Independent schools vary considerably; each has levels and can be elementary, high school, or a combination of both. Hence, they are standalone institutions that do not receive any funding from state agencies, city council, or federal resources. Meaning all of its funding comes from tuition fees, grants, and gifts from parents and well-wishers. Some independent schools have large endowments hence have pretty good developments within institutions like state-of-the-art structures, modern labs, and more. In contrast, others might be struggling year after year to meet financial obligations like paying salaries and other essential services.
Since parents pay hefty tuition fees, people might be tempted to think that teachers in independent schools are highly motivated and earn high-end salaries, but that is not the case; some teachers and workers earn even up to 30% less than what teachers in public schools earn, quite the irony. But this depends on the institution because well-established schools remunerate their teachers twice or thrice what public teachers earn. It is dependent on what board and shareholders decide to compensate their teachers.
Things to expect in an independent school
You might be surprised to find a different curriculum at an independent school since it doesn’t have to limit their standards to what the ministry of education dictates. They can be creative and innovative in their ways as long as they deliver quality results as they see fit or as stakeholders and shareholders demand. They can have smaller classes than the public schools demand maximum knowledge and skills delivery to the learners. Smaller classes are an excellent point to note for independent schools.
At Christian schools in Gold Coast, you will find teachers wearing many hats. For example, it is possible to find administrators teaching subjects in classes, coaching, or directing exams. Simultaneously, teachers may become committee members in a department or coordinators of specific departments, and so on. You won’t be surprised to find a librarian teaching in class.
Extracurricular activities at independent schools are unique. Sports teams may compete in games beyond boundaries or interstates competition, unlike in public schools where qualifications from the zonal levels determine.
Classes in independent schools may be longer than those in public schools. There may be morning preps and evening preps but with the guidance of teachers. They are independent and do not follow any protocol laid out by the relevant state ministry.
The academic year in independent schools is shorter than those in public schools because more is covered in a day than in public schools. They can choose to close the school calendar as they wish as long as everything is covered in their syllabus, unlike in public schools where a strict calendar must be adhered to throughout the academic year.
The food in an independent school is generally acceptable because they hire professionals to handle lunches and supper for the boarders. Nutrition specialists are there to make sure food served to students are quality and delicious and let them have as much as they want.
Finally, the criteria used to admit students are unique; students have to complete the admission process, which involves interviews and examinations, and background checks before they get admissions. The admission process varies from school to school, but they set their standards, which is higher than what is set in public schools.