27 December 2008

Private School Costs Rise

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The CT has this article about the rise in Private School fees for 2009.

Looks as though private schools are going to get even more select not just through tight enrollments but also higher fees during this period of economic downturn.

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nyssa76 said :

Nyssa76 @ #13
I work in a school in a low socio-economic area. I have to purchase basics for my students as many come to school without them.

Parental involvement in schooling does assist a child in how well they do. Teachers aren’t babysitters nor are they the only ‘role models’ a child should see.

So many nails with their heads firmly hit in that post…

I am a teacher working in the Public system. I provide materials for my students, despite the fact that they are explicitly asked to provide them for themselves. From experience, if I wait for them to get their own gear (exercise books, pencils, pens, erasers, display book etc), I get about half the class (the good kids) with their materials by about week 2 (about 6-8 students will turn up to lesson 1 with all the prescribed materials anyhow). I might get 2 more per week until the last 6-8 students, who are simply unable to get the materials themselves (for whatever reason, but usually they cannot be bothered). So I buy up big during the back to school sales ($50 bucks or so saves me months of hair-pulling, and I ain’t got too much to spare). There are several kids at my school that bring nothing but the clothes they are wearing to school – so I provide pens, pencils etc too (though I insist on a swap of a personal item until they return mine, and I usually get “why?”). Noticeably, the kids that don’t have the equipment struggle to cope with class work and are usually the ones with parents uninterested in their kids (yes, being unprepared and poorly resourced seems to go hand in hand with crappy, uninterested parenting – my own anecdotal evidence).

My two (young) children will most likely go to through private schooling, not because I think it is any BETTER (in terms of education outcomes/delivery), but because I know first-hand what teachers (and other students) have to put up with in terms of behaviour, and, more importantly, working in an elective area, I know that a majority of parents are *unwilling* to support electives by paying “voluntary contributions” (which are simply part of the bill at a private school) – this has a direct impact on what the school is able to teach all students (last I heard VCs ran at around 2-3 students per class – but we are not allowed to know that now). I am willing to participate in my children’s education, I am willing to support their schooling – even financially. The simple truth is that kids need support, input and involvement from parents in their educations, or they will get very little out of it (and put even less in).

I believe every student is entitled to the same level of funding from Federal coffers, and that as taxpayers, every single one of us is responsible to funding education in exactly the same way as any other infrastructure or service provided by the Commonwealth (ie “us”). That investment in education pays off in other ways. I am happy that my tax get used to support both private and public education, and quite happy for people to pay an additional amount to have their kids go to private schools.

Bah – I’ve gone on long enough…

When the Catholic school in Goulburn had toilets that ‘broke down’ and was required to close down until fixed, the local Govt school couldn’t fit all the kids. However, that was in the 50/60’s.

Nowdays there are plenty of closed down Govt schools for the CEO to use in the eventuality that theirs are ‘closed’. They might not be as well resourced but a classroom’s a classroom. You just have to deal with it.

I’m also interested in the figures, primarily as they focus on Victoria and not Canberra or Australia. I’d be more interested if they showed both systems funding over the past 10-20 years.

BerraBoy – J.P., K.N., C.B., S.J.??

imhotep said :

BerraBoy68 said :

(BerraBoy68) “On a single child basis, does a Gov’t student get funded less than a Private school student? Seriously, I wasn’t aware this was the case.”

This, from ABC News, August 20, 2007, (via the Association of Independent Schools, so make of it what you will).

“Report ‘dispels myth’ that govt funding favours private schools

“A new report into the costs of private education has found that parents who send their children to independent schools are saving taxpayers $5 billion a year…

…The report [from Victoria] found that for 2004 to 2005, a public school student received just over $10,000 in government funding compared to $5,500 for a student going to a non-government school.”

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/08/20/2009423.htm

Thanks imhotep!

BerraBoy68 said :

(BerraBoy68) “On a single child basis, does a Gov’t student get funded less than a Private school student? Seriously, I wasn’t aware this was the case.”

This, from ABC News, August 20, 2007, (via the Association of Independent Schools, so make of it what you will).

“Report ‘dispels myth’ that govt funding favours private schools

“A new report into the costs of private education has found that parents who send their children to independent schools are saving taxpayers $5 billion a year…

…The report [from Victoria] found that for 2004 to 2005, a public school student received just over $10,000 in government funding compared to $5,500 for a student going to a non-government school.”

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/08/20/2009423.htm

nyssa76 said :

BerraBoy, I still would have reported her. I’m very interested in who she is. I have some ideas though.

When I went through Signadou, my cohort were told only on our last day as students that if we weren’t Catholic, we wouldn’t get many job offers and primarily we couldn’t teach RE.

Lets just say she started sleeping with one of her bosses while I was still going out with her (needless to say as soon as I found out I left – and good riddance). He was a tosser anyway – he’d turn up to parties empty handed and drink from other peoples eskies without their permission (a good sign of a knob). They ended up getting married, he died and she got his job, even though she was only working part time. You can’t tell me there were no better qualified people around. If we ever meet I’ll tell you her name. But if you can throw me some initials, I’ll let you know if you’re right.

I think what happened to you at Signadou sucks. I was offered a mature entry spot there back in the late 80’s. I’m actually glad I ended up going to the ANU to do a BA instead.

BerraBoy, I still would have reported her. I’m very interested in who she is. I have some ideas though.

When I went through Signadou, my cohort were told only on our last day as students that if we weren’t Catholic, we wouldn’t get many job offers and primarily we couldn’t teach RE.

YapYap, I’m not going to read through all those links just to find some evidence that Parkes’ view of public education was in support of something similar to our public education today. I had a glance, however, and nowhere did I see Parkes mention that these schools would be free.

I’m not against public education – I was educated at public and private schools. What I am against is a black and white view of the world that private education is somehow to the detriment of the public education system. All you’ve done is jump on some comments made over 100 years ago by people who established the government schooling system and lazily (and incorrectly) presume that this meant they were against private schools.

I think you should stick to your quack LaborNet journals.

nyssa76 said :

Berra Boy, it’s been decided for over a century that Govt Education, which is free and non-exclusive, is to be paid by Federal and State taxes.

Just because people have a choice doesn’t mean their choice should be funded, to a greater extent than the public, to pay for a system which is exclusive.

I’ve taught in the private system, with a degree in Education from Signadou. But I was told I wasn’t made permanent because I wasn’t a Catholic. I was also told I couldn’t teach RE. However, I do have enough qualifications to be an RE Coordinator in a Catholic school. Apparently it’s not discrimination under the act.

If public teachers did as you say, then report them. Especially if they are still ‘teaching’. Call Employee Relations, through Canberra Connect, and discuss it with them.

On a single child basis, does a Gov’t student get funded less than a Private school student? Seriously, I wasn’t aware this was the case. I do firmly believe though that the Government should fund both Gov’t and non-gov’t students equally on a per student basis.

On the poor Gov’t teachers I’ve known, I have thought about reporting the teachers involved but it was a long time ago now. One of them (an ex-girlfriend) gave each player in her netball team (all Yr 7) champagne at an end of year BBQ that she held for them at her home. This was despite a couple of the parents making comment when they dropped off their daughters at the BBQ that no alcohol was to be at the party. The teacher in question assured the parents there would be no alcohol but once the parents left they were given the champagne. I asked her what the hell she thought she was doing she said “it’s not as if they’re going to tell their parents.” That was about 13 years ago and the teacher in question is now a principle – a position she seems to have gained through pure nepotism in the ACT Education system. Chances are you know her due to her position and role so I’ll say no more.

The catholic issue you raised is odd and does sound to me like discrimination. When I was at Marist very few of the teachers there actually taught RE so I’m not sure what the issue is. Actually, a couple of those that did teach RE have now been proven to be pedophiles but that’s another matter… Also when I looked into a career change and a move into teaching early in ’08 I was advised I would have no problem getting into Uni anywhere (I already have a BA and MEngSc.) to complete either a DipEd or BEd and that I could pick up theology units “later down the track”, as this “wasn’t a pre-requisite for a teaching position in catholic schools”. That said, I was looking at Primary and I know you teach Secondary so maybe that’s the difference.

monomania said :

(monomania)”…people who are able too can opt their kids out of public education, governments even help them do this and more and more can and have. No longer are they as concerned about the standard of public education…”

There is some truth in this. If we can afford to send our kids to a private school, many of us do -thus reducing the pressure on government to improve the situation in public schools.

I don’t like the fact that we have two different standards of education, any more than I like the fact that (by joining a health fund) the wealthier can afford better health care.

However, that is a political view. When it comes to family, like most parents I will do whatever I feel is in my child’s best interest. Few of us are public-spirited enough to give our child second-best in order to make a political statement.

I reiterate my point though. Private schools are not the enemy. Why shouldn’t public schools have a decent cricket pitch? Why aren’t teachers paid at a rate that recognizes their crucial role in our society? It isn’t because private schools exist. It’s because governments don’t put enough priority on education.

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imhotep said :

Why are private schools so popular? Why, despite all the rhetoric, was there an influx of new students to the ‘best’ private schools when the Rudd government swept into town?

It’s because for some reason we as a society are willing to accept low resourcing of public education -we simply don’t put enough value on it.

Why? Because people who are able too can opt their kids out of public education, governments even help them do this and more and more can and have. No longer are they as concerned about the standard of public education just their own kids education and some lobby to increase private funding, even to the extent of denigrating government schools . Quite a number of the these parents went to government schools. A significant number of government school teachers indicate their commitment to public education by sending their kids to private schools.

