2019-01-23T15:33:47.037+11:00 Deciding on a school could be as simple as geography but sometimes other factors, like your finances, play a part in the selection process.

7 considerations when choosing a school for your kids

7 considerations when choosing a school for your kids

7 considerations when choosing a school for your kids

23 Jan 2019 

Deciding on a school could be as simple as geography but sometimes other factors, like your finances, play a part in the selection process.

If you’re thinking about what school to enrol your children into, it might be a more complicated decision than merely opting for something in the local area.

Family values, student facilities, extra-curricular activities and your financial situation could all come into play. We look at some of the things to consider and what you can expect to pay.

1. Choosing a school close by

Attending a school close to home can have its advantages—your kids’ classmates will often live nearby and as a result, also be involved in the same sports or extra-curricular activities.

Time and money can also be saved on commuting when school is a short stroll, lift or bus trip away.

2. Family values and personal preferences

You may want to think about whether a school’s culture, philosophy, religious affiliations or emphasis on academia, arts or sporting achievements align with your own family ideals.

It’s also worth considering whether you have preferences around things like class sizes, assessment techniques, disciplinary policies, single-sex or co-ed environments, and teacher/parent communication.

3. Facilities, support and additional programs

Other things that may be important to you and your family might involve the amenities and services on offer, such as:

  • Library, computer room, science lab
  • Facilities for sport, music and art
  • Playgrounds and cafeterias
  • Counselling services and first aid
  • Before and after-school care 
  • Extra-curricular activities and programs
  • Language, literacy and numeracy tutoring
  • Financial support or incentives, including scholarships.

4. What you can expect to fork out

According to figures from ASG, for a child born today, the total cost of schooling in a capital city (from ages 0 to 17) is estimated to be around1:

  • $68,007 if they attend government schools
  • $252,085 if they attend systemic/catholic schools
  • $499,593 if they attend private schools.

For many families, money will play a part in the decision-making process, which is why it’s a good idea to start planning for your children’s education early on—think school fees, uniforms, travel, stationery and additional activities.

While there’s a significant variation in cost, expensive schools don’t necessarily guarantee a greater experience or better results.

5. Government subsidies

Depending on where you live, you may be eligible for financial benefits to help with things such as transport, textbooks, extra-curricular activities and other education-related expenses.

Check out our article for a bit of a rundown on what’s available in different Australian states and territories - Are you eligible for school subsidies?

6. Waiting lists and entry requirements

Some schools have waiting lists and entry requirements which may depend on academic or sporting achievements, or whether you’re located in the school’s district.

It’s worth researching these things early on because while you may think you have plenty of time to decide, realistically you may not, with some schools advising to enrol your kids immediately after birth.

7. Ways to narrow down your shortlist

If you’ve narrowed down your shortlist, but are still undecided, a bit of extra research could help. You can check out performance data online via My School, which includes recent NAPLAN results.

Numbers aren’t everything though, so look to other sources of information to gauge school attitudes and strengths, such as the school website, annual reports, open days, information nights and associated online networks.

Talking to staff, the principal, other students’ parents and the wider community could also go a long way.

We’re here to help

If you’d like help working out how much you’ll need to save for education and other expenses, try our Budget planner calculator or check out our Financial help hub for more money-related tips.

Spending money in a cashless world

14 Aug 2019

How the move to electronic payments could be making it easier to spend…and what to do about it.

Read more

From bartering to smartphones—how our money habits have evolved

14 Aug 2019

When’s the last time you used cash? New technologies are changing the way we transact. Find out more with AMP

Read more

Ways for women to negotiate their next pay rise

07 Aug 2019

When it comes to asking for a pay rise, research suggests women could be doing better.

Read more

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up now

Important information

Show more

This information is provided by AMP Life Limited.  It is general information only and hasn't taken your circumstances into account. It's important to consider your particular circumstances and the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Terms and Conditions, available by calling 13 30 30, before deciding what's right for you. Read our Financial Services Guide for information about our services, including the fees and other benefits that AMP companies and their representatives may receive in relation to products and services provided to you. 

All information on this website is subject to change without notice.  Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek professional advice before making any financial decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.