Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > Australia
Reload this Page >

Concerned about schooling

Concerned about schooling

Old Dec 3rd 2002, 8:25 pm
  #1  
BE Forum Addict
Thread Starter
 
mashiraz's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2002
Location: Derby
Posts: 1,656
mashiraz is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Concerned about schooling

I've been trying to work out any concerns I have about the move to Australia. The only one I have niggling away in the back of my mind is schooling (all the others concerns I can deal with)

I have a bright 7 year old. Did well in his SATS, 1st year in Junior school and doing really well. One of the youngest in his year group and still in the top band.

We have already secured him a place in a school in Adelaide for next year, although it won't be at the start of the school year like we hoped.

How can we find out more about the standards in schools, the attitude to achievement, whether he will be stretched enough on subjects. We are happy there is more focus on sports - great, but what about the academic subjects. Last thing we want to do is jeopardise his future by not giving him a chance at a good education.

Any thoughts?
Mash..
mashiraz is offline  
Old Dec 3rd 2002, 8:44 pm
  #2  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 875
Vicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Concerned about schooling

I'm originally from Adelaide myself and while I love Australia I think truthfully it has to be said that the UK has the best education system in the world so think it is unlikely you will find anything in Oz to measure up to what you already have.

BTw what school will your son be attending? Also as he will be off to HS in year 8 are you sending him to public or enrolling him in private?
Vicky88 is offline  
Old Dec 3rd 2002, 10:13 pm
  #3  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 298
pommiesheila has a brilliant futurepommiesheila has a brilliant futurepommiesheila has a brilliant futurepommiesheila has a brilliant futurepommiesheila has a brilliant futurepommiesheila has a brilliant futurepommiesheila has a brilliant future
Default Re: Concerned about schooling

Originally posted by mashiraz
I've been trying to work out any concerns I have about the move to Australia. The only one I have niggling away in the back of my mind is schooling (all the others concerns I can deal with)

I have a bright 7 year old. Did well in his SATS, 1st year in Junior school and doing really well. One of the youngest in his year group and still in the top band.

We have already secured him a place in a school in Adelaide for next year, although it won't be at the start of the school year like we hoped.

How can we find out more about the standards in schools, the attitude to achievement, whether he will be stretched enough on subjects. We are happy there is more focus on sports - great, but what about the academic subjects. Last thing we want to do is jeopardise his future by not giving him a chance at a good education.

Any thoughts?
Mash..
Before I reply to your question, please, please, don't dismiss this as yet another "negative" post.

One of the main reasons we came over here was the (perceived) drop in standards of UK schools, and the (perceived) better standard in Australia. However, we have been very disappointed with the standard of education here. We have two children, both very bright, but my son in particular is extremely bright - got straight 3's in his SATS at Year 2, and was assessed as having a reading age of 12 at that time.

Unfortunately the standard here is far lower than in the UK (see a recent post by a teacher on this site), the attitude is far too laid back, and the average output at Year 12 is far lower than in the UK.

Having said that, although my son is not a sporty, outdoor type, he absolutely adores it over here - comes home from school straight into the pool every day instead of slumping in front of the TV, is very interested in all the "wildlife" (a bit too interested when he insists on showing me his latest Huntsman Spider though!) and would be devastated if we were to return to the UK.

My daughter, on the other hand, is more sporty, has joined the local PCYC gymnastics squad, but would get on a plane back to the UK tomorrow if she could.

I think, speaking to other parents in the locality, one or two of the private schools offer a comparable standard of education to the best State Schools in the UK, and of course they are much, much cheaper than private schools in the UK (one of the good private ones near us charges around $1,200 per child per 10 week term for fees, but you also have to add on textbooks, classroom essentials etc. - but then you have to pay for that in state schools here anyway).

If you can afford to send your child to a private school here, my advice, as a parent, would be to do so. The private schools also have higher OP ratings which is what counts when you want them to go to Uni.