I-filed, it was closer to home and my child’s day care when I first started the degree (no car). I liked the look of the campus as it wasn’t the concrete jungle of UC and it had smaller tutorial sizes.

I later did my grad cert and Masters at UC.

Nyssa do you mind if I ask, why on Earth did you do your education degree at Signadou rather than UC/CCAE if you aren’t Catholic?

Berra Boy, it’s been decided for over a century that Govt Education, which is free and non-exclusive, is to be paid by Federal and State taxes.

Just because people have a choice doesn’t mean their choice should be funded, to a greater extent than the public, to pay for a system which is exclusive.

I’ve taught in the private system, with a degree in Education from Signadou. But I was told I wasn’t made permanent because I wasn’t a Catholic. I was also told I couldn’t teach RE. However, I do have enough qualifications to be an RE Coordinator in a Catholic school. Apparently it’s not discrimination under the act.

If public teachers did as you say, then report them. Especially if they are still ‘teaching’. Call Employee Relations, through Canberra Connect, and discuss it with them.

nyssa76 said :

I didn’t say they paid more taxes, but they do pay taxes for both systems, regardless of having no children.

Nyssa, my kids go to non-govt schools so why do my tax dollars have to pay for the Gov’t system? I know a couple of teachers in Gov’t school I wouldn’t feed let alone employ (a long story for another time involving them giving alcohol and cigarettes to their students) and I resent them drawing salaries from my tax, but there you go. The only choice we get in where out tax dollars are spent is when we go to the polls, and the tribe has spoken for this period. It seems the majority either have no issue with the funding of private schools or they have bigger reasons for voting in the current Gov’t that override any anger of this funding.

I didn’t say they paid more taxes, but they do pay taxes for both systems, regardless of having no children.

(nyssa) “The difference is tax payers without children also pay for both and don’t see a ‘return’ in their own offspring.”

Yapyap et al do not pay more tax because I send my child to a private school. If I pulled them out and sent them to a public school it would probably cost them more. His education was subsidized by the working generation, why should he not contribute?

Why are private schools so popular? Why, despite all the rhetoric, was there an influx of new students to the ‘best’ private schools when the Rudd government swept into town?

It’s because for some reason we as a society are willing to accept low resourcing of public education -we simply don’t put enough value on it. If the importance of good teachers was reflected in their pay rates and if class sizes were smaller, we’d see a return on that investment within a generation.

Private schools are not the enemy, their popularity is just a symptom of the decline in resourcing for the public system -and often a convenient whipping post for those with wider agendas. (I’m not referring to you nyssa76)

.

Hang on, wasn’t there an argument put forth by those for private education that they pay for public and private and it’s not fair?

The difference is tax payers without children also pay for both and don’t see a ‘return’ in their own offspring.

imhotep, I’d love to have your old job!

YapYapYap said :

(yap yap) I don’t have kids, paid over $40k last year in income tax alone, and support public education. Those (private school) parents who demand that they have a right to take my tax dollars…

You don’t have kids? You don’t even have a dog in this fight yap yap. Public school parents may have an argument that their kids are being shortchanged -but what is your problem?

Some years I have paid more than $200,000 in tax -and I’m not too happy about many of the things our tax dollars are spent on.

Somehow though, I deal with my grief. You earn good money. Get over it.

.

Nambucco Deliria8:10 pm 31 Dec 08

Yapyapyap – can you define the term ‘quack education providers’? I suspect its not the education you’re railing against, but the religious motivation behind it, yes?

I send my youngest son to a Catholic School. I have no religious beliefs myself whatsoever – in fact I am a confirmed atheist – but given the choice of sending my child to ‘quack educationalists’ or putting him in the care of the government system I think I’ve made the right decision. As someone who has no kids themselves I don’t really take your bleating seriously as you don’t have any experience in the field of school selection whatsoever. If and when you do beget, I hope you put a good deal of your impressive wage (40K IN TAX! that’s only 15,000 pa less than I earn in toto)into voluntary payments at the government school you choose for your children – but I bet you don’t.

johnnycash, if you ranked ‘M’ or higher, you should have been offered an early offer at the start of Term 4. I’d be asking why, if your area (I’m assuming maths/science so please correct me) is in high demand that you weren’t offered a job.

I’m teaching across 3 subject areas next year. I’m qualified in all 3 but am teaching maths because there aren’t enough teachers in the school or system.

Choose what is best for your kids. For some it will be the ACT Govt. system and for others it will be the Catholic or independent schools. Everyone doesn’t fit into every school – and that includes teachers.

Parents are the key though…regardless of the school they need to take responsibility for how they bring up their kids. You’re having yourself on if you think that only Govt. schools have to deal with dysfunctional parents and kids!

And as an aside, if the ACT Govt wants more quality teaching graduates in their schools then all they need to do is be a bit quicker with their recruitment. As a newly qualified teacher I applied to the ACT system and was ranked highly in a subject area with a shortage of teachers. I also applied to independent and Catholic schools. I had permanent job offers in Oct/Nov from the independents and Catholics but it was Week 2 of Term 1 the following year before the ACT Department offered me a 12 month contract. Which do you think I chose?

Parkes and ‘free’ public education

http://www.parkesfoundation.org.au/Projects_ryan.htm

http://www.nswtf.org.au/journal_extras/iemdoor.html

http://www.ala.asn.au/public/commentaries/Flowers2607.pdf

http://workers.labor.net.au/87/news9_education.html

http://www.jenniegeorge.com.au/inparliament/2006/PublicEducation.22June2006.doc

http://www.tascoss.org.au/Portals/0/News/Garsed%20pp.pdf

” Public education is splendid in that it throws open the doors of our schools to all children…asking no question where the child has been born, what may be their conditions in life, or what the position of their parents, but inviting all to sit side by side in receiving that primary instruction which must be the foundation of all education whatever….”

and further, in his final statement in Parliament to what became the 1880 Act “to make more adequate provision for Public Education in New South Wales”:

” It is a measure, we think, which embodies in the fullest and most unimpeded way the principle of freedom and equality which characterise the isntitutions of this country….We think this Bill may be received , and ought to be received, by our Roman Catholic fellow citizens. Surely the Catholic religion with all its sacraments does not depend upon some particular form being taught; and surely it cannot be a thing, the teaching of which renders it necessary to separate the Catholic children from the other children of the country. They must mix in after years, and be associated with each other in all the duties of every day life….
Be of whatever faith we may, be born on whatever soil we may, reared under whatever associations we may, let us here remember that we are above everything else free citizens of a free commonwealth. Whether we are Englishmen, Scotchmen, or Irishmen, or whether we are the sons of some foreign land, over and above every other consideration we ought to be Australians, and he is no friend to building up a free, enlightened and prosperous people in this land who seeks to cross the path of any child of tender years by imposing some mere figment of an old-world story that is to debar him of the best means of education. I think that our Roman Catholic fellow citizens, whilst clinging to their faith with all the zeal of their fathers, may well trust that faith to their clergy, to themselves, and to the example of their own lives, and allow their children to be instructed in the ordinary duties of citizenship with the children of their fellow citizens. Making war against nobody, entertaining hostility to no one, but seeking to benefit all, I submit this Bill for the calm and impartial consideration of the House….”

Parkes wasn’t alone in his unremitting support of public education. Edmund Barton made his position very clear:

Sir Edmund Barton in a speech to the New South Wales Parliament in 1879:

“The difference between the denominational system and the public school system is all the difference between bolstering up and letting alone. Denominational education supported by the State bolsters up a number of discordant beliefs, while the policy of the country as affirmed in the abolition of State Aid to religion is to let all religions alone – neither to discourage nor support any of them.

Let the Church continue to endeavour to fit us and our children for a better world, and let the State seek to promote the elements of social harmony and material prosperity – let them do their work separately, although, if you will, side by side.”( Also see Press Release 17: http://www.adogs.info/pr17.htm and Press Release 166 : http://www.adogs.info/pr166.htm )

imhotep and radonezh: I don’t care what you say parents ‘want’, just where my tax dollar gets spent, and I do not support my tax dollar going to quack education providers. As a taxpayer, my support starts and stops with public education. That private education gets even one cent pisses me off.

I love the Private Vs Public school debate. Why shouldn’t the Gov’t provide funding to Non-Gov’t schools.

As for arguing about the various schools facilities, what many don’t seem to understand is that the facilities built and provided at Non-Gov’t schools are typically provided by the parents themselves through many fundraising endeavors and through simply paying quite high fees, often causing great hardship to the parents involved. If you want your kids school to have better facilities at their Gov’t school, get involved in the school community and do something about it, rather than just talk about some perceived injustice.

Teachers I have known in the ACT public system have told me that their schools are run down as parents just don’t/won’t/can’t pay their ‘voluntary’ school fees. A few teachers I have told me, and this has been confirmed by a few Real Estate agents, that looking at the state of the local Gov’t school will give you a good indication of the area you may be seeking to buy into. For example, good Gov’t schools typically indicate that parents are willing to pay the fees, indicating a more caring attitude towards their kids. Run down schools generally indicates the parents don’t give a crap which then leads to other social problems in the immediate area.

It’s no wonder more and more parents are seeing the benefits in making medium term financial sacrifices to send their kids to Private schools. BTW: if you think Private schools just care about the money, I’ve known these schools to waive individual students fee’s for their entire high school/college education just to help the family out.

