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Opinions about Poland private schools

What parents and students think about private schools in Poland

All parents are aware that choosing the right educational path for their children is crucial. This decision has consequences not only through the school years, but beyond: it can inspire a love of learning and an insatiable curiosity.

One question is whether you should choose a private or public education.  continue reading...

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There are many factors that support learning in a non-public or private school: friendly atmosphere, individual approach to the student, small classes, supervised and satisfied children. It’s worth analyzing the benefits of private school in more detail.

Private preschools and schools are becoming increasingly popular

Private preschools and schools in Poland are gaining more and more of an advantage over public institutions. In 2008, the Supreme Audit Office (NIK) examined the functioning of non-public schools and public schools in regard to educational tasks, as well as the organizational and financial conditions needed to perform these tasks. Private schools were shown to be highly beneficial.

In most non-public schools (61%): we read in the

"Information on the results of inspections on the functioning of non-public schools about the powers of public schools"—conditions were created that enable high education effectiveness, i.e., housing and staff conditions, and the appropriate number of students in school departments. In these schools, students regularly attend classes and there is a low level of repeats."

Some have a negative view of private school, as a place where dispersed children go who can’t cope with public school, or as a way to earn money, although these views are becoming less prevalent today.

Over a dozen years of activity in conditions of strong competition meant that newly established private schools offer a full range of educational services and are increasingly becoming a guarantee of high quality services, gaining the recognition of children, parents, and educational authorities. This is particularly reflected in the rankings of primary, middle, and high schools, both nationwide and local.

Undoubtedly, private institutions are now valued and praised. For what? First of all, for the quality of teaching, individualized approach to students, development of social competences, intensive learning of foreign languages, as well as many other benefits ​​that many public schools don’t offer.

This means private educational institutions are gaining not only an increasing number of supporters, but also students. This is partly due to the reform of the school system in Poland, which has in some cases adversely affected the quality of teaching in public institutions. The reform, of course, also applies to private education, but it doesn’t affect teachers or school facilities. It also doesn’t affect children.

According to the data collected by 'Wyborcza,' as many as 1,500 children more than a year ago started to study in private schools. 1.5 thousand students also came to private schools in Wroclaw. Other Polish cities with increasing numbers of private school students include Szczecin (200), Poznań (450), Białystok (500), Gdańsk (800), and Lublin (1,300) (Source: Gazeta Wyborcza; April 13, 2018).

Disadvantages of public education

There is currently new research that may show differences between public education offered by preschools and schools run by local government units, and culture and sport ministers in the case of art and sports schools, and those run by private entities, including associations. The results of the NIK study on the prevention of mental disorders in children and adolescents, which the Chamber carried out in July 2017, shed a little light on this issue.

In the opinion of students' parents, although the public school has some advantages (e.g., it offers good housing conditions (53% of respondents), a friendly atmosphere among students (45%), good relations between students and teachers (39%) and— surprisingly—few signs of aggression among students (38%)). Yet it also has some shortcomings:

These shortcomings definitely affect the quality of learning. And they’re rarely found in private schools. It’s no longer controversial that an individualized approach to a child, and interest in his or her experience, not only promotes the well-being of the student at school, but also his or her development.

Unfortunately many public schools in Poland are overcrowded and often exceed 30 students in older classes (in Grades 1 to 3, preschool, and kindergarten, though, the number of children in a class can’t exceed 25). This often makes it difficult for teachers to devote as much time to each student as needed.

An important factor influencing the choice of a private school is extracurricular activities and access to after-school activities, which for older children in public schools are usually not available.

Also, many private schools provide extra support and activities. For example, the Primary School of the Educational Association VIZJA, operating in Warsaw, provides students with extra classes until 6pm (as part of tuition), during which they can do homework, participate in scientific circles and clubs, and develop their interests in language, nature, and sports. Paid extras are also offered during this time.

Opinions of parents and students about non-public schools

The growing popularity of non-public educational institutions is also evidenced by the very positive opinions of those who deal with them directly, i.e., parents and the students themselves.

Parents and students say briefly:

“We send our child to a private school, because in a public school, nobody will provide him with such comprehensive care. Thanks to this, we can be sure that during the whole stay at school the child has classes and work, and basically does not bring any tasks home. It costs, of course, but to do it ourselves, we would have to hire a babysitter or take the child to various afternoon classes, which I just don't have time for. Oh yes, I drive my child to school in the morning and pick him up in the evening. But I don't have to think about sporting activities, learning a language myself, and whether my child is hungry. This is an excellent solution,” sums up Jakub S., whose child learns at one of Warsaw's private schools.

Even small classes don't bother parents.

“My son never had a problem with it, although at one point there were only three people in his class. He is open, easily makes friends and loves to talk about school, especially at home,” laughs Mrs. Magda B., whose son is just finishing private middle school. “Learning in a small class has its advantages—the child is focused on the lesson, learns quickly, and if he does not understand something, the teacher will always explain it to him. He does not have to supplement knowledge at home or with tutoring,” she emphasizes.