As I have said before, Australia is a wonderful country, but a better education system it does not have.
pommiesheila is offline  
Old Dec 3rd 2002, 10:20 pm
  #4  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 298
pommiesheila has a brilliant futurepommiesheila has a brilliant futurepommiesheila has a brilliant futurepommiesheila has a brilliant futurepommiesheila has a brilliant futurepommiesheila has a brilliant futurepommiesheila has a brilliant future
Default Re: Concerned about schooling

Originally posted by mashiraz
I've been trying to work out any concerns I have about the move to Australia. The only one I have niggling away in the back of my mind is schooling (all the others concerns I can deal with)

I have a bright 7 year old. Did well in his SATS, 1st year in Junior school and doing really well. One of the youngest in his year group and still in the top band.

We have already secured him a place in a school in Adelaide for next year, although it won't be at the start of the school year like we hoped.

How can we find out more about the standards in schools, the attitude to achievement, whether he will be stretched enough on subjects. We are happy there is more focus on sports - great, but what about the academic subjects. Last thing we want to do is jeopardise his future by not giving him a chance at a good education.

Any thoughts?
Mash..
Mash - the reply from a teacher I was referring to was from Bernard on the "Pommiesheila's cost of living" thread - it's worth reading - as parents we can sometimes be a bit blinkered I think, but he's on the "inside" so to speak, and can offer a fairly objective opinion.
pommiesheila is offline  
Old Dec 3rd 2002, 11:05 pm
  #5  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 875
Vicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond repute
Default

PommieShelia

I think you are right about there being a big difference between public and private education in Australia.

My husband and I went thru school in Australia at the same time, he went private, I went public and have to say I am amazed at the range of subjects he was offered. His education level was far higher than mine. The discipline at the private school was much stricter, and they were encouraged to think tertiary education was a must. I think at public schools much of the problem is they have so many students just going thru the motions because by staying in school their parent's continue to receive child allowance.

I know if it was me I would definitely be looking at the private route, but of course much depends on the state school you go to because that can vary greatly.

Also agree with what you say about the fees. The state schools seem to always have their hands out for donations for something or other.
Vicky88 is offline  
Old Dec 4th 2002, 4:58 am
  #6  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Sep 2002
Location: England
Posts: 279
Kath will become famous soon enough
Default

We've been in Perth approx. 6 months. We also have a son, age 7, who did his SAT tests just before we left, he achieved level 3 (well above average) for reading and maths and level 2A for writing, speaking, listening (a little above average). We were told by his school he is a very capable boy.

We arrived in Perth this June and like Pommiesheila I've been disappointed by the school standards, we have found a school with a good reputation in the area with only 220 pupils but the attitude here is 'just do enough to get by'. Our son is happy enough but not finding the school day very challenging. I've met several English migrants who are very happy with the education system here because quote: "our children were struggling in the UK but they are doing really well here". I think that says it all.

We looked into private schools, I found a good catholic school with reasonable fees - I paid $100 application fee and was then told there is a waiting list - they won't tell me how long I will have to wait after taking my $100! I also found a good Grammar (Prep) school (without a waiting list) but the fees are $12,000 per year per pupil - alot of money when you are earning $$.

We've decided to go for extra private tuition - only 1 hour per week ($35) + homework - our son is happy with this so we are going to see how things work out. I'm sorry to say that education has been one of our biggest headaches.
Kath is offline  
Old Dec 4th 2002, 9:40 am
  #7  
BE Enthusiast
 
Stan J's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 310
Stan J has a brilliant futureStan J has a brilliant futureStan J has a brilliant futureStan J has a brilliant futureStan J has a brilliant futureStan J has a brilliant future
Default

I get the impression that there is a far broarder church of people who attend fee paying schools in Australia than the more elitist attendees of the English fee-paying public school system.

Consequently budgetting for school fees is something you should seriously consider if going to Oz

When I started high school (or was it secondary school or secondary modern or comprehensive) in the early 70s there were two bands, upper band and lower band. After five years I'd guess that hardly anyone in the lower band stayed at school beyond 16 let alone attended Uni/Poly.

I wonder if the mindset of upper and lower bands is not reflected in fee-paying versus state education in Oz

Now a pal of mine left school at 16 apprenticed as a Joiner drives a BMW has a very nice house. At age forty something I observed him learn so much about computing over six months (from not knowing how to click a mouse button to a real understanding of IP numbers) A lot with a supposedly better education just ain't as bright.

