Australian-first research commissioned by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research shows that graduates of non-government schools earn an average of 12 per cent more over their course of their careers than do their public school peers.
The income differential is attributed to the non-academic “soft” skills that private school students acquire making them good candidates for highly-paid upper managerial positions. “These findings suggest that private schooling may be important in not only fostering higher academic achievement, but also in better preparing students for a working life,” the paper says.
While the report focuses on the Catholic system, these results would also hold for graduates of independent private schools say study authors Nikhil Jha and Cain Polidano because of the sector’s “greater emphasis on the development of non-cognitive or soft skills that are important in explaining labour market outcomes.”
Long-run Effects of Catholic Schooling on Wages: Nikhil Jha and Cain Polidano for the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research
Coverage of the report in the Australian Financial Review
You’ve done your homework, you’ve looked at all the options and, finally, you’ve found the perfect school for your child. Now it’s just a matter of getting in. With long waiting lists at many independent schools, it can be difficult to obtain a place at your preferred school but there are a number of ways to improve your child’s chances. Babycenter.com offers this commonsense advice to parents.
Be organised. Submit the necessary forms, fees and documents correctly and on time.
Show interest. Book a principal’s tour, visit on open days, get to know the school well.
Don’t despair. If you do end up on a waiting list, let the school know that you remain eager to enrol your child when a place becomes available. Parents often put their children’s names down for several schools. Waiting lists can shrink quickly when it comes time to make a final decision.
For many families though, the most stressful aspect of the application process is the enrolment interview.
St Andrew’s Cathedral School registrar Bruce Perry has these tips for a smooth interview.
- Arrive on time. If you’re running late, call ahead to let the school know.
- Don’t answer questions directed at your child. Remember that the purpose of the interview is to get to know the student.
- Ensure that your child is dressed to impress. Either in a neat and clean uniform or in good casual clothes that conform to the school’s dress code.
- Be honest. Non-disclosure could jeopardise your child’s enrolment prospects.
- Answer questions calmly and directly. Be polite. Don’t fidget, don’t slouch, don’t chew gum. Offer a firm handshake and maintain eye contact.
- Do your research. Prepare a few in-depth questions that show you’re truly interested in attending the school.
- Always try to answer in full sentences, not just Yes or No.
- NEVER check your phone during an interview.
The Centre for Independent Studies has released a new report calling for greater variety of school choice. The One School Does Not Fit All study argues that Australian students would be better served by the introduction of more educational options. The report canvasses policy options including scholarship tax credits and education savings accounts to help parents access the best school for their child.
One School Does Not Fit All research report: Jennifer Buckingham and Trisha Jha for the Centre for Independent Studies
Coverage of the report by the Australian Financial Review