THE SIREN SONG OF INTEGRATED PRIVATE SCHOOLS : CAN PRIVATE EVER BE PUBLIC?

Press Release 854

AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT

SCHOOLS

PRESS RELEASE 854

THE SIREN SONG OF INTEGRATED PRIVATE SCHOOLS :

 CAN PRIVATE EVER BE PUBLIC?

 

The business model of the private sector has come under strain; gross inequities resulting from public funding of private schools are exposed by catastrophes – witness the current plague.

Consider the very basic recurrent funds 2018 information from the MYSCHOOL website for just a few Victorian schools. These figures illustrate a system for children of an oligarchy, not a democracy.   

 

RECURRENT FUNDING OF SELECT VICTORIAN PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SCHOOLS

 

 

ICSEA value

 

 

 

 

 

$

 

Index of

 

 

2018

 

 

 Per

SCHOOL

community

 

State

Federal

private

Total

 Student

 

socio-economic

 

$ million

$million

$million

$million

 

 

advantage

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geelong

1152

Corio

1.001

6.981

30.887

40.972

27,948

Grammar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scotch

1191

Hawthorn

1.336

5.288

58

65

31,666

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wesley

1159

Prahran

2.221

11.393

99.123

115.51

31,597

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Xavier

1179

Kew

1.091

6.981

30.887

38.959

26,473

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Haileybury

1179

Keysborough

3.757

24.688

93036

127

30,130

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ivanhoe Grammar

1145

Ivanhoe

1.428

11.498

52.369

87

37,738

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acquinas

1065

Ringwood

3.843

15.001

11.366

30.888

30,888

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

De La Salle

1114

Malvern

2.006

7.702

12.139

22.519

20,196

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kilbreda

1060

Mentone

2.019

7.922

5.734

16.062

17.197

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parade College

                1059

Bundoora

4.537

18.368

12.849

29.763

16.098

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simonds College

1015

West Melb.

1.4672

5.167

1.314

7.988

18,363

College

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Al Noor Muslim College

1024

Greenacre

4.363

15.121

4.938

25.317

13,933

               

University High School

1132

Parkville

14.156

3.267

1.452

19.88

13.837

Melbourne High School

1168

Sth Yarra

12.605

2.982

4.426

21.355

15,753

Whittlesea Secondary College

956

Whittlesea

2.034

8.696

0.245

11.285

11,700

Hoppers Crossing Secondary

968

Hoppers Xing

16279

3.803

0.491

20657

14,043

 

As demands for ever greater public funding of failing and flailing private schools hit the Treasury, the siren sound of an integrated public/private system is heard.

What does this mean? It means fully funding the recurrent costs of non-government i.e. private schools which then cannot charge fees and are expected to have an open enrolment policy. Accountability for public money would also be expected, although the administration and ownership of funds and property would be the preserve of private systems.  

Such schools would be public in access, and input only. The ownership and control of such schools would still be private. The taxpayers would continue to enrich private, often religious, corporations. And, given the track record of private systems in the past, according to the Auditor Generals at both federal and State levels, accountability would still be an issue.

Professor Piccoli of the Gonski Institute at the University of New South Wales is singing the current song from the integration hymn sheet on August 11, 2020 at https://www.smh.com.au/national/there-s-a-way-to-fix-the-biggest-structural-problem-in-australian-education-20200808-p55jv4.html

DOGS note that the denominational system failed in the nineteenth century and it is failing our children in the twenty first century. Full stop.

Look at the current level of inequity evident on the MYSCHOOL website for just a small sample of  schools in Melbourne:

DOGS suggest that Piccoli is well meaning but mistaken. The Catholic system has thousands of years experience in the art of dissembling. Such a multinational corporation alongside almost other religious systems, will never give up control and ownership of property, let alone accountability, for public money. The only system that can offer equity,  accountability and public ownership and control is a public system.

The time has come to just take over the schools that go bankrupt without both fees and public funding and make them genuinely public schools. Our children are safest with a proven public system, not private-public quangos. .

 

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