Chances are that if you’re reading up on the differences between private and state school, it’s because you’re considering the best path forward for either your education, or perhaps for someone you know and love. A thorough and complete investigation of the difference between these types could explore all the endless details that might set them apart, however, here we examine the differences that will likely matter to you most in the pursuit of educational excellence.


A major difference between private and state school is in how they are funded, and while that may seem like an important item mostly for the tax services, it will impact your life as a potential student. Primarily, if you wish to go to a private school, fees will have to be paid directly to the school by you, or on your behalf, whereas, state schools receive the majority of their funding from, well, the state, and thus with free tuition, the associated costs for students are much smaller if there are any at all.

Depending on the level of education, state schools are not always entirely ‘free’ to the user, and private schools often have much more access to scholarships and other forms of financial aid to ease the burden. Regardless, attending a private school will leave you directly out of pocket in a way that a state school will not.

Curriculum, Flexibility, Options

While there will be some variation between all schools, regardless of category, private schools may have an advantage in that they are not as tightly bound to mandatory national curriculum, making them more flexible in terms of what is taught, or can be taught. Changes to curriculum do not require state approval. On one hand this may be an advantage for including items like religious studies, for example, while on the other hand, a state curriculum is designed with the aim to give students the necessary skills considering demands of the market in which they shall seek vocation, which may end a practical advantage.

While private schools may have more flexibility to be creative with their curriculum, they will also be smaller overall, meaning that they may not have the same advantage for offering a variety of comprehensive programs. It is certainly common for students to enter a post-secondary learning environment either still undecided about program major, or wishing after some time to change majors. This is considered quite normal, and yet, if one selected a smaller school with fewer choices they may be well off in some programs, but lacking a full array of other options.

Goodness of Fit

Perhaps in the end, the choice you make will come down not to the difference between private and state schools in general, but to the qualities that make one individual school stand out for you based on what you yourself are seeking through your education experience. Putting any social aspects aside, your education should be attached to certain goals, which will relate to you personally. In selecting a school, it may be most wise to begin there, by identifying what it is that you seek the most. After that, you can peruse what is available, with the awareness that wherever you go, in the end it mus serve you and your needs the best.