YapYapYap said :

Those who continue to argue for an even greater share of public resources to be directed to their ‘right of choice’ are just frauds.

I’ve had a gut-full of this disingenuous ‘debate’; it’s nothing more that the better-off plundering one of the few remaining benefits freely open to all.

Henry Parkes (not exactly a left-wing radical) speaking of his aspirations for this then young country, said that he envisaged a public school system making: “No distinction of faith, asking no question where a child was born, what may be his condition of life, or what the position his parents, but inviting all to sit side by side”. He saw in a free, universal public education system, the very foundations of a just society.

The ongoing attacks on Parkes’ great dream by conservatives (odd, as Parkes was one himself), and by selfish parents who want ‘all’ for their own kids, and hang everyone else’s is nothing more than a thiny masked form a greed, hiding under the veil of ‘choice’.

Critics of this line of thought will accuse me of being part of the ‘politics of envy’. They would care less what I say if they could get their hands on even more of our money.

Perhaps a tad over the top… Quite emotive, and entirely disrespectful to the myriad views already expressed. One can’t claim that the debate isn’t a debate simply because one doesn’t agree with others’ opinions. The number of posts on this topic demonstrates that it is an issue for the community.

I’d have more sympathy with YapYapYap’s views if s/he could find a quote where Henry Parkes was talking about a free education. Don’t forget, the term “public school” in Britain means, and meant, something quite different to the Australian use of the term. Does YapYapYap know that Sir Henry more or less founded Sydney Grammar School?

And I agree with imhotep’s statement.

If you don’t have kids, what on earth would you know about the subject of what parents want for their kids? Your opinion is completely irrelevant.

Actually it’s not.

YapYapYap pays taxes like the rest of us and it goes to both systems. Just because some people pay for education doesn’t meant their opinion is irrelevant.

It would be the same as saying ‘you’re just a parent, you have no clue as to the resourcing of private vs public schools nor do you have the relevant background to validate your statement.’

@ant – “Too many parents have the “rights, no responsibility” mentality, so their foul little offspring can do wrong, but if the school takes action, they go screeching off to the education minister and their local member. This, more than anything, is the big problem. Scumbag parents who won’t raise their kids properly and won’t let the school take action against them.”

BRAVO!! Couldn’t have said it better.

YapYapYap said :

I don’t have kids, paid over $40k last year in income tax alone, and support public education. Those (private school) parents who demand that they have a right to take my tax dollars (not their own as they suggest) and direct that money to their (and their kid’s) private benefit are either grubs, or more likely victims of the propaganda put about by the private school lobby.

$40k in tax? So you are on about $135000 per year? Most of the people I know who send their kids to private schools don’t earn anywhere near that kind of money. If you don’t have kids, what on earth would you know about the subject of what parents want for their kids? Your opinion is completely irrelevant.

monomania said :

I don’t want schools to be the same either. I want the most disadvantaged schools to have the highest paid teachers and at least the resources that those people with greatest influence in our society deem necessary for their children. I find it galling that schools with turf cricket pitches and picket fences receive assistance while there are not enough reading recovery teachers in many schools.

So that we are on the same page here, I want you to acknowledge that the majority of private schools do not have the perfect cricket pitches and picket fences. The majority of non-government schools in Australia are financially very skinny operations (more so than equivalent public schools) and they too deserve to receive funding from the government because they provide additional school places to a very large number of students in this country – and they provide core curriculum plus extras as well as (in some cases) alternative forms of curriculum delivery (e.g. Montessori). They should receive funding for at least the core curriculum components they deliver. That’s only fair.

YapYapYap said :

(yap yap) “Those (private school) parents who demand that they have a right to take my tax dollars…are either grubs, or more likely victims of the propaganda put about by the private school lobby.”

Speaking as one of these grubs ‘stealing’ your hard earned yap, get stuffed. I am not taking your money. If I sent my kids to a public school, it would cost you at least the same amount of money.

.

VicePope, you are living in a fantasy world if you believe that parents of private school students a ‘paying’ to educate students in government schools let alone paying for their own children’s education.

The fact of the matter is that parents of children in both sectors are paying very little tax at all (when Family Tax A,B,C,D,E,F…, childcare subsidies, baby bonuses, ‘one-off Kevin payments’ et all are taken into account) let alone covering the cost their kids education. To put this into perspective, a family with two school-aged children attending ACT govt high schools is receiving taxpayer support in the order of $30,000 pa.. Parents of children in a catholic high school receive about75% of that amount (so much for ‘private education’). Those costs would eclipse the total net tax paid by most Canberra families, let alone cover a contribution to the vast range of other taxpayer-funded services those families enjoy.

Over the past 12 years in particular we have seen a dramatic shift in government financial support away from public education and into private education, while at the same time witnessing an unending attack on public education; as though it is some sort of enemy of the people – all of that coming from former Liberal ministers and and a Cabinet filled to the brim with the alumni of the country’s most privelaged schools.

Those who continue to argue for an even greater share of public resources to be directed to their ‘right of choice’ are just frauds.

I don’t have kids, paid over $40k last year in income tax alone, and support public education. Those (private school) parents who demand that they have a right to take my tax dollars (not their own as they suggest) and direct that money to their (and their kid’s) private benefit are either grubs, or more likely victims of the propaganda put about by the private school lobby.

Let’s just settle this once and for all; parents who move their kids from a 100% subsidized education system (open to all) to a 60-80% education system (free to pick and choose the students they prefer) are not ‘saving’ anyone anything.

I’ve had a gut-full of this disingenuous ‘debate’; it’s nothing more that the better-off plundering one of the few remaining benefits freely open to all.

Henry Parkes (not exactly a left-wing radical) speaking of his aspirations for this then young country, said that he envisaged a public school system making: “No distinction of faith, asking no question where a child was born, what may be his condition of life, or what the position his parents, but inviting all to sit side by side”. He saw in a free, universal public education system, the very foundations of a just society.

The ongoing attacks on Parkes’ great dream by conservatives (odd, as Parkes was one himself), and by selfish parents who want ‘all’ for their own kids, and hang everyone else’s is nothing more than a thiny masked form a greed, hiding under the veil of ‘choice’.

Critics of this line of thought will accuse me of being part of the ‘politics of envy’. They would care less what I say if they could get their hands on even more of our money.

gladbag, you can get a discount in fees or you can ask for financial assistance. You will need to speak to the principal about the last one.

2 years ago my eldest child started private schooling in year 5 at one of the top of the list private schools. After one year, and comparing her year to my other children at a highly ranked public school, I have been desperately trying to get the rest enrolled earlier into this private school – there is no comparison into the care and the personal growth this child has realised compared to her siblings. It’s not about the curriculum that is being taught, but how each child is developed and their own personal journey, whereas is the public school they just fit into the template. I am not particularly cashed up, however having made the comparison, I will work my arse off to ensure that all my children have this opportunity.
As an aside, I was speaking to a relief teacher on her first day at this school, and she was fairly shaken, as the students were listening to her.

Nambucco, if you’re not happy with your son’s school and their approaches, take it up with the principal but don’t label all based on your (yes it is jaded) viewpoint of possibly two schools in the entire Canberra region.

You do have the choice to place your child at another school, especially if you aren’t happy with their education.

I agree with you that students shouldn’t call their teachers by their first names – with the acception of college. It’s not a respect thing nor is it ‘cool’. It’s done to look ‘down’.

I teach in the ‘old fashioned’ way, but with a twist to gain student enthusiasm. It works but for some staff I work with knowing what a noun is for them is almost asking too much, they just don’t know.

Nambucco Deliria8:04 pm 30 Dec 08

nyssa76 said :

Nambucco, teachers be ‘friends’ = no discipline?

Are you serious?

Teachers who are approachable are usually the ones students will confide in re: mandatory reporting issues. They’re also the ones that the students will listen to when in class teaching.

I don’t know what your basing your comment on but it is patricularly jaded.

I’m basing my comment on my experiences with the teachers at my eldest son’s school. If you find it to be jaded I’m sorry. Actually I’m not as I don’t have to apologise to you for what, after all, is an opinion. And in my opinion their ‘progressive’ methods don’t cut it. I’m afraid I prefer the revisionist, more traditional styles practised in the private sector. I went to an ‘old fashioned’, possibly jaded, educational establishment myself (founded in 1624, by the time I got there in 1981 the teachers still wore Mortar Boards and Gowns)where the teachers didn’t try to be ‘down with the kids’ by allowing the use of their first names and telling everyone how cool the new Flock of Seagulls album was. They were there to teach, which they did very well. If it’s jaded to expect the same these days, then, hey…

radonezh said :

Monomania, I am a vehement supporter of the great Australian traditions of egalitarianism, fairness, hard work and mateship, but I am completely opposed to the concept that all schools should be identical in all respects, or that all students should be treated the same at all times. Each child (and person) is different in terms of their talents, interests and abilities.

In terms of resourcing, the reality is that the only private schools that are better resourced than public schools are the top-tier ($15k/year or more) schools. Most schools in the private sector are poorer than their equivalent public school. For example, on a national basis, there are few Christian schools that have swimming pools, whilst there are many public schools that have them.

I don’t want schools to be the same either. I want the most disadvantaged schools to have the highest paid teachers and at least the resources that those people with greatest influence in our society deem necessary for their children. I find it galling that schools with turf cricket pitches and picket fences receive assistance while there are not enough reading recovery teachers in many schools.

Pommy bastard6:53 pm 30 Dec 08

Fair enough VP, I think we can agree to disagree there, it’s a moot point in any case.

