More Australian Parents Opt for Private Schools

A new study undertaken by the National Australia Bank (NAB) indicates that Australian parents are more discerning than ever when it comes to choosing a school for their children.

In fact, the research, detailed in a report entitled ‘NAB Education Insight Report’, finds that one in three Australian families have either switched schools over the past year, or are in the process of doing so. The research reveals that more Australian parents opt for private schools.

NAB researchers surveyed more than 1000 parents and grandparents to conclude that parents consider student wellbeing and satisfaction of individual student needs as the key reasons for moving to another school.

Responding to the survey findings, Michael Saadie, an executive at Business Banking Metro, said:

‘The idea of investing in a school’s campus masterplan, information technology systems and libraries is widely accepted, but developing a strong wellbeing programme that includes catering to students’ individual needs is now equally as critical.’

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2021, there was a massive move to the independent school sector in the country.

Says Beth Blackwood, CEO of The Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia:

‘In terms of shifts within the sector, we saw demand for places in inner and outer regional schools grow as families changed their lifestyle priorities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘Parents have always placed high importance on their children’s happiness at school, and that concern is now being expressed more specifically with an interest in how schools address student wellbeing, including mental health issues.’

An Independent Schools Queensland survey, conducted before the pandemic, confirmed that: ‘Parents rightly expect the best for their children, but these expectations must be matched by engagement.

International and national research findings over the past 40 years have repeatedly confirmed that parents who are supportively engaged in their child’s education have a positive influence on their learning outcomes and wellbeing.’

Researchers working on this study added that: ‘Increasing numbers of Queensland independent school teachers are also being recognised as working at the highest levels of their profession as Highly Accomplished and Lead teachers (HALT).’