Sunday, March 29, 2009


Melbourne Church of England Grammar School is at it again. What recession? Snort. Since we moved here some six years ago, this is the third major building project undertaken. It is a school for the elite, or was. Now it is subsidised by Mrs Nguyen who gets up at five thirty in the morning, prepares food for her family, goes off to work all day in a factory, comes home and does what a wife and mother does in the evening and falls exhaustedly into a six hour slumber and pays her taxes. Some of Mrs Nguyen's taxes support this school. The government school where she sends her children could only dream of having the facilities, resources and education standards to be had at MGS.

I ain't having a go at you if your children attend a private school. Good on yer. If I had children and I could afford it, I would probably do the same, but it just ain't right for public money to be lavished on private schools while so many state schools are in a very poor condition. If people want a posh education, let them pay for it. If they want a religious education, let them pay for it.


  1. James Carville's reply to Prez Clinton -
    "It's the Economy, stupid!" has gone down in history, so here's mine:

    "It's The Building Fund, Hot Andrew".
    every one of the THREE term's fee accounts that parents get per year, has a separate tack-on:

    "Your contribution to our building fund is tax deductible and we have you down for $100"
    (or whatever)
    Separate because school fees are not tax deductible.
    so, lets say 500 kids per year @ $300, by say, 6 years at a school -
    that's a fair whack of dosh.

    I worked for the Geelong Grammar school, typing letters to Old Boys telling them how much they were gonna give to the fund:

    "Hello Mr Dunstan/Southey etc,
    We have got you down for $500"
    (it was a sliding scale more finely caressed than the Dow Jones, as to the social prominence/financial standing of each particular Old Boy.)

    and that's what they build with.
    In defence of church schools, may I add that Parents Committees work their arse off raising money for additions to class rooms, and at Govt schools they don't.
    I can quote you names on it from personal experience.

    After 7 years at one of South Yarra's most precious private primary schools,
    Jaime starts Year 7 at
    Brighton/Summer Heights High, and her mother appears there to join the mothers club -
    "we don't have one"
    "how do you raise money to give every kid in grade 2 a computer then?"
    "the govt gives it to us".

  2. Friend sent her two kids to Wesley and said half the bricks in the building should have her initials on them. Didn't do the kids much good, both duds.

  3. Ah, so tax deductible Ann. Makes it all the worse. The Parents Committee probably made of up people who have the time to devote to such matters. I don't thing the fictional Mrs Nguyen would have.

    You can't call them duds Jahteh. Oh, you did, and it may me laugh.

  4. It's that way here too, Andrew. Rich children play sports and take field trips on the broken spines of the middle- and lower-classed ones.

  5. Personally I reckon they should get the kids to build it. That'd teach 'em right enough.

  6. I do know of a couple of state primary schools, Ann, where the parents' committee is very active in fund raising for the school and directly as a result the school is able to offer reduced school fees, subsidised swimming lessons, reduced fees on camps/excursions,etc, which ensures greater participation from the students.
    But yes, these schools are in the minority.

  7. Yes, I did attend the school featured in said article. I had a great time. I suspect that much of the money raised for this particular endeavour (I THINK it's a car park under the old hockey/basketball pitch) was done by donations mostly. It has been on the books for the better part of a decade. Even still, I have major objections to private schools sniffing at the public trough that always seems to be tilted in the wrong direction...

  8. Except a bit more extreme in the US of A Daisy? Nicely phrased btw.

    Jayne, I bet these schools are in so called 'better' areas.

    Thing is Brian, they probably could. They are smart kids. The school would not have if they weren't.

    You turned out amazingly well then Rob, considering. It would be good for all kids to have such a good education. Re donations, as per Ann, to a building fund with tax deductible donations.

  9. Yes, you are right Andrew, I see re-furbs on alot of buildings going on at schools, just not the one we have our children attending. I understand the frustrations, I too work hard and pay top taxes.

  10. And some of those taxes go to Melbourne Grammar Cazzie.

  11. Spot on...and I sent mine to a catholic day school which was a country one and quite humble...only because the travelling to get to the other was much longer and dangerous roads...They did a lot of fundraising ...lots of fetes...AND AND this...
    At 3.15, if I was waiting to meet the girls, the school would errupt...every kid had a broom, a wastebin a duster whatever. In the fifteen mins till the final had 250 kids cleaning...was good for them. The cleaners still came and mopped ets and the school was spotless...hey maybe they could introduce that into all schools so that the cleaners could actually get through the work that never gets done because of Gov contracting out...

    they turned out good kids but then they were good kids anyway...

    They didn't do any better in eductaion than the kids at the public school - and they didn't have fancu uniforms with hats and all that silliness...

    These were the St Joseph nuns and they would educate a child no matter if the parents had no money...they run good hospitals too - so there is private elite and private.

  12. Anonymous5:49 pm

    Former teacher says hear, hear!

    Private schools are great and I will likely send my own children to one, should I ever have them. But when you have public school teachers with holes in their walls and no faculty budget because it disappears on putting shoes on their students' feet and photocopying pages from books they don't have... well.

    You tell me what your priorities are.

  13. It is rather like the hospitals MD. The successful ones get more money, the less successful get less. My sister taught in a private school and it was very very good. But by the average person sending their kids to private schools had just made it all the worse. Whitlam started the rot of government funding of private schools, presumably to humour the catholic (DLP) members of the Labor Party.

  14. Appreciate what you are saying MC, but there were some crook ones too. Kids cleaning? Cleaning up after themselves? How odd!


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