As for whether kids are stuggling or not ... that might be a function of the difficulty of the lesson OR the ability of the teacher
Stan J is offline  
Old Dec 4th 2002, 10:27 am
  #8  
BE Forum Addict
 
tinaj's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2002
Location: Gold Coast- the best place in the world
Posts: 3,196
tinaj has much to be proud oftinaj has much to be proud oftinaj has much to be proud oftinaj has much to be proud oftinaj has much to be proud oftinaj has much to be proud oftinaj has much to be proud oftinaj has much to be proud oftinaj has much to be proud oftinaj has much to be proud oftinaj has much to be proud of
Default

I am a teacher myself I have worked in both the state and Private sectors in England. I currently work in a Prep school in London,the standard of education is very high, however there are some fantastic state schools around the location as well.

The main differences between the State and Private systems be it Aus or UK are : A far broader range of subjects, children will be introduced to languages and specialist subject teachers at an earlier age ( 8 instead of 11); smaller classes mean the teachers can spend real time with each child, adapting lessons to their needs - when you have 30 kids in a class it is an imposible task to monitor every child's progress all of the time; better pastoral care, children are known individually and cared for; more parental contact, parents are sent grades frequently and are more aware of their child's performance than in a state school; In general most children will be average or above ability which means that your child will be with similar ability pupils and if they are bright there will always be another child of a similar standard. Work will therefore be set to a higher level as there are not 'slower' pupils holding the class back; High expectations for the pupils to acheive their full potential academically and socially.

I work with a number of Australian teachers and they have said that the curriculum and lessons are a lot more structured over here. Education is also taken very seriously - though it can sometimes be pushed too far in the UK - the pressures on kids are high and our children are tested more than any other country in the world. I think most teachers and parents would agree that tests for 7 year olds are an unecessary burden for the child, after all the class teacher would be able to tell you what standard they are at any way.

We are hoping to emigrate next year and after viewing state and private schools near Brisbane I will definately be sending my 3 private. The standards appear higher and though not equivalent to English private schools, most of the children get good enough scores to get into a decent University. For our 3 children to attend it would cost $9000 a year for the school we liked, they give generous discounts for siblings so this has reduced the cost .
You only get 1 chance at education so my advice is to pursue all options before you decide.

Best of luck

Tina
tinaj is offline  
Old Dec 4th 2002, 10:38 am
  #9  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Oct 2002
Location: 'stralia
Posts: 43
Bernard is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

British schools (despite all the bad press and moaning back in the UK) are probably still the best schools in the English-speaking world.
Aus schools simply do not measure up.

Part of the reason is that teaching here is not regarded as a 'real' profession and many Aus teachers take the view that its 'just a job' and do as little as possible. They keep the kids happy but don't push them. Its all very well wanting a 'laid back' lifestyle - its just that we don't like others to take a laid back attitude to *their* work. Most of the British teachers I know treat their work as a real vocation and put a lot of 'unseen' hours into the job - you'd never get that here. All those UK 'SATS' that everyone moans about also help keep standards high.

Cheaper Aus 'private' schools are not much different to the better state schools (in fact the better state schools will expect various 'donations' anyway, so they are not 'free'). A good private school, run along similar lines to a typical UK private school, will cost at least $10k per year - perhaps more (I don't have detailed knowledge of fees).

One thing that really grieves me is the state of Aus universities. They have been starved of cash by the government and so are only interested in generating income. If that means accepting dozy but high fee paying students from SE Asia instead of bright local kids then that's just what they do. Its all driven by money. This really does need sorting out.

As to Stan J and his mate with the BMW - well, the correlation between a good education and a good income and lifestyle is very strong. Good academic qualifications have currency anywhere in the world.