Nambucco, teachers be ‘friends’ = no discipline?

Are you serious?

Teachers who are approachable are usually the ones students will confide in re: mandatory reporting issues. They’re also the ones that the students will listen to when in class teaching.

I don’t know what your basing your comment on but it is patricularly jaded.

monomania said :

Well that depends on whether this success is achieved at the expense of the disadvantage of others. Large sections of the community believe they’re entitled (because they pay more tax) and are more concerned with gaining additional funding for their children’s private education with little concern for the educationally disadvantaged who are more in need of better resources. Sensational maybe, certainly wouldn’t happen here cause we’re all mates.

Monomania, I am a vehement supporter of the great Australian traditions of egalitarianism, fairness, hard work and mateship, but I am completely opposed to the concept that all schools should be identical in all respects, or that all students should be treated the same at all times. Each child (and person) is different in terms of their talents, interests and abilities. No one is equal. Further, I am also opposed to the ridiculous attack on the rights of parents to choose to the form of education that best suits their own family’s cultural/religious/moral/ethical values. I am NOT opposed to public education – I think it’s fine for those families who are happy with the core curriculum and expect nothing more from their school. But I think it’s also perfectly reasonable to pay for additional components besides the core curriculum, and I think it’s hypocrisy for anyone to attack this principle of freedom of choice. For example, I think it’s completely reasonable to pay for a school environment where religious views are supported instead of attacked.

In terms of resourcing, the reality is that the only private schools that are better resourced than public schools are the top-tier ($15k/year or more) schools. Most schools in the private sector are poorer than their equivalent public school. For example, on a national basis, there are few Christian schools that have swimming pools, whilst there are many public schools that have them.

On this basis, I agree that teaching resources and curricula across the board in Australian schools could be improved markedly, but I include many (but not all) of the private schools in this broad sweep. Australian education lags far behind in terms of quality of outcomes when compared to many other countries, including the Eastern Bloc and many third-world countries such as India. Our standards in languages, mathematics and the sciences in particular are very poor. We do slightly better in supporting those students who are good at the arts (there are several schools in Sydney, for example, that specialise in various creative or performing arts), but it’s hardly world-class.

PommyB (#71)- I’m thinking that two years in any system, which will include a probation period (because almost all employment does) will shake out most of those patently not equipped for the function, regardless of the education system which produced them. So, under your suggestion, the government system would get all of those who are inexperienced and on trial but would keep only a proportion of those still swimming after two years. The new teachers typically require heavy mentoring, usually, and there would be even fewer experienced teachers around to do it. So, I’d suggest your proposal might be counterproductive.

(I’d agree with your point about low achievers going into teaching, but tend to see it as low achievers from all systems – it’s a terrible problem, and one that can probably only be solved by a combination of minimum high standards and paying professionals what they’re worth. It is an outrage that, in some years at some institutions and including concessions, someone can get into a teaching degree with a UAI of <60).

Every new teacher has to learn, just like every driver. The problem is that concentrating the L-plates in one carpark will lead to lots of smashes and not a lot of useful driving. The students will suffer.

Pommy bastard5:32 pm 30 Dec 08

Nambucco Deliria said :

I Have two children. The eldest is disabled and goes to a state school. The youngest is not and I buy his education for him.

Where do I fit into your Venn Diagram, Mr Bastard?

You don’t, you seem to have missed the point of my post entirely.

VP:I see it differently. If newly (or partially) qualified teachers go into the public system as part of their qualification process, it will supply our schools with much needed fresh blood, enthusiasm, new ideas, and youth. It will also help clear some of the old dead wood teachers out of the public system. It may even enthuse some to stay in the public system, who may not have considered it in the past. (You know the type, the low achieving private school person who scrapes through teacher training college as it was the only option open to them, and who would normally be afraid to go to a public school for fear of catching nits, or getting a dose of working class reality)

If following two years they choose to sell their soul to the private sector, so be it, and how is that different from today?

Nambucco Deliria5:15 pm 30 Dec 08

Pommy bastard said :

VicePope said :

PommyB (#62) – a lot of teachers move between systems (and a number are on relief lists in more than one school/system), and there’s not really a huge leap. I’d agree it’s probably a good idea for all new teachers to get a range of experience. A problem with your suggestion is that the government system would become the first choice mainly for the newbies, at a cost to thr quality of what’s provided.

I don’t see this? Could you explain further…

PommyB (#63) – saw the article. HSC rorts have been around forever#, although “special consideration” seems to be a growing thing. Mostly noticeable for the fact that all schools listed were top-end and none (I think) were Catholic. Perhaps – with one eyebrow quzzically raised – it’s because the schools named have excessive proportions of students with disabilities.

It woud certainly appear those who choose to buy their kids an education seem to have more disabled kids, does it not?

I Have two children. The eldest is disabled and goes to a state school. The youngest is not and I buy his education for him.

Where do I fit into your Venn Diagram, Mr Bastard?

From my experience, the teachers at the Government school, whilst well meaning, are too busy trying to be friends with the kids to actually teach anything, which in turn leads to an environment with no respect for anyone or anything and no discipline. The teachers at the private school actually seem to be able to impart knowledge and enthusiasm for their subject, and the atmosphere at the school – always calm, in fact almost serene, is for more pleasant, as are the kids.

PommyB – while this has gone off thread a bit:
on #62 – if you make 2 years in a government school mandatory for certification, everyone with <2 years experience will go into that system, with many leaving after the qualification period. Thus, the government system will be light on for experienced teachers and the private system relatively light on for new teachers. The private system will be able to pick the eyes out of those who have just made their qualification because they will have two years experience to show that they can cope in a classroom. Think cash and non-cash incentives. So it may actually make things worse for government schools.

on #63 – my initial comment was tongue in cheek, but a teacher (who has worked in both systems) tells me that, yes, some people will go without to send a child with a disability to a specific school which can make allowances for that disability. In other words, while my tongue remains in my cheek, there may be some substance to what I said.

Pommy bastard4:22 pm 30 Dec 08

VicePope said :

PommyB (#62) – a lot of teachers move between systems (and a number are on relief lists in more than one school/system), and there’s not really a huge leap. I’d agree it’s probably a good idea for all new teachers to get a range of experience. A problem with your suggestion is that the government system would become the first choice mainly for the newbies, at a cost to thr quality of what’s provided.

I don’t see this? Could you explain further…

PommyB (#63) – saw the article. HSC rorts have been around forever#, although “special consideration” seems to be a growing thing. Mostly noticeable for the fact that all schools listed were top-end and none (I think) were Catholic. Perhaps – with one eyebrow quzzically raised – it’s because the schools named have excessive proportions of students with disabilities.

It woud certainly appear those who choose to buy their kids an education seem to have more disabled kids, does it not?

radonezh said :

monomania said :

Well radonezh, it will be a fine sort of society that your kids will eventually rule along with their network of fellows. Lets hope it won’t require machine guns.

What a sensationalist remark. Please show me one single institution anywhere in the world that does not exist on the basis of networks of committed individuals? What exactly is wrong with wanting your kids to grow up with a network of friends who are all focussed on positivity and success?

Well that depends on whether this success is achieved at the expense of the disadvantage of others. Large sections of the community believe they’re entitled (because they pay more tax) and are more concerned with gaining additional funding for their children’s private education with little concern for the educationally disadvantaged who are more in need of better resources. Sensational maybe, certainly wouldn’t happen here cause we’re all mates.

VP, irony aside, I’d agree with you.

Some schools went as far as to do the same thing with ACTAP, to get a better report to the minister and use it for school propoganda to get more butts on seats.

PB, if only. Some staff in private schools have no concept of classroom management as their students are all automotons.

Then again, some staff in public schools can’t control themselves, let alone a classroom full of students.

Nambucco Deliria10:44 am 30 Dec 08

Dear oh dear Mr Bastard – did you fail your twelve plus and miss out on a grammar school education? Such virulent beliefs!

PommyB (#62) – a lot of teachers move between systems (and a number are on relief lists in more than one school/system), and there’s not really a huge leap. I’d agree it’s probably a good idea for all new teachers to get a range of experience. A problem with your suggestion is that the government system would become the first choice mainly for the newbies, at a cost to thr quality of what’s provided.

PommyB (#63) – saw the article. HSC rorts have been around forever#, although “special consideration” seems to be a growing thing. Mostly noticeable for the fact that all schools listed were top-end and none (I think) were Catholic. Perhaps – with one eyebrow quzzically raised – it’s because the schools named have excessive proportions of students with disabilities.

(# – but, of course, no-one in the ACT system, public or private, has ever rorted the statistical bouillabaise that is the ACT TER/UAI process. Not even a little bit. Nyssa – the bit in parentheses, after the hash, is intended to be ironic).

Pommy bastard8:45 am 30 Dec 08

I don’t think this should be ignored when judging the “success” of private education.

A FORMER member of the Board of Studies in NSW yesterday said a well-known private school one year made nearly all the applications the board received from students for special consideration in Higher School Certificate examinations.

Max Cooper, who served for eight years as a member of the board’s committee which considered applications for special concessions, said he was “horrified” to recently learn that similar practices continued more than 20 years later.

He said parents with children at private schools in the Newcastle area had discussed with him how easy it was to obtain medical certificates for their children with minor ailments, allowing them to receive dispensations for the competitive exams.

“As someone who has always strongly defended the probity of the HSC I was horrified,” he said.

