Press Releases

Murdoch Claims Egalitarian Australia has Left Behind 'Stuffy' Elitism ( 31.10.2013)

2nd November 2013
Press Release 531

In his Lowy Lecture on 31 October at the Sydney Town Hall, Rupert Murdoch made much of the religion of the Prime Minister and his fellow religionists in his Cabinet. He claimed that this heralded the end of stuffy elitism and lauded our egalitarian nation. In one breath he said that we must educate our children In the next he advocated importing clever Asians. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-31/rupert-murdoch-delivers-lowy-lectu...

Victorian State Government Should Evaluate Its Own Performance before it Fails Public teachers

26th October 2013
Press Release 530

Napthine government should evaluate its own performance, and in particular its failure to provide a quality public education for every child before it looks at ‘performance’ criteria for public school principals and teachers.

They are imposing a ‘performance test’ upon schools that would fail up to 40% of teachers across the system. And if Principals cannot find the ‘failures’, then, presumably, they, too will ‘fail’ the test.

As Mr Sal, the President of the Secondary Principals Association said:

‘Introducing an internationally discredited , dollar-driven and hurried process’ can only result in conflict and disharmony. ‘It will not lead to better performances or improve the teamwork that is essential in all schools. This poorly timed, resourced and sold process will undermine any credibility this government might have had around trust in schools or notions of school autonomy.’ (The Age, 21.10.2013)

State Aid Bad for Relgion: Uniting Churches Sold Off

26th October 2013
Press Release 529

As the State Aid bill has soared since the 1960s, attendance at church has plummeted. The pews are empty. “For Sale” notices appear on crumbling churches. Church schools are no longer about religious belief. They have descended into the market place of consumer aspiration, the plaything of insecure parents.

The Uniting Church of Victoria is currently proving the point.

Sectarian Education: Unintended Consequences. Sharia Law?

26th October 2013
Press Release 528

SECTARIAN EDUCATION : UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES
STATE WITHIN A STATE: SHARIA LAW?
16 October 2013

When State Aid to sectarian schools was re-introduced in the 1960s in
Australia, it was done to the tune of ‘Poor parish Catholic Schools.”
It did not take long for the Protestant and all kinds of private religious groups
to line up for taxpayer funds.
DOGS warned of religious division and the setting up of a State within a
State. This has been most obvious in the growing political influence and power
of the Roman Catholic church which has always believed that the Church has
the right to dominate the State in moral matters.
But what happens when a religious group has a different religious and legal
code altogether? What happens when the secular, democratic State funds
religious schools which adhere ,not to the Rule of Law but Sharia Law?
This is happening in the UK with the privatising of public schools.The English are upset because teachers in Islamic schools are required to wear the Hijab. But this is already accepted practice in Australia. No hijab. No job. And this applies for student teachers. No Hijab. No teacher training.
The Abbott Government with Christopher Pyne as Minister for Education is interested in imitating the British experience. So what happens to the Rule of law and basic democratic freedoms when Islamic schools enter big time into the privatisation equation?
The following information can be discovered in this article by Soeren Kern October 3, 2013 at 5:00 am at http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3999/uk-education-sharia

Public Education: A Reality Check Backwards: Privatisation a Cruel Hoax

30th September 2013
Press Release 527

A broad historical perspective on public education reveals that it is a democratic ‘experiment’ with a comparatively short life of less than two centuries.

Private Schools or Global Investment Companies?

20th September 2013
Press Release 526

AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS

PRESS RELEASE 526#

20 September 2013

PRIVATE SCHOOLS OR GLOBAL INVESTMENT COMPANIES? : SHOULD
TAXPAYERS SUBSIDISE
PRIVATE SCHOOL PROFITEERING AND REAL ESTATE SPECIULATION?
Citizens, taxpayers, and even private school parents are concerned at the blatant profiteering behaviour and lack of accountability in the private education sector.
A number of glaring instances of real estate development have recently gained media coverage. They indicate the top of a largely unexplored pot of private funding for religious schools.
It should be noted that these glimpses into the private funding pot only occur when there is a falling out amongst the profiteers themselves. Sometimes, as in these cases, neighbouring residents object to real estate development.
Two such ‘glimpses’ deal with
• Wesley College, Mount Waverley, Melbourne

