Wednesday, February 17, 2010


It never stops at Melbourne Grammar School. Barely before one building project is completed, another starts. Don't let the dry grass and dirt fool you. By the time it is finished, it will be lusciously green. I wonder what is happening up on the hill at the Girls Grammar?

I don't mind the privileged elite in our society having posh schools. If the parents can afford to pay for private education of an extremely high standard with high standard facilities to match, then good luck to them. That is what being rich is all about.

But why should the poorest of poor have their taxes subsidising these institutions for the rich. For that matter, why should the taxpayer subsidise any religious school, be it protestant, catholic, muslim or baptist? Education is a given right in Australia, as it should be. Why do some get inferior education? Why do some get royal education by religious organisations?

A lovely glossy mag was in our paper recently, extolling the virtues of various private schools. It was all very inclusive, ensuring that along with white students, there were mixes of Mediterranean, Asian and Indian. Your immigrants know that by sending their children to such posh schools that they will get a good step up the social and workplace ladder. Such advertising plays on this. I have noted how money grubbing some of my workmates became so that they can afford private education for their children. Shame about speech night when my workmates are asked by their children's friend's parents what their profession is.

Of course what would be brochure for posh private schools be without including McKinnon and Bentleigh State Secondary Schools. Do they need to advertise? Where is Glen Waverley this year? People even move house to be in the right area to go to these schools. I am somewhat mystified that firstly they are allowed to advertise in a commercial brochure and secondly that they need to advertise.

Of course the more the lower classes who send their children to private schools, the more pressure on their social equals to do so as well.

Do we really want a society that has public education for the poor and disadvantaged and a private education for everyone else? You just know where this is going to end up.

I write this with the greatest respect for the many who send their children to public schools and for those who work in them, but even they can't pull up their trousers if they don't have any.


  1. Good post Andrew. I was listening to a show on the radio the other night about how much people go without so they can put their kids through private schools, it was astounding.
    I was educated and have worked in the public school system. It was a good experience for me on both counts. But it also opened my eyes as to the lengths public schools have to go to to get extra funding or to stretch their existing budget to fund something they require.

  2. "I wonder what is happening up on the hill at the Girls Grammar?"

    A thought that crosses my mind regularly...although probably for entirely different reasons.

  3. Anonymous9:44 pm

    I wrote the ad for one of the government schools mentioned! It was part of my ex-school's mission to be competitive with private school education. The high profile ensures that public education remains an option for parents, and isn't seen as some sort of ghetto. The ironic thing is that as the recession hits, those parents are pulling their kids out of private schools and enrolling them in government schools. Then they're shocked by the lack of facilities. Hmmmm, if only the middle classes supported public education in the first place, perhaps the facilities might be a bit better!

  4. Could you view the govt subsidy to Independant Schools as a bribe for the little snots to stay away from the govt schools?

    Don't mention 12 year olds who carry knives and murder their classmates at Brisbane CHURCH schools.
    Too many pictures of Jesus and his bleeding heart had the wrong result there I reckon.

  5. Interesting, Feral Beast is just finishing an assignment that dealt with the current push in Oz to change schools into businesses, parents/students into clients, schools to attract academically gifted students (at the expense of struggling students) to push the marks up to reflect well upon the school, etc, but with less guidance and communication from teachers for career choices and life after school.
    Based on the Reagan/Bush push to privatise education across the board, discontinue multicultural/multilingual subjects, leaning back to traditional Western ideals.

  6. Thanks Fen. I suspect too much time is spent fighting for money etc and not enough on the front line.

    Talking about boys of course Brian, not men mind.

    I can understand your reasoning Scott but I am surprised that people don't already know these guv schools are excellent. Perhaps it is as much reassurance. Wouldn't there be waiting lists for these schools regardless?

    Go Brownie. Too much blood and gore in their education.

    Jayne, sounds like FB is one step ahead of me in his knowledge.