Public school site may go private

GnT 23 August 2007 36

So, the government closed a whole lot of schools because there weren’t enough enrolments to keep them open. But the Emmaus Christian School thinks there would be enough for them. They are hoping to take over the site of the closed Holt or Higgins school to expand into a second campus.

Yet more evidence of how this government has pushed people out of public into private education. More choice for the elite who can afford it, while those who most need good quality free education are left with even less choice. Bravo Barr!

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36 Responses to Public school site may go private
VicePope VicePope 11:24 am 26 Aug 07

Nyssa – I’m sure some had problems, just ike some small schools and medium size schols had problems. Some things can be predicted (like my concern about subject range in small schools) and in megaschools they may include issues about protecting the young and vulnerable from the large and hormonal. There’s a lot to be said for thinking ahead and for choosing the managers who can drive a new system. (A brave move would be to conscript onto the selection panel someone from the Grammars, Marist or St Edmunds who has experience running a big school).

By the way, the SMH yesterday had a good article on altruism and stepping in to stop ugliness. There was mention of an anti-bullying program based on teaching appropriate assertive behaviour so that bullying became obviously unacceptable. I found it interesting and comparable to a government agency I know where there is an attitude of shunning those who behave in racist/sexist/bullying ways.

nyssa76 nyssa76 12:17 am 26 Aug 07

Vicepope, from what I gathered from those attempting their Masters at the same time as me, it isn’t all roses and wine re: K-12.

Some had some serious management issues as late as 2005.

I say no more as some of the people still work for those schools.

VicePope VicePope 2:19 pm 25 Aug 07

Nyssa – on the other hand, the Central School model in NSW country towns (K-10 or 12) worked pretty well. No problems with the suggestion that small schools can work, but I am not sure if their size causes them to work or whether it’s some other feature about the communities that have them (including features that a urban area may not share). And, especially at secondary level, smaller means fewer teachers and smaller ranges of subjects that can be taught well or at all.

I know of two or three good schools (all private and one 4-12) which would be well above any average size but which seem to be working well and producing good quality outcomes. In one of them, there was a model of informally dividing the school up for administrative purposes so that individual kids were, at some level, relatively well known to the management echelon of the school. It seemed to work for the kids, and it expanded the pool of those teachers who might step up to higher management.

nyssa76 nyssa76 12:36 pm 25 Aug 07

VicePope, they are following the old models of K-12 schools in the US/UK, which were proven to be academic failures.

Smaller schools have been proven to do wonders for a child. It’s a shame that the Govt is so eager to waste tax payer money on something that’s been done and failed before.

(Flu’s slowly getting better thanks)

VicePope VicePope 11:48 am 25 Aug 07

Nyssa. School with lots of kids – good. School with small/declining number of kids – bad. If this is a firm vote for a model of education that the punters/parents of Belconnen are prepared to send their kids to and shell out for, that may tell the ACT Educationocracy what it is doing wrong. If they don’t listen, they deserve to get marginalised.

(Hope your flu is over – i’s a shocker).

Boomacat. I can see a reasonable amount of social status being bought with a blazer from the either of the Grammars or Radford, (although the parents I know seem to think the kids are there for the education). I somehow can’t get the same message about any of the local Catholic or generic Christian schools.

nyssa76 nyssa76 8:25 pm 24 Aug 07

The Govt doesn’t care. They say they have no money and then “surprise surprise” they find a few million or so. Someone sold off a school? Could it be as “hush hush” as the Griffith Library sale?

What they want is kids catching buses rather than walking…that way they can bring on the Fat Camps in Summer (like the US) and make more money off us.

sepi sepi 2:55 pm 24 Aug 07

If only large sized public schools are economically viable, then how does it take the burden off public schooling to have vast numbers of people going elsewhere.

It just leaves a spread out population of kids needing to get to an increasingly sparse array of public schools.

nyssa76 nyssa76 1:46 pm 24 Aug 07

Sorry Mael, I’ve been off sick so I haven’t had time :P~

Damn stomach flu…

boomacat boomacat 1:10 pm 24 Aug 07

I think a lot of the reason that more people are sending their kids to private schools is that aspirational middle class people mistakenly think they can buy their kids class this way, and also that they’ll somehow magically make their kids smarter.

I think the ACT’s public school system is fantastic, compared to other States/Territories. But if people want to send their kids to private schools let them. It does ease the burden on public schools, so their is a benefit in the govt providing them some funding, don’t forget that many private schools are simply independent schools, not wealthy private schools that charge high fees, eg independent catholic schools.

