Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sister Questions

Sister is a teacher, of senior lads in a private school.

'Sister, do you send the boys home if their shoes aren't clean?' Rolling of eyes.

'Sister, do you do fingernail inspections?' More eye rolling.

'Sister, do you give the boys cuts, or that men's work?' Pained expression.

'Sister, do you discipline your left handers? Like a rap over the knuckles with a ruler?' Glaring now.

'Sister, is it right that I have to get up at four in the morning to work to pay tax to subsidise the education in an elite private school of your students with rich parents?' Silence as I hit the spot, right where her left leaning greenie credentials sit.

'Sister, do they indoctrinate the students with religion at your school?' R glared at me at this point.

Melbourne Grammar School has been a work in process since we moved here nearly ten years ago. New buildings, old buildings renovated, new playing fields, landscaping. It just has not stopped. But as you can see by the photos below, Wesley College is doing rather a lot of spending too. I am much obliged to Ann O'Dyne for pointing out to me some time ago that donations from parents to the school building fund are tax deductible, whereas school fees are not. I can imagine there is a good bit of abuse of this.

Now don't misunderstand me. I think schools like MGS and Wesley are wonderful schools and all Australian children should have the choice to be educated in such schools, but they are not and why on earth sudent's parents who can't afford to send their children to such private schools subsidise those who can afford the fees? I don't know. It is just so morally wrong.

The lovely green playing fields of Wesley College.


  1. Hello Andrew:
    Ah, the vexed question of independent education which continues to rage, on and off, in Britain also.

    For ourselves, we are totally committed to the comprehensive ideal and do not believe that independent schools should in any way be subsidised by the tax payer nor qualify for charitable status as is the case in the UK.

  2. If every student in the entire nation was allocated a fixed amount of education money each year, that student would cost the Education Dept the same amount of money wherever he/she went to school.

    If a student is worth $5,000 a year (for example), that money would be given to Footscray High School or Melbourne Grammar School in exactly the same way. If the school wanted to build a swimming pool and the government subsidy wasn't enough, the school would have to raise the extra money themselves.

    It makes me sick to the stomach to think of the government giving more money per child in a private school than they give per child in a public school.

  3. I remember quite clearly being wrapped over the knuckles with a STEEL ruler at a public school because i was writing with my left hand and as a result i'm a rubbish hand writer today and i have no respect or time for teachers what so ever :-).

  4. I went to a private school in 1950/60s and was never pressured to change from my left handedness. It was a rare exception to an otherwise draconian disciplinarian environment.

    However no allowance was made for my left handedness when my ink pen writing smudged as my hand moved across the newly written script and I was caned on the buttocks with a bamboo rod on a number of occasions for poor handwriting.

  5. oh Victor that's terrible. get Slater & Gordon to rap that school's knuckle$

    Our government WANTS those kids in private schools to bloody stay there, because if they ALL de-camped into state schools the govt would have to spend much much more per student to make room for them.
    you silly.
    Any honest parent would admit that the 3 terms of child-minding means more to them than what the kid learns while there.
    Prescribed textbooks is another filthy criminal area, and what does a blazer cost these days? That Chinese Fairmark family have a complete strangehold monopoly on uniforms. Don't get me started.
    Teachers work hard for the money though. Hope Lil Jo gets a staff discount fee rate.

  6. JayLa, it is somewhat different here. The upper working class work hard to earn enough money to send their children to a private school. These people would normally be Labor voters, but they are sensitive about the best educational outcome for their kiddies, and so are very 'buyable' to politicians.

    Hels, I am not sure if I have read what you said correctly, but I believe in State education. If some rich people want to educate their children privately, good for them. Nothing to do with what should be our marvellous state system.

    Windsmoke, your excuse for being a bad writer is better than mine. I argue my bad writing is because I was caught between the change over from cursive script.

    Victor, I had a teacher who was a bit troppo at times. The fingernail thing happened, as did clean shoes. There was not beating at my school but there was at the nearby tech school. I have seen videos of 'school boys' being caned. They seem to enjoy it.

    Em Stacks, I wonder how such a case would go. Caning sounds pretty medieval and Victor is only R's age. Your comments about books and uniform are interesting. I didn't know.

    State schools being flooded by ex private schools is an argument used by private schools and their supporters. Of course it would not happen like, as government funding for private schools was reduced to zero over maybe five to ten years.

    Little Jo will be enrolled in the local state primary school for the beginning of her education. What happens later depends on how academic she turns out to be. The thing is that Sister lives in a posh area and the government schools are good.

  7. Victor, qualify that. Cane on hands did happen at primary school, but not at secondary.

  8. Andrew

    every child is worth the same amount of educational dollars, regardless of where he/she goes to school.

    It is immoral for the government to pay more money per head in private schools than they pay per head in government schools. As happens now.

  9. Hels, isn't that almost maintaining the status quo? The wealthier parents can still pay fees and the well off are still in the same position, that is with excellent schools and the government schools still the same and with many of them very needy.