Regards,

Bernie
Bernard is offline  
Old Dec 4th 2002, 3:03 pm
  #10  
BE Enthusiast
 
Stan J's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 310
Stan J has a brilliant futureStan J has a brilliant futureStan J has a brilliant futureStan J has a brilliant futureStan J has a brilliant futureStan J has a brilliant future
Default

Bernie might be right about be right about the correlation between academic qualifications and a good income/lifestyle. (I'd tend to agree when viewed within a country, particularly a western country ... but not necessarily so if comparing individuals across different nations)

However there seems to be no particular advantage gained in Australia migration points on professions calling for an academic degree to others requiring qualifications requiring documented trade apprenticeships. Some of us will have heard debates in the UK media on whether a Plumbers qualification is more desireable than a Media Studies degree.

I'd like to think we lived in a world where qualifications whether academic or trade based have universal currency I fear we do not.
Stan J is offline  
Old Dec 4th 2002, 6:16 pm
  #11  
BE Forum Addict
Thread Starter
 
mashiraz's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2002
Location: Derby
Posts: 1,656
mashiraz is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

Thanks for all your responses so far.
The impression I got from the school we are anticipating he goes to is that the facilities are excellent - much better than anything in UK, wide choice of subjects, lots of extra curricular activities (sports, clubs, foreign exchange trips).

All this is useless if the quality of teaching is poor and the standards lower as to what is an acceptable performance.

What about qualifications. How are the aussie equivalent of UK GCSE O'levels and A'levels considered in the world job market. Are these qualifications recognised and credible?

More views please..
Mash..




Originally posted by Stan J

I'd like to think we lived in a world where qualifications whether academic or trade based have universal currency I fear we do not.
mashiraz is offline  
Old Dec 4th 2002, 7:59 pm
  #12  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 875
Vicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond reputeVicky88 has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Don't think there is really an equivalent of A or O levels. The big thing in Australia is year 12. Your performance in your end of year exams means everything if you are going to get into Uni. It is the mark you get in year 12 that counts whether you will get into the course and uni you applied for.

With regards to Uni qualifications I don't believe that Australian qualifications are regarded as being below those of a UK University in the world market. However, I would say that the top level of UK students is probably above what you get in Australia. The good think about Australian uni degree is they are not so hung up on whether your got a first class or second class. When you job hunt in Oz they are not obsessed in this area. My husband has never had anyone turn their noses up at his Australian degree but he did go to RMIT which does have a very good reputation.

Mash, don't think you should regard all Australian teachers as being of a poor quality, rather I think many of them get beaten down by the system. Last I heard is it is just about impossible for teachers to get anything beyond a 10 year contract. I know some excellent teachers in Adelaide, and expect at the better schools you will find some who fall into that category.
Vicky88 is offline  
Old Dec 4th 2002, 10:52 pm
  #13  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 298
pommiesheila has a brilliant futurepommiesheila has a brilliant futurepommiesheila has a brilliant futurepommiesheila has a brilliant futurepommiesheila has a brilliant futurepommiesheila has a brilliant futurepommiesheila has a brilliant future
Default

Originally posted by mashiraz
Thanks for all your responses so far.
The impression I got from the school we are anticipating he goes to is that the facilities are excellent - much better than anything in UK, wide choice of subjects, lots of extra curricular activities (sports, clubs, foreign exchange trips).

All this is useless if the quality of teaching is poor and the standards lower as to what is an acceptable performance.

What about qualifications. How are the aussie equivalent of UK GCSE O'levels and A'levels considered in the world job market. Are these qualifications recognised and credible?

More views please..
Mash..
You are so right Mash. The school our children attend (State Primary, Queensland) has loads of extra-curricular activities, clubs, trips etc. and has far better "facilities" than the good state primary they went to in Hampshire. HOWEVER - the standard of teaching for both my son's class (year 5) and my daughter's (year 2) is, quite honestly, atrocious. The homework often comes back marked right when it is quite clearly wrong - simple things like spellings, basic maths etc. But the teachers attitude is "praise the kids - then they'll enjoy school". I'm sorry, but much as I want my children to enjoy their education (if they hate it, then obviously their learning outcomes will be poor) but the object of the exercise is to learn to do things correctly, surely? Having said that, the discipline is good, the children do seem to respect both the teachers and the older children, and it's good to see how many of the older children in year 7 (they don't leave primary here until they're 12 years old) help the younger ones.