The Herald yesterday reported that up to 30 per cent of students at some individual private schools had been granted special consideration in this year’s HSC. The statewide average for NSW public schools was 6.57 per cent.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/in-the-know-debate-rages-over-hsc-legup/2008/12/29/1230399131568.html

Pommy bastard6:59 am 30 Dec 08

VicePope said :

Nyssa – part of the cunning plan would be to REQUIRE every teacher seeking promotion to have done a year or two as a zookeeper. Should be able to attract the smart and the motivated that way. And there’d probably be some who’d enjoy it.

I’d go further VP, I’d say that any teacher in training who wanted to qualify should have to do two years in the state system before full qualification was awarded.

All these bloody choices for our kids … bloody democracies! Back in my day I walked uphill both ways in the driving snow (you have probably heard this before – it was probably stolen by a private-school kid) to the local Public School … kind of known locally as the stepping stoner to Long Bay back then. I didn’t even know there were private schools. Not near our Housing Commision place anyway. Pulled out at 14 and nine months with all A+ grades to wiggle the toes in the waters of the world. Now have two degrees and, have even met a Catholic. But what was the thread again…?

Piratemonkey2:14 am 30 Dec 08

I always thought this was simple… If the parents are actually interested in their children and take an active role in bringing them up instead of dumping them in front of the telly or dumping them at school. It does not matter where you send them they will excel in the private or public system.

If you are the type to ignore your kids like most these days it seems, in a private school at least your kid will get some kind of displine. That said if you must have your kids in the private system only go with school like grammer or radford. Places like Daramalan and St Frannys are glorified public schools with the cracks filled in with shiny paint. Burining your money as an offering to the gods of education would probably do more positive for your kids then any of those so called institutions.

Nyssa – part of the cunning plan would be to REQUIRE every teacher seeking promotion to have done a year or two as a zookeeper. Should be able to attract the smart and the motivated that way. And there’d probably be some who’d enjoy it.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy9:27 pm 29 Dec 08

Perhaps we need to boil this down a bit. Private school advantages, as I see them:
1) Schools can expel ‘bad’ students, and deal with disciplinary matters more effectively.
2) Typically better resourced.
3) Likely to have a greater percentage of students from families where education is valued (given that the family is paying for the education.
4) Extra help and activities for students according to need and interest.

Advantages of public schools:
1) Free.
2) Likely to be better located near the student’s home.
3) Students aren’t told they are ‘cream of society’, like some more expensive private schools are known to do or have done.
4) If you can make it in a public school, you can likely make it anywhere. Self starters and the ‘hungry’ tend to thrive.

Having gone to a crap public school, and met people from a variety of other school types, I will still try to send my kid to a mid-tier private school.

Anyone got anything to add to the lists above (or criticisms)?

PommyB – I think you are a little confused. Visit a bog ordinary Catholic primary school, or MacKillop or Marist or Trinity. Not a lot of elitism there. Very similar, but with a faith-based flavour – because it’s what people want.

I mentioned previously that the Commonwealth formula for distibuting Commonwealth funds to non-gov schools is flawed. The problem is that schools like those I have mentioned can end up doing worse than what is undoubtedly the top end of the money tree. Don’t lump the whole sector together, unless you know of what you speak.

(And I quite like my analogy).

VicePope, they have lawyers. They’re never seen, but they do have them.

I agree with the idea of one or two schools for difficult students, the problem is staffing them – see the now defunct Dairy Flat and Behavioural Units as examples of this idea.

Pommy bastard said :

Are you seriously trying to tell me that there is more abuse in the form of teachers copping off with teenagers in public schools than there is in Catholic priest/schoolteachers abusing kids as young as five?

And are you trying to tell me that sexual molestation of teenagers as young as 13 is in any way better? At the age of 13, were you able to make mature decisions about sex? I doubt it very much.

Pommy bastard7:31 pm 29 Dec 08

VicePope said :

Pommy B (#49) – you said “Exactly. You want to pay for your kid to have a better education, feel free to pay the whole price.” Ths suggests that private education is better – something that I have never said and that you, apparently, have now forgotten that you said.

Good point. I should have said “pay for what you believe is a better education”. My bad.

I did not say that every child would be withdrawn from private education. A lot would leave – easily enough to cripple the public system – but some parents would be able to pay, some schools would attract alumni support etc.

I don’t believe that would be the case. And, unless you have figures to prove otherwise, exactly how many would be withdrawn, it’s pure conjecture and scaremongering in any case.

Your graciousness in offering the public system to all who pay for it is breathtaking –

I’m nothing if not generous.

it’s not being used, although it’s free, because a lot of people don’t want to use it.

And they are free not to use it. I don’t see however why those, especially those at the lowest end of the income scales, should be paying taxes towards subsidising a private education for “the elite”. I find it especially reprehensible that those who wish their kids top be educated within the confines of the beliefs of their cults (eg catholicism) look to us to stump up tax money towards it.

To take the dangerous step of drawing an analogy. Say Macca’s and Hungry Jack’s are next door to each other. Similar burger type products with similar health implications. Macca’s are free, but Hungry’s cost $5. Yet Macca’s can’t fill its stools and booths, but the punters are queuing like mad at Hungry’s. Obviously, Hungry’s is doing something really right, or Macca’s is doing something really wrong. So, what is it? Do you abuse the Hungry’s customers, or do you ask them what would make them go next door? Or do you just ignore the problem?

Yeah, not really a good analogy.

Nyssa – there is a statutory power to do it. It’s an extreme power, so it should be used sparingly and carefully. But it exists (although you said government schools did not have the right to expel students). Perhaps something else the ACT education people could usefully spend a few bucks on would be a lawyer to write a process that enabled the power to be exercised fairly and appropriately. Or do they already have some lawyers?

If the power is inoperably complex, then maybe the ACT education people can get an amendment. (I’ve always favoured the Greek ostracon system – a school variation would be to exclude any student who is identified in a secret ballot by more than a given percentage of teachers at the relevant school, without recourse because the nominators would have voted in a secret ballot and therefore not be idividually identifiable). And I still like the idea of one or two medium security zoo schools, to take out most of the trouble and improve life and opportunity for the remainder of students.

monomania said :

Well radonezh, it will be a fine sort of society that your kids will eventually rule along with their network of fellows. Lets hope it won’t require machine guns.

What a sensationalist remark. Please show me one single institution anywhere in the world that does not exist on the basis of networks of committed individuals? What exactly is wrong with wanting your kids to grow up with a network of friends who are all focussed on positivity and success?

VicePope, have you ever actually seen what it takes to ‘exclude’ a student in the public system?

It’s like getting blood out of a stone.

Students have more rights than the school. Private schools can expel with less difficulty and then they come to public schools and never budge because it is too hard to ‘exclude’ them.

Nyssa (#46) – private schools do, in fact, enrol their share of difficult cases. They have to go beyond an core religious group as part of the funding arrangements. Sometimes, like government schools, they have to tell a student he or she is no longer welcome because of his/her behaviour. They may be more likely to exercise the power. See s 36(2) of the Education Act 2004 for the way for government schools to exclude students.

Evidence to the contrary (of selection only of smart, highly motivated students) would be welcome. The only school I have heard of doing that locally is …. Narrabundah College.

Monomania (#47) – the chicken of not enough resources followed the egg of a mass desertion of public education. That’s probably why schools were closed/amalgamated. It’s why I suggested that it would be a really good idea for the ACT Education people to find out why they are running a a free cruise liner that the passengers are deserting.

Pommy B (#49) – you said “Exactly. You want to pay for your kid to have a better education, feel free to pay the whole price.” Ths suggests that private education is better – something that I have never said and that you, apparently, have now forgotten that you said. I did not say that every child would be withdrawn from private education. A lot would leave – easily enough to cripple the public system – but some parents would be able to pay, some schools would attract alumni support etc. Your graciousness in offering the public system to all who pay for it is breathtaking – it’s not being used, although it’s free, because a lot of people don’t want to use it. And ACT education authorities do not seem interested in why this might be – which is my point.

To take the dangerous step of drawing an analogy. Say Macca’s and Hungry Jack’s are next door to each other. Similar burger type products with similar health implications. Macca’s are free, but Hungry’s cost $5. Yet Macca’s can’t fill its stools and booths, but the punters are queuing like mad at Hungry’s. Obviously, Hungry’s is doing something really right, or Macca’s is doing something really wrong. So, what is it? Do you abuse the Hungry’s customers, or do you ask them what would make them go next door? Or do you just ignore the problem?

Pommy bastard5:46 pm 29 Dec 08

VicePope said :

Pommicus Illegitimus (no 42). In a short post, when shorn of its quotes, you have said to debatable things. First, that private school education is “better” – I don’t think this is proven (and it’s not a claim I’d make) but, if it is, it suggests there’s something else the private schools are doing better.

I have not said that the private schools are better, or do anything better.

Are you hard of reading or something?

Second, the idea that the choice of a private school should mean paying the whole cost – why, when the government school system could not possibly cope with the total number of students, in the short or long term?

Utter hogwash. Are you really saying that if fee payers had to pay the whole fee, then they would withdraw every child from private school? A nonsense.

If you wish your child to have a private education, pay for it.

Each private school family is paying tax, and thereby subsidising all government schools.

That’s the price of membership of our society I’m afraid. Opting out of our educational system does not mean a tax rebate.

In other words, private school families are commonly paying the full cost of some other family’s choice to use the public education system, as well as the costs of their own choices.

Yes, that’s their choice, the state system is there for them should they want to use it.

