Pros & Cons of Private School Education


Selecting a school for your child’s education is one of the most important decisions a parent has to make. Whether you’re considering a unique curriculum or a school’s religious affiliation, education plays a major role in setting up a foundation for your child's life. Deciding to enroll your child in a private school can instill them with values and opportunities public schools may not be able to offer. 

There’s no denying that public and private schools can provide your child with different educational experiences. From the size of the student body to tuition costs, private schools, like Canterbury School of Florida, provide their students with unique opportunities to learn through exploration, conversation, and connection. With access to competitive sports, visual and performing arts, marine studies, and a rigorous academic curriculum, private school students build the strength of character and become well-rounded individuals.  


Small Class Sizes

In a private school setting, students are welcomed into smaller class sizes where they experience an immersive and engaging learning environment. Educators are able to customize lessons to individual students’ needs and provide them with the tools they require to succeed in their studies. Smaller classes also allow students the opportunity to form better relationships with their teachers, giving them the confidence to ask for help and ask questions when needed. At Canterbury, the student-to-teacher ratio is 7:1. In contrast, the public school student-to-teacher ratio is an average of 25:1

Private schools also help children build a tight-knit support system amongst their peers. For students of middle and high school age, they may see small class sizes as a disadvantage, as their social lives play a large role in their school experience. Yet, smaller class sizes provide a safe space for students to voice their opinions and feel seen and heard. At Canterbury, socializing plays a large role in the development of students' lives and there are many opportunities provided for students to collaborate with their peers through competitive sports, school-wide activities, and clubs. 


Academic Performance

Known for their academic rigor and college preparation programs, private school curriculums allow students to expand their knowledge outside of the usual class projects and tests. Rather than creating a learning environment where students are guided by standardized scores and state exams, as they are in the public school system, a private school education can offer each student an individualized education that helps them learn to think critically and reach their full potential. 

Private schools such as Canterbury create a culture of high standards and expectations because they know students are capable of achieving more than the blanket standard. Canterbury students have a 100% college acceptance rate, and it is through the school’s college counseling and preparation, rigorous curriculum, and educational independence that students feel prepared to embark on the next stage of their lives. 

Canterbury students foster an environmental and global awareness through their studies by participating in challenging class discussions, working with technology, and collaborating with their peers in the classroom. It is through a private school education that students can prepare for their advanced post-graduate studies and the world of change ahead of them. 


Programs & Extracurriculars

A common misconception surrounding private schools is that they lack a variety of programs and extracurriculars for students to participate in. Although private schools may be smaller in size, they are still able to give their students access to sports, music and drama, leadership programs, and, in some cases, even international study abroad opportunities.

Private school curriculums also allow faculty to align their lessons with the school’s specialty programs and extracurriculars to give students an in-depth education that extends beyond the classroom. As the world's first Cousteau Divers partner school, Canterbury’s curriculum is rooted in its marine science program, allowing students to apply their lessons in the classroom to real-world marine excursions and research. Canterbury students build underwater robots for research, take scuba diving lessons, and venture out on the water on boat and kayak tours to bring their textbooks and lessons to life.

Rather than participating in afterschool programs and seasonal sports to keep busy, private school students can invest themselves in specialized programs and extracurriculars year-round. When private school programs are aligned with the school’s curriculum, students can build a well-rounded understanding of their education and how it applies to the world around them. 



One of the biggest differentiators for parents choosing between a private or public school is cost. Although selecting a private school education for your child might seem like a large investment, you are investing in your child’s future by providing them with a high-quality academic curriculum, access to specialized programs, an individualized education, and the tools and resources they need to realize their full potential. 

Private schools provide many opportunities to make their schools accessible to all. At Canterbury, there are multiple options to make school affordable, including variable tuition (based on your financial situation), need-based scholarships, and tuition insurance. For students who exhibit incredible academic merit, Canterbury also offers three merit scholarships to be awarded each year that will cover 50 percent of the tuition for the recipients. Canterbury stands against all academic and economic discrimination and welcomes all families interested no matter their race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic background.


Access to Technology and Supplies

Private schools invest in high-quality technology and resources for their specialized programs and rigorous curriculums to provide their students with a hands-on learning experience. Whether they provide research equipment for science projects or iPads to create immersive lessons within the classroom, a private school education grants students access to the equipment they need to realize their full potential. 

At Canterbury, students have access to the most effective and suitable technology to help them reach their academic goals. No matter how young, students are encouraged to apply their knowledge in the classroom through hands-on experiments and research projects. At Canterbury’s Cousteau Center for Marine Studies (CCMS), students have access to a 2,800 square foot stand-alone building on the Knowlton Campus with a state-of-the-art learning laboratory that features three touch tanks, an interactive outdoor classroom, underwater robotics, and interactive displays. 

Canterbury’s makerspaces and science facilities are created to familiarize students with cutting-edge technology. Access to equipment allows students to lead their own independent research projects and execute their class projects efficiently and effectively. It is Canterbury’s goal to teach students how to be self-reliant and use analytical problem solving skills.


Exploring Private School Education

Private schools do not see their students as a “one size fits all" - they prioritize their students' educational journey to ensure they reach their personal standard of excellence. By exploring their curiosity and being driven to think critically about the world around them, private school students go on to become good citizens ready for the next chapter of their academic careers. 

Investing in your child’s future is not a decision that should be taken lightly, and it’s important to choose a school you feel confident in. At Canterbury, every child has the opportunity to unlock their full potential and learn through exploration, conversation, and connection. With the support of the Canterbury community, students reach a new level of success and build their strength of character. 

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