I intend to keep my children at state primary whilst we're here, and give them extra work in the basics at home myself (spellings, maths, etc.) Also, with the long summer holidays coming up they will also have to do an hour or so a day of this - I've bribed them (sorry, given them an incentive) with a trip to Wet N Wild to compensate!!!

If we were intending to stay in Oz for ever, I would do anything I had to in order to afford a good private education.
pommiesheila is offline  
Old Dec 5th 2002, 3:23 am
  #14  
Banned
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Perth Arse end of the planet
Posts: 7,037
pommie bastard has a reputation beyond reputepommie bastard has a reputation beyond reputepommie bastard has a reputation beyond reputepommie bastard has a reputation beyond reputepommie bastard has a reputation beyond reputepommie bastard has a reputation beyond reputepommie bastard has a reputation beyond reputepommie bastard has a reputation beyond reputepommie bastard has a reputation beyond reputepommie bastard has a reputation beyond reputepommie bastard has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Originally posted by Stan J
Bernie might be right about be right about the correlation between academic qualifications and a good income/lifestyle. (I'd tend to agree when viewed within a country, particularly a western country ... but not necessarily so if comparing individuals across different nations)

However there seems to be no particular advantage gained in Australia migration points on professions calling for an academic degree to others requiring qualifications requiring documented trade apprenticeships. Some of us will have heard debates in the UK media on whether a Plumbers qualification is more desireable than a Media Studies degree.

I'd like to think we lived in a world where qualifications whether academic or trade based have universal currency I fear we do not.
Well you have found out what many seem to close their eyes to Australia requires doers not thinkers , immigrants are needed to build the country the locals are far too busy as my hero Mr Keating said being CLEVER?


Clever Australia - In the dying years of their respective governments, both Bob Hawke and Paul Keating used the grand-sounding phrase "Clever Australia". But, without understanding high technology, I wonder what they really meant by this slogan. Their actions certainly did not show any consistent understanding of the problem. Unlike all developed countries we now have no locally- owned aircraft industry, capable of developing and manufacturing defence hardware. Aerospace Technologies of Australia is now owned by Rockwell and AWA Defence Industries by British Aerospace. Australian-born space scientists fly on US space shuttles. Funds, enabling Australian astronomers to participate on extremely favourable terms in the European Southern Observatory now being developed in Chile,had not been approved by the previous government and rejected by the current one. This threatens our continued competence in optical astronomy. An opportunity to develop a world-class science-city, on the lines of the French Sophia Antipolis, had been squandered in Commonwealth-States bickerings and the words Multi-Function Polis is now a joke. The current government's first budget will curtail Australia's research capabilities and reduce the pool of educated graduates.


Fear not there is hope , buy a fruit machine or as they call it here a pokie?

Casino-led recovery - "Clever Australia" does not seem to fare better on the state political level. Here the cleverness appears to consist of attracting circus-type activities (grand prix races) to given states and constructing vast casinos. These monuments to the "clever states", and mostly owned by foreign interests, seem to channel very effectively into their pockets the wages of local gamblers, while the taxpayers and charitable organisations are left to support their bankrupt families. One "fruit machine" (or "one-arm bandit") brings $25,000 per annum to its operator. No wonder our savings are the lowest per capita in the developed world. How many people realise that horse-racing is the third largest industry in Australia? How many other states in the world have ministers for racing?

Last edited by pommie bastard; Dec 5th 2002 at 5:54 am.
pommie bastard is offline  
Old Dec 5th 2002, 9:48 am
  #15  
Forum Regular
 
Marlo's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 296
Marlo has a brilliant futureMarlo has a brilliant futureMarlo has a brilliant futureMarlo has a brilliant futureMarlo has a brilliant futureMarlo has a brilliant futureMarlo has a brilliant future
Default

[QUOTE][SIZE=1]Originally posted by mashiraz


Hi Mashiraz, Just another option for you if you`re not happy with school in Oz is home education, I`ve been doing this for a year now with my children here in the UK because I`m not over immpressed with it here either, personally I think it`s the luck of the draw which teachers you get and probably the same would be in Oz. There`s so many resources on the web site that even if your child isn`t doing well at school you can help them at home. It`s just a thought, anyway all the very best to you and your family.

Marlo
Marlo is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.