I’ve nothing against any public or private school. Specific public and private schools’ reputations go up ad down over time. That’s life.

The whole issue of the history of private scholing is actually not as simple as saying they all started out as Catholic. For example, one of the oldest private schools in Sydney was originally established by the NSW government and was non-demoninational.

I’d also like to point out that ACT private schools have to teach the standard ACT curriculum as a minimum. There’s nothing stopping a private school from teaching more than that eg religion or values, or an advanced unit here and there. It is therefore misleading to state that prvate schools provide the same education as publc schools; and that’s aside from other issues such as resourcing etc. I don’t see why public schools should be restricted from doing the same.

Finally, as for all those who are upset that private schools get taxpayer dollars (a fraction of what public schools receive), I’d have greater sympathy with such views if they also supported the idea that only people with kids should contribute that tax.

VicePope said :

Second, the idea that the choice of a private school should mean paying the whole cost – why, when the government school system could not possibly cope with the total number of students, in the short or long term? Each private school family is paying tax, and thereby subsidising all government schools.

Had there not been such an increase in private school education, the government would have provided the schools, staffed them with teachers not working in private schools and paid for it all with some tax cuts they had been unable to give.

Yes but VicePope, public education doesn’t discriminate on who they enrol. They have to enrol every student who applies. The private system doesn’t.

Nor do public schools have the right to expel. Private schools do.

If one system can discriminate then the funds which supply both systems should also disrciminate and compensate the system who is not ‘exclusive’ (by policy).

The public system was created to educate all. The private was originally set up to educate Catholics only – thereby segregating peers from one another based on religious preference.

Now whilst it doesn’t happen as often now, the comparison with some public and private schools over resources indicates that the lion’s share of educational benefit is given to the ones whose parents will pay for it.

As opposed to the true intentions of education for all regardless of finacial capacity or social status.

When those schools were named as being closed due to numbers, it was stated that most children affected would attend other public schools.

I’d be most interesting in the data attached to see whether or not that was true. I don’t believe it was and when Governments preference one system at the detriment to another it is easy to see why private schools cry poor when they have to take students from now defunct public schools.

Also, when the ISS (Interest Subsidy Scheme) closed about 3 years ago, private schools were able to get the ACT Government, i.e. the taxpayer, to pay ALL the interest in costs used to ‘upgrade’ the private schools, e.g. pools, gyms, halls. The loans are still being paid but the interest is being reimbursed by ACTDET from the education budget.

So taxpayers, whether their children attend public or private, or they have none at all, are paying so schools like Marist and Grammar can have a better pool, whereas their ‘poor cousins’ in the public system are faced with ovals they can’t play on due to safety and a lack of maintenance.

Pommicus Illegitimus (no 42). In a short post, when shorn of its quotes, you have said to debatable things. First, that private school education is “better” – I don’t think this is proven (and it’s not a claim I’d make) but, if it is, it suggests there’s something else the private schools are doing better.

Second, the idea that the choice of a private school should mean paying the whole cost – why, when the government school system could not possibly cope with the total number of students, in the short or long term? Each private school family is paying tax, and thereby subsidising all government schools. Each family is also paying fees, based on costs net of Commonwealth and ACT contributions to the school. Those contributions are significantly less than the cost to the public of a child in a government school. I think the formula used to allocate the Commonwealth contribution is nonsense, but even under that formula, it can never be the case that the amount will be anywhere near the public cost of a government school child. In other words, private school families are commonly paying the full cost of some other family’s choice to use the public education system, as well as the costs of their own choices.

miz, that is unless the schools in area and closer to home aren’t as ‘good’ e.g student management.

CC brought in the new ‘middle school’ theme this year didn’t they? I have a Masters in it but let me tell you all forms of Middle Schooling in the ACT really aren’t it at all.

Some schools use it as a ‘flashy’ name to get enrolments. The closest ones I have seen are at Mackillop and at Telopea.

MWF, Melrose proved to be a disaster for my son, they actually admitted to me they had left a pastoral care issue until it was way too late. I was so upset to see how much Melrose had declined since its heyday in the 1970s, when I was a student. At that time, they had an orchestra, were commonly the winners of the majority of sporting competitions and were academically excellent. I suspect the College system killed off a lot of these things). On the other hand, I’ve been very happy with Caroline Chisholm up to now, the subschool staffing and pastoral care system is second to none. I have two there. (I can’t say I am happy with the new, amalgamated format and the daft and unnecessary changes this has caused, but let’s hope they see sense soon!).

As transport is an added complication to the out-of-area issue, I suggest you try your zoned (walking distance) local high school first. If problems you feel are unresolvable arise, check out the alternatives. It is not too late to change schools at the end of year 7. Ironically, around 60% of children from Tuggers go to one or other of the Woden Valley schools you mentioned – generally as the older schools have the marketing sown up, not because they are any better. Personally, from a community perspective, I would prefer it if these kids stayed in area and the local schools received the proportionate funding that gets funnelled/poached into the out of area schools.

Pommy bastard1:46 pm 29 Dec 08

tylersmayhem said :

The schools have blamed a lack of government funding for the increase.

Uhhh…yes – because they are PRIVATE schools!

Exactly. You want to pay for your kid to have a better education, feel free to pay the whole price.

GnT said :

We need to remember that the primary stakeholders in education are the students. Parents might make the decisions, but surveying parents and providing public schools according to what parents want is losing focus. Our public schools need to provide what students need.

What’s the alternative? Surveying kids and providing public schools according to what kids want? School-aged kids don’t have the perspective, experience or objectivity to make informed and mature judgements on what is best for them. Parents and teachers working together are the best placed parties to do that.

tylersmayhem10:25 am 29 Dec 08

The schools have blamed a lack of government funding for the increase.

Uhhh…yes – because they are PRIVATE schools!

We need to remember that the primary stakeholders in education are the students. Parents might make the decisions, but surveying parents and providing public schools according to what parents want is losing focus. Our public schools need to provide what students need.

Teachers know all of this, and will usually try to get their own kids into these better-resourced schools, rather than the local.

Actually 2604, most teachers I know send or have sent their children to private schools.

Having worked in two of the ‘better reourced’ schools you mentioned in your post, it doesn’t come down to parents paying their voluntary contributions. It comes down to good financial management.

For example, one school I know spent a small fortune cosmetically fixing itself but cried poor when it came to basic resources for its students.

GnT, my apologies it was your last sentence that I couldn’t agree with.

Pommy bastard7:37 am 29 Dec 08

Oh, and maybe they have to up the price as they have so many students with “special needs” at private schools.

UP TO 30 per cent of students at some elite private schools were given “special consideration” in this year’s Higher School Certificate exams, raising questions about whether they gained an unfair advantage.

The NSW Board of Studies granted dispensations such as extra time to complete exams, coloured paper, large print and Braille or assistance with handwriting. The claims ranged from students with disabilities and illnesses such as diabetes, to those with unreadable handwriting and sweaty palms.

The proportion of students claiming special exam provisions this year jumped by more than 10 percentage points compared with the previous three years at schools including Masada College in St Ives, St Catherine’s School, Waverley; Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner School in Middle Cove and Meriden School in Strathfield.

The Scots College in Bellevue Hill claimed special provisions for 24.54 per cent of its students, an 8.64 percentage point increase on its average of 15.9 per cent for 2005 to 2007.

Pommy bastard7:21 am 29 Dec 08

radonezh said :

I think you are splitting hairs (erroneously, as it happens).

Not sure how many of news clips I posted you actually read, but not all were about what you term “consensual abuse”. Certainly the first (and most recent) one about the case of the Brisbane teacher abusing a female student was not consensual, as per the evidence given in court by the female student victim. The clips I posted were just a small sample of abuse that occurred at public schools. If you want to dig, there’s plenty of evidence that abusers are not any more frequently found in private schools over public schools, or indeed, in any institution where they can gain access to minors.

Are you seriously trying to tell me that there is more abuse in the form of teachers copping off with teenagers in public schools than there is in Catholic priest/schoolteachers abusing kids as young as five?

When I gave you an example of just one priest who had abused dozens of kid in his care?

Want more?

# Denham On 17 December 2008, New South Wales police laid additional charges against a Catholic priest, Father John Sidney Denham, bringing the total to 134 alleged offences involving a total of 39 boys. Denham is in remand prison, awaiting his next court listing in early 2009 (updated 19 December 2008).

Cusack The Catholic Church has admitted that a “highly respected” priest, Father Patrick Cusack, sexually molested primary school girls in the Canberra-Goulburn archdiocese during many years (posted 15 November 2008).

Brother Down Christian Brother Graeme James Down (alias Brother “David” Down) molested school boys in Western Australia in the 1980s and was jailed in 2007. Then more victims came forward, resulting in more jail in 2008 (posted 11 November 2008)

# Haines Father Edmund John Haines (of the Melbourne Catholic archdiocese, based in the Geelong district) was jailed on child-sex and child-porn charges after he was caught with child porn recorded on his mobile phone (updated 4 November 2008).

# Evans This is the most comprehensive article available about Catholic priest Paul Raymond Evans, who was jailed on 3 October 2008 for offences against vulnerable teenagers at Boys’ Town, near Sydney (updated 9 October 2008).

# Brock Father Peter Julian Brock, 63, a priest of the Maitland-Newcastle diocese, is currently before the courts in New South Wales, charged with 22 child sex offences (posted 9 October 2008).

# O’Hearn The Maitland-Newcastle diocese in New South Wales confirmed that one of its priests — Father David O’Hearn — has stood down pending an investigation regarding a professional conduct matter (posted 9 October 2008).

