These 8 criteria allowed me to choose between private and public school for my children

Estimated read time 5 min read

Finally, at the time, the choice was imposed on us. The nearest private school was too far from us anyway, we had to go more than a year in advance for registrations, not to mention the madness tuition fees which cost us a little, even a lot. discouraged.

And then, we said to ourselves that we were going to try the kindergarten in the neighborhood, which has a fairly good reputation, and that we would see in elementary school if we maintained our choice.

Overall, the early years were pretty good for my daughter, and then for her brother when he came into it.

Here is my assessment after 6 months.

The organization

Clearly, what I blamed the public for was the very These 8 criteria allowed me to choose between private and public school for my children top-down operation. You are given directives, you apply them, period.

The place of parents at school was not important enough for my taste, the projects rather limited. In any case, that was the case in my school in Banlieue-sous-B├ęton when we were in Paris.

Parents are regularly invited to take part in school life, there is a kind of “community” that works together, which I did not find in public where roughly speaking our role was to drop off and pick up our children. .

Make pancakes or cakes, solidarity sales, gardening activities or small jobs to improve the reception conditions of our children, set up parent shows… Nothing is compulsory, but everyone can participate depending on what he wants. We feel like an actor in the daily life of our children, and I like that!


Without wishing to denigrate public education, far from it, I clearly noted a difference in speed in the learning of children.

Difference well felt when my eldest child entered CP, who found herself a little behind compared to the other children who had already been in the private sector since the start of their schooling. She had to work extra hard to catch up with the “level”, and she was able to count on an instit ‘super available to help her.


A library outing from time to time, a psychomot course in the school, one or two little shows that came to the children during the year, an end-of-year outing and that’s it. And that’s good enough, I agree

But it is clear that in the private sector, it is much more extensive. The children benefit from the arrival of outside contributors who change every quarter: singer, guitarist, hip hop teacher… They have access to a variety of activities and base themselves on them to put on little shows for us during the year.

This year, we had our first Christmas show and our first carnival in 4 years of school, where in the public we had an end-of-year fair on the 3 years …

The rhythms

This is one of the points that mattered most in our decision. In many private schools, including ours, school hours have remained at 4 days, with no school on Wednesdays.

The days are a little longer than those of the public suddenly, but clearly having Wednesday off changes everything for the children (and for us too!).

Going back to 4 days has been super beneficial in our daily lives, both in terms of fatigue and, because of the behavior of the little ones. No regrets!

Class composition

I admit that I expected to find classes less loaded in private… And this is not necessarily the case. The workforce is the same in PS / MS for my son as in public last year, more important in CP for my eldest.

There is the same ratio of classes at two levels, in short, contrary to the image I had of it, the private sector does not necessarily have the upper hand on this point.

The framework

Thereupon, our private school clearly has more resources and therefore larger classes, more airy corridors, a more secure courtyard.

BUT the 2 public schools we attended were not bad, far from it, they were even very good.

Only difference for the dormitories which are better equipped I find in our private school, which necessarily depends on the schools whatever they are.

Apart from a not very significant “pretty” side, public and private are on the same level for my taste.

The place of religion

The children are in private Catholic school and inevitably, the place of religion came to mind when we enrolled them.

I am baptized, received communion but ultimately rather an atheist, and I did not want to “impose” anything on my children. In the end, Catholic education is present but not compulsory, and it remains “light” in the first years. We leave the choice and the door open to the children, my daughter is very interested in the subject and we therefore respect her beliefs and her will.

But, in our Breton province, tuition fees are not very high (30 euros per month and per child against 250 euros minimum in our former suburbs of 93). What figures on the other hand, it is the extracurricular time and the meals which are really more expensive than in public.

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