Homemy blogAre you considering sending your child to a private school? Check your options... and tuition fees
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Are you considering sending your child to a private school? Check your options... and tuition fees

Prestigious, expensive and... increasingly popular. Each year, more and more people want to go to private schools. Is it something you’re considering for your child? Here is what you should know and how much you may have to spend.

Knowledge vs. finances

According to the data published by the Ministry of National Education, the number of students attending private primary schools has grown by 48%. As a consequence of the reform of the educational system and the resulting liquidation of lower secondary schools, there are 20% more private primary schools in Poland.
Under the Act on Financing Education, non-public schools are subsidized from the local governments’ budget. Due to a wide educational offer and numerous extracurricular activities, only part of the costs incurred by private schools can be covered from state subsidies. A bigger part of the budget comes from the parents’ contributions (tuition fee), donations and sponsor contributions.

Prestige and prospect of a great career or sheltering?

Opponents of private schools will say that they do not teach their students real life, therefore, in the future children will struggle to find their place in the real world. Supporters, on the other hand, will praise them for higher quality of education and individual approach. The truth is that parents know their children best, and it is their preferences, likes and even personality that should guide them in choosing the right school. What types of private schools are present on the Polish market?
a/ international schools – ones of the most recognized institutions, where classes are conducted in a foreign language, most often in English.
b/ community schools – founded by associations, e.g., of parents
c/ more and more common alternative institutions – e.g. democratic, Montessori or Waldorf schools

Advantages of non-public institutions

1/ high-quality teaching and individualized education plan,
2/ small student groups – under 20 students,
3/ schools are open longer, e.g. from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.,
4/ closer relationship between teachers and students, more involved and creative teaching staff,
5/ broadening horizons – by functioning in an international environment every day,
6/ a wide offer of extracurricular activities – tennis, judo, soccer, musical instruments, school choir, painting, pottery, sculpture, chess or theater

How much is it... and what do I get in exchange?

Although a majority of the most expensive and prestigious private schools are located in Warsaw, you can also find such institutions in other big cities in Poland. These are often entire complexes of schools comprising pre-school, primary school, lower-secondary school and high school.
When you enroll your child in a non-public school, you might have to pay an enrolment fee (usually non-refundable) – which could be equal to a one-month tuition fee. The tuition fee ranges from PLN 300-800 in smaller cities and alternative schools to PLN 1,000-2,000 in bigger cities. Foreign schools are the most expensive ones – American, British, French or Canadian schools. Here the tuition fee may reach PLN 60,000 a year.
It can be paid in one or in several installments. Schools offer a possibility to pay the tuition fee in 1, 2, 10 or 12 installments. It is worth noting that when you choose the 12-installment plan, although the monthly amount is obviously the lowest, you will have to pay for school also during summer holidays. It is recommended to check what is included in the tuition fee. Which extracurricular activities are included, and which are payable extra? How long can your child stay in school and wait for you – are these additional minded hours charged extra? Does the tuition fee cover books and school supplies, such as notebooks, pens and art supplies?
The tuition fee also depends on the location, standard of the school and its educational offer. And the recruitment process itself is often arduous, long and entails many stages. Therefore, if you want to enroll your child in a private school, start planning even a few years in advance.

Primary school, high school... how to manage the costs?

Private schools in Poland have earned a good reputation and become a real alternative for state schools – they are often institutions of first choice for people planning further education. This is corroborated in subsequent rankings of the best Polish schools, where top ten institutions, for a few years now, have also included schools with tuition fees of a few thousand zlotys per semester. At the same time, more and more students born in Poland start their first (or subsequent) year of education in foreign schools where, depending on the country, daily costs of living can be several times higher than in Poland.
Regardless of the type of institution or the country where your children will study, the over 10 years long process of education will entail considerable expenses. Even if you're not considering private schools, you still have to add costs of extracurricular language, sports, arts and (now a must) programming classes. Keeping in mind your household budget – and what is best for your kids – you should start collecting funds (well) in advance.
A simple solution to save an appropriate amount of capital could be insurance with a savings component. Citi Handlowy provides such an option under the Warta Plan na Przyszłość (Warta Plan for the Future) plan. If you choose this form of saving, you will initially specify your goal – an amount you would like to save. The monthly or quarterly contribution will depend on the previously set goal and on the period during which you would like to achieve it. For Warta Plan na Przyszłość, the shortest possible term of an agreement is 10 years. Thus, you can easily adjust your insurance premium to your needs so as not to strain your budget while securing your future expenses related to your children’s education.
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