Private Education – Know what private schools have to offer and make an informed decision

Private Education is an increasingly popular option for UK students and their families. Parents from every sort of background choose private education for their children and about half of the children entering independent schools have parents who also received private education.

The main advantages of a private education are high academic standards, good examination results, sound discipline, superior facilities and a commitment to a wide range of sport and extra-curricular activities. UK private education has a long history steeped with tradition and can offer a unique cultural environment for the education of children where the focus is on the development and care of the individual. Pupils are encouraged to develop their talents and to pursue new interests through clubs and societies, sport, outdoor activities and community service. Meetings are often arranged between schools at which pupils can meet and share interests.

A great strength of the private education sector is the choice and diversity it offers. Regardless of their child’s ability, parents can choose “girls” or “boys” only schools or co-educational schools; schools which are boarding or day schools; senior or junior; rural or urban; large or small. Independent schools are available to provide education from age 3 to 19. Many schools provide help for children whose first language is not English, and special tuition is available. Guardianship arrangements are available for those whose families live outside the United Kingdom, and many other practical details such as transport to and from airports are looked after by the schools, working in partnership with the parents.

The private education sector achieves the highest academic standards. Evidence from the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) suggests that pupils at all levels of ability do better in private schools. More than 80% of pupils at private education gain five or more GCSE passes at grades A-C compared to a national average of 49%. Independent school performance at A-Level is equally impressive and 90% of leavers from independent schools go on to higher education.

Why Choose Private Education

Independent education offers many advantages:
excellent academic results and high expectationssmall class sizes and attention to individual needs
high degree of specialisation
a wide range of extra curricular activities: opportunities for sport, drama, music, and special activities
high levels of investment in facilities
the option of boarding – full, weekly or flexible
good discipline and the encouragement of a responsible attitude to work
diversity, catering for differing ethos and philosophy
help for special needs
traditional values
private education often boosts earning potential because pupils benefit from smaller classes and better teachers.
Disrupting a child’s private education midway through a vital stage would be very unfortunate, so it is important to prepare for the commitment of paying fees for several years.

It is in most cases possible to significantly reduce the financial burden of school fees with professional advice on planning strategies, SFIA would typically save parents tens of thousands on the cost of private education.

Distance Learning Correspondence Courses Versus Online Courses

For over two hundred years, distance learning has been a means of gaining education for those who, for whatever reason, elect to study from their home. Beginning with the first correspondence courses that were offered through advertisements in newspapers and magazines, and later also marketed on the backs of matchbook covers, through to the vast amount of distance learning opportunities currently offered by both universities and by independent schools, the chance to broaden ones knowledge without having to attend a physical school has offered academic independence to millions of students of all ages, across all areas of study.

Regardless of what the program is, and what sort of education it provides, whether it is a home school for children in middle school, a specialized upgrade class for someone in a trade or a masters program, distance learning can be broken into two mostly separate, but sometimes overlapping categories: online courses and correspondence classes.

Correspondence courses, which are the traditional method of providing distance education, make use of the postal system to distribute learning materials to the student. While there is usually a firm final date by which all activities and assignments must be completed and handed in, the actual course scheduling is left open, for the student to design according tot their needs. Correspondence courses may make use of materials that use technology, such as learning videos, and students nowadays typically use a computer for word processing and more often than not, for submitting their work via email as well, traditional correspondence courses do not rely upon technology for distribution or actual work completion or submission. Student study and work independently, even though there are likely to be many other students studying the same program. Group assignments and classes are not part of this type of distance learning, as a rule.

Conversely, online courses have a tendency to be presented to a group of students at one time, in a virtual classroom model. Through the use of computer technology, online live real-time virtual classrooms present the material and lessons to students in a group, and forums and programs are in place to all discourse and discussion between students, who can and are encouraged to work together. As classes are not independent, the schedule is far tighter than that found in correspondence classes, which keeps the group learning and advancing together.