VicePope VicePope 12:07 pm 24 Aug 07

MrMagoo. Housing estate. You were lucky. We used to dream of living in a housing estate. We used to live in an old, falling apart wreck.

MrMagoo MrMagoo 11:47 am 24 Aug 07

I grew on a housing commission estate on the North Coast I went to a Catholic Private School so lets not kid ourselves that only ‘good families’ can afford private school.

In saying that my wife is a teacher in the public system, needless to say our kids will be doing public. Its a choice thing, some choose it some don’t. My personal belief is that it would be far greater for individual schools that more parents chose to pay their voluntary contirbution rather than just saying ‘nah school is a freebie for my kids’.

VicePope VicePope 10:01 am 24 Aug 07

I doubt that there is anyone (outside the froot loops of academic economics) who would challenge GnT’s comment. We, as a society, should provide good quality schools for all students, including those whose parents could not give a rat’s patootie. And so we do, at considerable cost – ACT government schools are pretty good by any standard.

But, we should also recognise that there is a public interest in education and be prepared to foster educational choices for those who want them. The number of such people is growing (at present, I think it will drop at some point) and it would be a crazy government that ignored this end of the population. From some burbling on RN earlier this week, I think the total public commitment (Commonwealth plus state/territory) is c $10k pa for each government school student and c $5k pa for a non-gov student.

There’s something to be said for an education voucher, to be spent wherever the parent chooses.

Maelinar Maelinar 9:50 am 24 Aug 07

Ouch.. waiting for Nyssa to bite that fish.

GnT GnT 9:46 am 24 Aug 07

About this argument that poor parents can send their kids to private school if they work hard enough. Let’s think of things from the kids’ perspective. Let’s say you are unlucky enough to be born into a family that doesn’t give a crap about you. Maybe your parents are druggies, maybe they’re just losers, and almost certainly they’re poorly educated themselves. Is this the kid’s fault?

Kid’s are innocent. They do not always deserve the circumstances they find themselves in. We should be able to provide ALL children with quality free public education.

Maelinar Maelinar 10:53 pm 23 Aug 07

I’m interested to see what the church group is going to do to ‘upgrade’ this ‘falling-down’ school. IMHO besa brick is a pretty hardy material, and that school will still be standing, as is, in another 20 years.

Only difference is, in 20 years the government will be whingeing about not being able to build a public school in the area on account of there being no land available. (discounting the super-school of course, on account of it’s going to fail the instant some high school student knifes a preschooler and it hits mainstream news)

VicePope VicePope 10:29 pm 23 Aug 07

I agree with DeeJay. I have seen a lot of fee reductions/waivers in private schools, usually those at the bg-normal end of the market.

As wll, I have an impression (no more than that) that a lot of government school teachers send their kids to private schools. Perhaps it’s just the ones I know, or perhaps there’s a good reason like making sure the kid gets out of his/her parents’ faces for a while each day. Anyone got a comment? It’s probably not a good look, but may be reasonable on balance.

deejay deejay 10:03 pm 23 Aug 07

Actually, my son has always been in private schools, including for six years that I was on benefits. I worked my ass off for it in various ways (part time work, volunteering as trade-off, etc), and yes, I got some fee relief some of the time. Nor was I the only one. He is now in the private system on his own merits (on scholarship). So there certainly are welfare kids in the private system.

sepi sepi 8:40 pm 23 Aug 07

The point isn’t that all private school kids are well off. It is that no private school kids are on welfare or have druggy parents etc. All those on the bottom of the ladder are at public schools.

For that reason, schools need to be available (eg – within a long but reasonable walk) in every area, as some kids are never going to private school, so there need to be public schools for them. Think of it as saving your taxes, if the second generation does better than their parents.

thetruth thetruth 7:38 pm 23 Aug 07

Oh god now I can’t spell Chardonnay …. god I hate it when I rant…….

But this poor bugger me give me something as long as someone else pays crap steams me

thetruth thetruth 7:31 pm 23 Aug 07

My experience is that there are many good kids from poorer families that make decisions to invest in their children and do without for their kids…. don’t make the chardonney socialist claim that only rich families (or as you said “good families”) send their kids to private schools.

My experience with state and private schools is that while there are some exceptional (really spectatular) teachers in the state system – but they are been held back by those who have given up or are just marking time. The difference once my son and daughter went into the private school was like chalk and cheese. I have not met one time waster in two years.

If you want to send your kid to a smaller school that fine – but why should I pay more taxes to help you make that choice? I would rather my hard earned dollar was used saving babies in hospital, or helping someone get an education that CANNOT afford it – not your ideological lifestyle choices.

So get your head out and just accept that some parents make decisions and they get less from the public purse

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