“I went to a social high school. My colleagues from the estate did not know what to do with each other, and I was learning, and I had every free moment filled—there were circles of interest, like language classes and sports. We had nothing to complain about, especially boredom. I have many friends from those years. I am happy to remember these times,” says Sebastian I., one of the directors of a large Warsaw company.

It’s worth looking at entries on various discussion forums. Here are some notable examples:

• From the discussion at: http://tustolica.pl/forum_a-moze-szkola-profuturo/topic/6-14789:

“... if you are looking for a primary school in Wilanów, then read about a private school named after Queen Victoria, the school is run by the Varsovia Foundation. My sons go to this school and I am very, very happy. (...) Here, children feel good and want to learn, because they are praised and evaluated fairly for it,” wrote AD (entry: 26.06.2017);

"... I recommend Gaudeamus in Bemowo [in Warsaw]. Our daughter goes to Gaudeamus, and before she went to Orange Train. I really like their learning method based on multiple intelligences (...). Thanks to this, kids learn easier and know what to work on to succeed. Teachers themselves are also very helpful, as they treat each child individually ... and talk to him (...). Language classes are also great ..." OM continued (entry: 27.09.2018).

• From https://f.kafeteria.pl/temat/f1/jaka-szkole-prywatna-polecacie-w-warszawie-p_6696236:

“... I recommend the Polish-English Edison School (...) [in Warsaw]. My daughters are currently going to 2nd and 4th grade. High level of teaching, nice atmosphere, and qualified teaching staff. A large number of diverse extracurricular activities is another advantage. My kids are delighted, and I'm calm about their learning,” encouraged Mikanaa (entry: 2018.03.21).

• From thttp://warszawa.naszemiasto.pl/forum/temat/dobra-podstawowka:

“I can recommend you a good primary school, but in Ochota [in Warsaw.] —TE Vizja. My daughter has been going there for the second year and we are very satisfied. Small classes, great teaching staff who not only teach but also bring up issues. The enormity of extra classes, a high level of teaching,” wrote Inga (entry: 2018-03-28)

“My daughter goes to Gaudeamus in Bemowo [in Warsaw], to the language class and we are delighted. I really like the approach to children, their talents, strengths, and weaknesses. I see a big difference with primary school (...) Of course, the pocket hurts, but what is not done for a child :-),” wrote Anna (entry: 2018-08-28).

• Opinions (the vast majority are positive and short, although some are negative) can also be found on Facebook:

“I attended IAS from the age of 3 until the end of high school. I believe that IAS allowed me to be the person I am. Messrs. McMillan, Schulze, Butterick, and Hickey are just a few names that come to mind when I think of all the advice and words of support and encouragement I've heard over the years. What's more, IAS promotes creativity and encourages students to express their thoughts—and this is the environment that parents desire for their children,” Ania Rubkiewicz assessed on FB (February 26, 2016), reviewing the International American School of Warsaw. Based on the opinions of 55 users, the school was rated 4.7 on a 5-point scale.

“A fantastic school with great resources. Three daughters go to elementary and high school. A great start to education,” said Emil Jonsson (entry: November 6, 2016), reviewing the American School of Warsaw. Based on the opinions of 34 users, the school currently has 4.9 points out of 5 possible.

“A very good school—both our daughters are very happy to be studying there. Thank you!,” wrote Katarina Shutinovska (entry: October 12, 2016), reviewing The Canadian School of Warsaw. Based on 29 users' opinions, the school obtained 4.9 points out of 5 points.

“Great atmosphere, brilliant teachers (and in addition they care about every student and every teacher helps students out of class if they need it). In general, everything is 100%,” Mikołaj Wierszycki reviewed (entry: 23.02.2016). The Polish-French Primary and Secondary School La Fontaine received 4.8 out of 5 points based on 35 users' opinions.

• Words of recognition can also be found—obviously—on the websites of the schools themselves, but they are worth quoting here because they fully reflect their character. For example, on the Monnet International School website, we can read the entry of Ela Krawczykowska, one of the graduates of the school:

“The years in 32 PLO are some of the greatest in my life, not only because I spent it with irreplaceable friends who supported me throughout high school. Thanks to our school, family atmosphere, I am where I am—I study the coveted subject of journalism at City University of London. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the IB program—I don't regret that I decided to go for it for a moment. (...) Thank you all for these wonderful three years.”

Whereas on The British School, Warsaw website, you can find many students' opinions:

“There is a nice atmosphere at school. Everyone is helpful and friendly.”

“I really like being in this school because I learn a lot of things in it in an interesting and fun way”.

“We have great friends and education at the highest level, which makes us want to be the best of the best.”

“Teachers tell many funny stories and very interesting facts. We have fun and we are always safe. We have great friends, great teachers, and great food. There are always people around willing to help you. In general, The British School is the best.”

“We have the opportunity to pursue our creativity in projects and other tasks that teachers assign us”.

We recommend on our website an article in which Dr. Aleksandra Teresa Woźnicka shares the reasons for choosing private education for her children: Why I chose private school for my children. We also recommend: Why parents go private.

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Disclaimer: We cannot guarantee the complete accuracy of the school information on this site. Please contact schools directly to confirm all details.