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Reasons for choosing private schools - Our Kids’s survey report

Why do parents choose private schools?

More and more parents decide to send their children to private preschools, primary, and secondary schools. There are more and more such institutions to choose from, offering various curricula. When parents compare public and private schools, they see many advantages of the latter option.  continue reading...

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Growth of the private education sector

The popularity of private education in Poland is systematically increasing. This sector—private schools and preschools (called “niepubliczne” in Polish, which means non-public)—has been developing dynamically for the last 30 years, enriching the educational offerings in Poland. Data from the years 2014 to 2018 show a growth in the number of new private schools at all levels of education, the numbers of their students, as well as the percentage of students enrolling in private schools in Poland.

Although both the number of private schools and the number of their students are increasing, the increase in the latter is twice as high, which means that, apart from the new schools emerging, many existing schools are expanding and accepting more students. It’s also a clear sign that private education is developing very dynamically.

During this same time, the opposite trend can be seen in the public sector—in the years 2014-2018, the number of public schools at all levels of education decreased, as did the number of their students, as well as the percentage of students enrolling in public schools.

There are many reasons for the growth of the private sector in education: Poland’s opening to the world, interest in foreign models of education, technological progress, the growing appreciation of good education in the world, and dissatisfaction with public education. With unlimited access to global models, owners of private educational institutions can track and implement the most effective ones in their own schools. This is one reason why, since the 1990s, this sector has been systematically growing.

Reasons for choosing private schools

Why do parents choose private schools? We decided to ask the parents themselves in the Our Kids nationwide survey "Why do parents choose private schools?", which we conducted in September of 2019. Our questionnaire was completed by 1,065 parents whose children attend private preschools, primary, and secondary schools throughout Poland, in 48 large cities and small towns.

The study showed that what parents value in private schools is a safe environment for their children, where children are treated as individuals, with good interaction with teachers and the school administration, and ensuring the opportunity to acquire soft skills, not only knowledge.

The most important factors for parents in all types and levels of schools were reported to be: emotional safety of the child, a more individual approach to the student, development of non-academic skills (personality, self-confidence, etc.), better opportunity to learn foreign languages, ​​and smaller classes (groups).

What did not matter so much in the eyes of parents is prestige.

Among the main reasons why they chose private over public education for their kids, many parents cited the 2017 school reform (and the ensuing overcrowding and irregular school hours in public schools), proximity to schools, too much emphasis on religious and/or political issues in public schools, and no risk of strikes in the private sector.

It seems that private school is an oasis for many families, where children can find a safe environment, support (also professional help in the form of speech therapists or psychologists), where not only their grades and academic successes are appreciated, but the comprehensive development of children is taken care of, and where instead of stress, kids experience joy and shape their self-esteem.

The full text of the second edition of the Our Kids report, entitled "Report on private education in Poland," can be found HERE (in Polish).

Parents' answers

In our survey, we received a lot of interesting answers from parents of private school students. Many parents emphasized the following features of those schools as the ones that played a decisive role in their choice:

• Children are not overloaded with too much homework after school—they often do all the tasks during school hours and can rest after school

• Teachers are very professional, open-minded, committed, and devoted

• Parents are kept informed about their children’s progress or problems

• Tolerance and understanding of as well as support for children and parents from other countries

• International environment

• Lack of religious and political indoctrination

• No risk of strikes

“A private school is primarily a community of teachers, students, and parents, which not only does the teaching but also shapes and develops young people’s characters. It’s a place where everyone is respected, which is open to discussion and new ideas, and which provides support and motivation."

- This is what one of the respondents to the Our Kids survey said, which perfectly sums up the spirit and character of private schools.

Our Kids recommends

We encourage you to read other Our Kids articles on the reasons for choosing private institutions:

Why parents go private. Five six reasons why families choose private schools in Poland

Why go to private school in Poland?

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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.