# Hourigan A Victorian Catholic priest, Father Daniel Hourgian, died three days after police charged him with sexual offences against a boy (posted 22 September 2008).

# Eames A Melbourne priest, Father Anthony Eames, was finally convicted after committing offences against young girls for many years (posted 22 September 2008).

A small sample. Now you find me a matching number, say a hundred or so, of cases where public school teachers have abused children in their care.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

The trouble is that there are public schools… and public schools. Some really are better than others.

Agree 100 per cent with this. Some schools are incredibly well resourced, either because they are located in a catchment with higher incomes, where parents nearly all contribute their “voluntary contributions” (Telopea, Alfred Deakin, Melrose), or for historical reasons (Lake Ginninderra, which was built and got the best of everything because the teachers’ union got its back up about Radford). These schools also tend to have higher parental involvement, leading to fewer behavioural issues, and attract the most experienced/qualified teachers as a result.

Teachers know all of this, and will usually try to get their own kids into these better-resourced schools, rather than the local.

as i said earlier in this thread, I went to one of the pricier schools in the list. OK, I went to Grammar. My parents plumped for it because they go the extra mile if the kid isn’t achieving. If they aren’t up to standard, they have remedial classes, and also the teachers will make time with the kid to do extra tu. to get them up to scratch. And they did.

But also, there’s this thing where, if a kid is being bad, the parents are expected to back teh school when the school takes action. In the public system, this is the biggie that’s missing. Too many parents have the “rights, no responsibility” mentality, so their foul little offspring can do wrong, but if the school takes action, they go screeching off to the education minister and their local member. This, more than anything, is the big problem. Scumbag parents who won’t raise their kids properly and won’t let the school take action against them.

I believe it’s this, more than anything, that is seeing more and more parents seek private schools where the schools are empowered to enforce rules and standards of behaviour.

radonezh said :

However, the number of private school graduates who end up in positions of power and influence in this country simply cannot be ignored. There is evidence to support that the support networks that students gain access to at private schools are beneficial to their future.

Well radonezh, it will be a fine sort of society that your kids will eventually rule along with their network of fellows. Lets hope it won’t require machine guns.

I think I disagree, Tom-Tom, although your concerns are reasonable. Although geographic dispersion may be an issue for some, I have been aware of many students who have travelled some distance to school (and think, for example, of the multitudes from the NSW hinterland who have travelled long distances to Lyneham). People travel to go to football matches, hospitals and music events. Ask the folk who run Radford or Orana and you may find that many of its students cross town to get there.

It is, as well, not unknown for families to move to improve proximity to a school, although it’s probably one of several factors. (There was, in NSW in the not too long ago time, what was called things like “cathchment farming” where people would try to live near high quality schools).

I did not, and would not, say that our government schools are lacking. In fact,I pointed to their quality. Socio-economic factors local to the ACT count, of course, but (to compare other jurisdictions), there are government schools in the richest parts of Sydney, and private schools in some of the poorest. There is something that people want in schools, and for a number of people it’s not being delivered by the ACT education system. I have had a couple of guesses at what it might be, but my plea is that the ACT government would stop telling people what they will provide, and start asking them what they want first. Do they want Year 12 exams, for example? (The queue of folk prepared to shell out $20K+ at Grammar and the substantial numbers sending children to boarding schools interstate suggests that some might, but no-one’s been asked).

yeah but vice pope the problem with the ‘charter’ type of schools you’d introduce as fuhrer is that they would disenfranchise large numbers of students; for instance if my kid is good at maths (or wearing a uniform or whatever) and i live in gordon but the school with special maths(or unifrom) features is in dunlop or somewhere else i cant reasonably get my kid too then they are going to miss out.

and secondly i dont accept the premise that some people prefer private schools because our public schools are lacking, i’d put it down to socio-economic factors more than anything else, put canberras average incomes, parental education levels etc in any town in australia and you’d get similar percentages in the private system there.

OK. Any form of private education is pricy, and getting pricier. It gets some help from the ACT and a bit more from the Commonwealth, but the parents usually wind up paying, in after-tax dollars.

So why do 40%+ in the ACT go that way? That number may vary a touch year to year, but the trend has been pretty clear. The government schools are supposed to be pretty good, and they cost the ACT ratepayer (and the Commonwealth) a bomb. They obviously have many fine teachers, and they teach pretty much the same curriculum.

It’s not social cachet – there may be some with the Grammars, a little with Radford, but there’s none with the rest. It’s not facilities, because they’re pretty much the same (once one excludes Boys’ Grammar’s grouse-shooting lodge and Radford’s provision of a full stable of polo ponies for every student).

My guess (no more than that) is that many people want things that the government school system doesn’t provide; things the ACT public education authorities are too arrogant to ask about. Some want single-sex education – why shouldn’t they get it? Some want uniforms and robust discipline (I have a preference for a system that can put the thugs, bullies and attention-seekers into a well-conducted zoo of adolescents just like themselves). Some want a focus on at least some kind of moral system, rather than uncritical relativism. Some want a school where cooperation between parents and school is seen as critical.

In the unlikely event that I became the fuehrer of the ACT school system, the first thing I would do is ask substantial samples of parents some questions. Those coming to the government school system, those leaving it, those who’ve never been part of it. And if people want a network of pseudo-private schools, each offering special features to appeal to different families and students, let them have one. The alternative is that the government school system will lose the best students and the most interested/motivated parents, becoming the dumping ground for everyone who can’t go anywhere else.

Otherwise, we may as well get the public sector out of the system, hand over vouchers to parents and let the equivalent of ABC or MacBank run the default system. And wouldn’t that work well?

nyssa76 said :

It really shits me when people have a go at public education.

“The curriculums better in the private system” – here’s a news flash, ALL schools in Canberra have to teach ‘Every Chance to Learn’. They can’t get out of it.

All children will be taught from the same curriculum, so where’s the difference?

It’s not the compulsory core curriculum where the differences lie, it’s in additional curriculum, as well as the general mission and goals of the school. It’s also in the networking opportunities that mostly only exist in private schools. There is also (often, but not always) a difference in the level of commitment/buy-in towards the education of their children by the parents and families.

Pommy bastard said :

There’s a world of difference in the sexual contact between students and teachers in public schools,the majority of which, though still abusive, is one to one and “consensual”, and the sexual abuse that goes on in private (mainly catholic) schools.

I think you are splitting hairs (erroneously, as it happens).

Not sure how many of news clips I posted you actually read, but not all were about what you term “consensual abuse”. Certainly the first (and most recent) one about the case of the Brisbane teacher abusing a female student was not consensual, as per the evidence given in court by the female student victim. The clips I posted were just a small sample of abuse that occurred at public schools. If you want to dig, there’s plenty of evidence that abusers are not any more frequently found in private schools over public schools, or indeed, in any institution where they can gain access to minors.

Pommy bastard said :

Any one who sends their kid to a catholic school now, especially a boarding school, and thinks they are not going to come out with a poor education and a size nine arse, needs their heads read.

In my younger days I used to think this way (because I was the product of a public school education and was always told this kind of rubbish and simply believed it), but I have since met hundreds of people who have had private school educations and actually did not get molested, bullied, got a great education and came out friendly, happy, well-rounded people. Similarly, there are many examples of people who were molested, bullied, ignored etc at public schools. There is simply no basis for spinning this kind of nonsense.

However, the number of private school graduates who end up in positions of power and influence in this country simply cannot be ignored. There is evidence to support that the support networks that students gain access to at private schools are beneficial to their future.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy4:48 pm 28 Dec 08

The trouble is that there are public schools… and public schools. Some really are better than others.

The public (primary) school I send my kids to have an extra teacher’s aide specifically for a child who is considered disruptive – she is there in class, sitting with them, reminding them what they should be doing, stopping them from running amok. It is a great system and seems to really work for both the child who is having difficulty, as well as the class who are being disrupted. And what a great ego boost for the child as well, much better than getting frog marched out of a school and ending up hanging around public phone boxes begging for money.

What part do you disagree with?

MWF, both are excellent schools. I would apply for both. My oldest is at one of those schools and is doing well. It helped that I worked there years before and some of my old friends are still teaching there.

boomacat, I had a student thank me this year for helping him with his learning. He had made an improvement but it was more down to his changed attitude that he could achieve. I knew he could and told him so, but he had to make the connection himself. A parent thanked me profusely for doing the same thing with her daughter. Their achievement and boost in self confidence is enough thanks for me.

VY, I didn’t mention teachers, I said I was sick of people shitting on public education, period.

GnT, I can’t agree with that. It makes your job a lot harder when students don’t have the basics e.g. books/pens. It also annoys me that some kids have the finances to buy a $2 pen but would rather not, whereas their lower socio-economic peers cherish a pen throughout the entire year because they’re grateful for your generosity.

The only real differences between the public and private school systems are 1) discipline and 2) resources. The public system has no real way of dealing with a child who is a disruption to a class (My mother’s a headmistress so she knows the system) whereas in a private school, any crap and you’re out, simple as. As for resources, a private school can afford for each student to have a gas tap in a science lab, etc. In sixth grade in the early 80’s our class got to use television cameras and editing equipment that a public school wouldn’t have been able to afford. We also had access to famous (in Canberra back then) tv personalities. Ok they weren’t stars but my friends who went to gov’t schools just didn’t get that.

What year were you Mr Waffle? I was class of 87.

