Wednesday, 7 November 2007

What cost should I be considering when selecting a school for my son?

In about two years time, my son will be just about at the right age to start his 12 or so years of formal education. First off, it will probably be kindergarten. Apart from the other non-financial factors such as should it be a single sex school, or what kind of curriculum does the school focus on, what financial costs I should be considering when selecting the school?
I have had a thought about this today and came up with a top three cost items that I should consider.
  1. School Fees - The school fees has to be justifiable and suitable for the services that my child will be receiving from the school. One can make the assumption that the higher the cost, the better the quality for the education. However, that assumption could back fire if not enough research is performed.
  2. Transport - If the school is not within a short drive away, the transport costs our son to and from school will be significant. If the long term plan is for my son to attended the same school for the whole 12 years, it could be very significant if the only transport option is car. As my son gets older, an expectation would be that he makes his own way to school when it is possible.
  3. Clothing - Some schools will demand school uniforms. School uniform is more than just what is being worn to school, there is also a set for summer and a different set for winter. Physical education uniform will also be different as well. This will need to be considered if the uniforms are specific for the schools. If the school only something like a white shirt and dark pants without any logos, than that should be cheaper.
The Victorian government does provide some financial assistance towards the educating of your child. This webpage from the Victorian education department outlines the various options available. I think we will only be a eligible for the School Start Bonus.

Some may say that to make these types of decision at this stage is futile as there are more than two years before we decide. The way I see it, selecting a school is such an emotive tasks and an important cornerstone of our children's future, spending as much time on it as possible is the least I can do.

1 comment:

Colin said...

Freakonomics has boasted that school choice doesn't determine a childs chance at success later in life.

The best school therefore is the one that causes the least headaches; safe area, not too far from home/public transport, and not a huge strain on the budget.