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Public school site may go private

By 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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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 1:46 pm 24 Aug 07

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

Damn stomach flu…

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 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 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 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 9:50 am 24 Aug 07

Ouch.. waiting for Nyssa to bite that fish.

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 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 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.

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