Here’s some food for thought: according to some international research, the amount of influence on a child’s educational outcomes can be broken down like this:

40% is due to the home environment (which you can control)
40% is due to the individual teacher (which you can’t control)
10% is due to the principal (which you can’t control)
10% is due to the school.

For my hard-earned cash, I think I’ll keep my money in my pocket for other things.

Pommy bastard8:39 am 28 Dec 08

radonezh said :

What about the number of public school teachers who have been sent to gaol for striking up sexual relations with their students?

There’s a world of difference in the sexual contact between students and teachers in public schools,the majority of which, though still abusive, is one to one and “consensual”, and the sexual abuse that goes on in private (mainly catholic) schools.

Brother Gregory Sutton (born in Australia on 19 March 1951) taught at Catholic primary schools in New South Wales in the 1970s and 1980s.

According to his own admissions, he committed numerous sexual assaults on boys and girls, aged between 9 and 11, who were under his supervision. The offences ranged from touching and rubbing genitals to full sexual intercourse with a 10-year-old girl. The assaults took place in classrooms, in his monastery bedroom, in the playground, in cars, a caravan, bushland and in the children’s homes.

Sutton often assaulted two children at once, forcing them to engage in sex acts with each other. He indecently mauled some pupils in front of their classmates.

He assaulted one boy on his eleventh birthday as “a present”.

The drop in attendance in private education may be a good thing, as well to do parents will now have some reason to invest their time and effort in local schools, to the benefit of all pupils.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy4:28 am 28 Dec 08

It was actually a comment added purely to illustrate my opinion of the previous comment.

And public schools are training grounds for the lazy and/or criminal.

Same thing could be said about my grade at Daramalan, actually…

Good on you Nyssa for making such a great effort with kids who probably don’t get much opportunity in life. We can all remember a great teacher who through real dedication genuinely influenced us at school. It must seem pretty thankless at times, but keep up the good work you are making a difference.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy11:13 pm 27 Dec 08

Nyssa – don’t confuse people having a go at the school with people having a go at the teachers. Where I went to highschool was a total craphole, but there were still some good teachers (and some really crap ones too).

Hi,

Nyssa – I need some idea of which public high school my 11 yr old should attend in the Tuggeranong area in 2010. I have been told Melrose or Deakin – I have no idea. He is the bookish type.

As an aside: I know the primary schools had to close due to scale of economy and everything, however, since my kids’ primary school was combined with another school from up the road a bit, it has turned totally feral. The Xmas concert used to be a delight. Not now. For the last two years it has been feral hell with the parents talking over the top of the principal – it was embarrassing and cringe worthy.

It really shits me when people have a go at public education.

“The curriculums better in the private system” – here’s a news flash, ALL schools in Canberra have to teach ‘Every Chance to Learn’. They can’t get out of it.

All children will be taught from the same curriculum, so where’s the difference?

Financially.

I work in a school in a low socio-economic area. I have to purchase basics for my students as many come to school without them.

I’ve worked in both systems and both have their strengths and their weaknesses.

I went through the Govt sytem, all the way to Yr 12. My children attend Govt schools – K, 3 and 8.

Their schools are two of the best in the Tuggeranong area.

Parental involvement in schooling does assist a child in how well they do. Teachers aren’t babysitters nor are they the only ‘role models’ a child should see.

I know some great Govt students and some crappy Non-Govt ones. It just depends on where you look.

Real intelligent there PB. Smart comment.

Parents send their children to private schools so that they are fostered into wonderful young men or women. Not all come out smelling rosy, but the parent’s are trying to give their children the best opportunity to learn and grow. There are often occasions where the scores may not be as high as other school students, but that more often than not comes down to the individual students and how much they can exploit their schooling system i.e. I.B. school students that don’t attend classes and only cram for their exams.

Sexual abuse can happen at all schools as pointed out earlier. That doesn’t mean we should be home-schooling our children for goodness sakes!

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy8:34 pm 27 Dec 08

And public schools are training grounds for the lazy and/or criminal.

Pommy bastard8:18 pm 27 Dec 08

Any one who sends their kid to a catholic school now, especially a boarding school, and thinks they are not going to come out with a poor education and a size nine arse, needs their heads read.

Private schools are just orphanages for rich kids.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy7:46 pm 27 Dec 08

I went to public school, but will probably send young master berlina to private for highschool and college. It seems to me that we constantly hear about teachers getting hassled by idiot parents and getting no support, gang activity on school grounds, violent bullying kids who ‘can’t’ be expelled, and the continuous dumbing down of education standards due to political correctness. My understanding is that private schools have a much stronger framework combining beliefs, ethics and behavioural standards, which is sorely lacking in the public system.

In the end, my reality is simply that I busted my arse to get to where I am. I will still expect my kid to work hard (both academically and within paid employment as soon as he’s old enough), but he shouldn’t have to put up with the BS and mixed messages that get sent to kids through many schools in the public system (like I had to).

Fear is the main driver of school choice these days. That is, fear that their ‘special’ child might get contaminated by the hoi polloi and their values (which, we are encouraged to think, we are a cut above). And it doesn’t help when the local govt encourages school shopping between its own!

This has been a trend for some time. Given the fracturing and divisive policies from the previous fed Coalition govt, I am not the least bit surprised that private ed is now proportionally higher than it ever was (for example, think of the formerly universal services to all Australians that we have been encouraged to think of in a segregated manner on the basis of income, eg Medicare/Private Health). There has been a paradigm shift, and we have been encouraged to adjust our mindset to see everything in monetary and ‘class’ terms. This, in my view, is downright un-Australian in the truest sense of Aussie values.

In the 1970s, it was unusual for Canberra children to go to a private school, as it was such an egalitarian town and public schools were funded well – certainly far far better than the catholic schools. My family (with teacher parents, one from a catholic ed background) sent us to public schools, which had smaller classes and better resources. The pre-school system was the flagship for the nation. The irony is, Whitlam got poorer cath schools better resourced, and now they seem to constantly whinge about their funding ‘entitlements’!

The best education in the world is in Finland, where all kids go to the local school and teachers are highly qualified and respected.

If people want to go private, that’s their choice, but I get really annoyed that the public system is devalued and denigrated as a result, often by their own departmental policy.

Ruby Wednesday5:59 pm 27 Dec 08

As someone who went to one of the pricier private schools in Brisbane (on partial scholarship), I would definitely send any future kiddies to a state school. Selective private schools end up as echo chambers, reinforcing the largely upper middle class ideals of the parents and really distorting the view of the kids as to the nature of greater society. As for the education provided at public schools, my better half went to one and probably got a far better education than I did. You get out of it what you put into it in either case, but I don’t buy the ‘instilling values’ argument. The only value I was instilled with was that money mattered above everything else and the career you went into and the career of your future husband were the way you should define yourself. Oh, and I found that same-sex schooling didn’t help socially and left me in an odd place when university rolled around.

/$0.02

Steady Eddie said :

I’m surprised parents are still prepared to send their kids to private schools after reading the threads about Marist and Daramalan on this site and seeing the reports on TV . . .

What about the number of public school teachers who have been sent to gaol for striking up sexual relations with their students?

Here are just some examples from Australia and abroad:

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,27574,24789505-3102,00.html
http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/student-sex-affair-teacher-jailed/2008/05/23/1211183065500.html
http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/08/05/1091558002934.html
http://www.thewest.com.au/default.aspx?MenuID=29&ContentID=31304
http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,23559431-2862,00.html

Why would anyone want to send their kids to school at all eh?

monomania said :

Expansion of private sector education has not been good for the development of a cohesive society. I would hazard a guess that most policy makers in education sent or are sending their kids to private schools. Kevin Rudd for example. Resource levels at government schools are not good enough for his kid, but they’re good enough for other people’s.

First define what you mean by “cohesive society”.

I went to a public school and my experiences there are the reason why I would never send my children to one. The problem with government-run schools is that, almost universally, they are now full of new-age social engineering theory that attempts to mediocritise, deculturalise and dehumanise. Public schools have no soul, and it has nothing to do with resourcing.

Speaking of resourcing, the majority of “private” schools around the country are of the Catholic variety, and nearly all of them are less well resourced than their public equivalents.

Steady Eddie4:22 pm 27 Dec 08

I’m surprised parents are still prepared to send their kids to private schools after reading the threads about Marist and Daramalan on this site and seeing the reports on TV . . .

Part of the demand for private school education is from people who want a school that instills the same values they instill at home. Where discipline is enforced, and not undermined by parents. where standards of behaviour are expected and maintained.

I’m not sure that increased resourcing of public schools would see an upgrade of parent involvement in these issues.

ant said :

I went to a private school (one of the more pricey ones on the CT list) and a large number of the kids there had 2-income families who made choices in order to afford to send their kids to private school. That said, I don’t think the gulf between the most expensive and the next tier was quite so vast. I don’t think that many of the people I knew would have afforded it now.

There are a lot of kids whose parents cannot afford to send them to a private school regardless of the sacrifices they might make, other parents don’t choose to. Expansion of private sector education has not been good for the development of a cohesive society. I would hazard a guess that most policy makers in education sent or are sending their kids to private schools. Kevin Rudd for example. Resource levels at government schools are not good enough for his kid, but they’re good enough for other people’s.

I went to a private school (one of the more pricey ones on the CT list) and a large number of the kids there had 2-income families who made choices in order to afford to send their kids to private school. That said, I don’t think the gulf between the most expensive and the next tier was quite so vast. I don’t think that many of the people I knew would have afforded it now.

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