues could have an adverse affect on education or school trips. The result of a tight budget at a private school may include not continuing certain subjects, scale back activities at short notice, or close altogether due to cost pressures.

Private education k-12 schools have a limited budget they finance themselves and from tuition fees.  Cost pressures of running a school & providing a well balanced education keep rising each year and at times a school can run short of operational finances making them seek secure external funding.

Teachers in United States more often are paid less in private school compared to government public schools in the area, although in UK teachers salaries at independent schools are a little more or the same.

Limited permission to leave the school campus

Students require permission from parents, and then the boarding school before being allowed out. Normally a student can only leave the school campus during weekends or early evenings to be back before a certain time.

Children can’t just decide to go for a wander or drive around the local area or visit friends in the nearest town 3-4 nights a week, as evening meals and compulsory study time during the week is required.

Rural isolated location of some private day & boarding schools can be a negative if there’s limited public transport. Local buses can be infrequent for students traveling to the shops in the nearest city or town which can be downside if unable to attend local sports & social clubs.

Boarding school students share a room, if under 16

At a private residential boarding school many students under 16 years old require sharing a boarding room with another student the same age, if they are not disabled.

Sharing a room at school can be fun, although it has drawbacks from limited space, no privacy, noise that irritates the other person and the smell of the other student’s dirty socks after sports activities.

Education Tay
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