• Scots College, Knox College and others in Sydney.
DOGS note that the veil drawn over that holy of holies — the global investment of the Catholic Church—is very rarely, if ever, drawn back.
Melbourne,
Wesley College Mount Waverley
Last December, the school, which has an annual income of more than $70 million, was accused by Monash councillor Geoff Lake of ''adopting the approach of a hard-nosed, profit-obsessed developer'' over plans to build 84 apartments on the Glen Waverley campus.
The Victorian College for the Deaf also opposes Wesley's plans to buy Crown land on St Kilda Road currently occupied by the deaf college's primary school and vegetable garden. And a group called Wesley Parents and Former Students for Governance Reform, convened by parent Dr Simon Smith, has launched the website makewesleyaccountable.com. The group of about 75 Wesley families says the school's governance falls short of what the community expects for a large business that charges such high fees.
The Council rejected the proposal and Wesley did not take the matter to VCAT but decided to sell the land instead. ''Wesley paid about $400,000 for this piece of land back in the mid '90s when they acquired it from VicRoads - they are now seeking to develop it for upwards of $30 million,'' Cr Lake said. ''Here is a private school that has basically been given a gift by the Victorian taxpayer and they are now wanting to turn that gift into significant profit.”jtopsfield@theage.com.auRead more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/education/parents-neighbours-wage-war-...
In Sydney a number of elite private schools expanding their grounds into the city’s most prestigious neighbourhoods has drawn in local governments and angered residents.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Scots College wants approval for a further increase in the size of its business studies centre on Victoria Road. It is opposed by the Concerned Scots Neighbours group, which has accused the school of concealing its growth in enrolments to push through building projects.
The resident group's spokesman Paul Blanket says it will consider legal action against Scots if the council does not address the school's compliance issues. ''What we're now seeing is a lot of these institutions move from what they were - local schools - to be almost global businesses,'' he said.
The MySchool website says the school has 1783 students, but Mr Blanket says it may be as high as 1920. Both figures are in breach of a cap of 1120 students for its Victoria Road senior campus and 500 for its Mansion Road junior school.
Helen Proctor from Sydney University's faculty of education and social work says newer private schools are the source of the real growth in student numbers, but elite schools operate on a regime of building and expansion.
''It's like a sort of arms race where if Knox gets a new fabulous business studies centre then its competitor up the road, Barker, will go, 'I'll raise you one business studies centre and we'll have an incredible arts complex','' Dr Proctor said. ''It's very much fuelled by government funding'' because this frees up funds that would otherwise be used for tuition.
Knox Grammar has also taken issue with Ku-ring-gai Council's proposed rezoning and heritage conservation area. It says it will limit its ability to use surrounding properties for ''educational use'', and work to the detriment of the ''distinctive and dominant character'' of its school.
Ravenswood's principal Vicki Steer says the school is concerned its right to redevelop properties worth millions of dollars may not be adequately protected if consideration is not made in new planning laws.
Neighbours of another north shore school, Roseville College, were alarmed by two purchases totalling almost $7.4 million on Bancroft Avenue.The school says it has taken ''significant measures'' to preserve the heritage qualities of one purchase, and is not seeking to expand student numbers. But it has not ruled out buying more properties.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/residents-irate-as-private-scho...

Some of the comments on the Sydney Morning Herald of 13 September 2013 Report are of interest:

• And these insidious institutions are receiving billions of dollars of tax payer money to operate. It is a national disgrace that these parasitic establishments are getting one cent of public money when the majority of our children go without the basics in our government schools. To the Christian religious variety we can also add hypocrisy as they preach charity and practice avarice.

• I agree. It's an extraordinary imbalance in favour of the wealthy sector of our society. If people with money want to send their children to private schools for a "better education" (my caveat being that this so called better education obviously excludes exposure to the greater society & therefore the ability to interact with those "less fortunate" . . . Tony Abbott & his Riverview mates are a case in point) that's fine, but I don't want to pay for it. I am very happy for my tax payer dollars to go to schools that need improving & particularly those that have special needs but subsidising kids cadet parades & exchange programmes to Paris to improve French language skills really gives me the S@#$% . . . . apologies, I was better educated than that . . . . really annoys me!

• Another case of greed not need....get ready for more from the new government

• I only wish the other GPS and CAS schools could be more like The Kings School. By that I mean own the whole suburb. That way you can keep the riff raff from getting too close.

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Citizens, taxpayers, and even private school parents are concerned at the blatant profiteering behaviour and lack of accountability in the private education sector.

A number of glaring instances of real estate development have recently gained media coverage. They indicate the top of a largely unexplored pot of private funding for religious schools.

Citizens, taxpayers, and even private school parents are concerned at the blatant profiteering behaviour and lack of accountability in the private education sector.

A number of glaring instances of real estate development have recently gained media coverage. They indicate the top of a largely unexplored pot of private funding for religious schools.

Fiji, Denominational Education and Separation of Church and State

16th September 2013
Press Release 525

Australia has elected a Coalition Government with a Prime Minister who has declared that his Party has ‘Private (religious) schools “in their DNA!” This means that Australia can expect to be taken backwards in its historical development to a denominational system dominated by Mr Abbott’s church.

Denominational Systems of Education: Fiji

Even Fiji is attempting to remedy the lessons of entanglement of religion with the State. In that country the Methodist Church dominates the State and its educational system. The result of their denominational system – as Australia discovered in the nineteenth century – is to leave the majority under-educated, while providing the minority with sectarian schooling.

Are Churches Wealthy Enough to Pay for their Own Schools? ( 24 August 2013 )

6th September 2013
Press Release 523

As taxpayers look askance at wealthy church schools crying poor all the way to the bank and the next playing field, three crucial questions should be asked:

Federal Election 2013: State Aid Auction: Catholic Education Clear Winner (15.08.2013)

15th August 2013
Press Release 522

The Catholic Education sector has been handsomely reimbursed for signing up to the federal Government’s education reforms.

Their ‘bad behaviour’ and blatant lack of accountability has been generously rewarded.

· On top of the increasing billions in : basic funding grants; capital grants; taxation exemptions - not to mention SES overpayments to weathy schools - The Catholic system is expected to receive $1.6 billion of extra funding over the next six years. $1 billion comes from the federal government.

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