Public School Supporters should Consider the Greens at the next State Election



 Dr. Peter Dawkins was the Director of the Melbourne Institute before he took up his Bracks Government appointments.

In August 2004, he was responsible, in conjunction with Murdoch's Australian newspaper, for inviting speakers to a Conference entitled "Making Schools Better." DOGS believe in the old adage that "birds of a feather stick together ." With this in mind, they note some of the people invited to participate in this Conference:

  • Ms Susan Pascoe, Director Catholic Education Office, Victoria

  • Mr. Tony Mackay, Australian Adviser on Schools Policy to the UK Government and Director, Centre for Strategic Planning

  • Professor Jack Keating, Education Policy and Management, Faculty of Education, University of Melbourne

  • Professor Brian Caldwell, Managing Director, Educational Transformations and Professor Emeritus, University of Melbourne

  • Dr. Mark Harrison

  • Ms Jennifer Buckingham, the then Schools Editor, The Australian and currently research fellow  with the Centre for Independent Studies.

None of the above proved themselves committed in word and deed to the 8 fold definition of a free, secular public education system - an education system which is:

  1. Public in purpose

  2. Public in benefit

  3. Public in access to all children, teachers, etc.

  4. Public in ownership

  5. Public in provision

  6. Public in control

  7. Public in accountability

  8. Public in funding and the sole recipient of such funding.

Who did Peter Dawkins select, beside himself, to present papers at a session at the 2004 Conference entitled "Public/Private Education: What is the Proper Role of Government?"

Presenters at this session, otherwise known as Session 6 held on August 27, 2004, were: Dr. Dawkins himself together with Professor Brian Caldwell, Dr,. Mark Harrison, and Susan Pascoe. Not one of these speakers advocated that the government's role was as stated in the New South Wales Education Act 1990, Section 4(d):

"The principal responsibility of the State in the education of children is the provision of public education".

Professor Brian Caldwell restated the ideas he has been pushing in recent years, namely the integration of the public into the private system ( privatization) and private public partnerships. For further information on this see Press Releases 50 and 51 and 126 ( pr50.htm  pr51.htm and pr126.htm )

Dr. Mark Harrison advocated the role of market forces in education.

Ms Susan Pascoe with an interesting use of concepts, took the opportunity to promote Roman Catholic schools as "public institutions"; as "providers of public services"; fulfilling a "public role"; and a re-think of the public/private dichotomy together with a recognition that a common commitment to "democratic principles may be more important than " free compulsory and secular".

Dr. Peter Dawkins made a presentation of his co-authored paper, entitling it " Towards a Funding Model for a More Integrated Public/Private School System". The presentation did not promote the above 8 fold definition of public education which we have enjoyed for so long in Australia. In a later news release we will consider the  implications of this paper for the future of our public school system.

Although Dr. Jack Keating was in another session, he could have been recruited to support the private/public  integration idea. Susan Pascoe, executive Director of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria, gathered together in 2003 three persons to present papers in a series entitled "Conceptions of Public and Private in Education". Brian Caldwell and Jack Keating were two of the presenters and they proposed the integration of the public and private which will become a privatized system.

The third person, a Pat Lynch, the Chief Executive office from New Zealand Catholic Education, spoke about the New Zealand integrated system which ensures that Roman Catholic schools

"can have their cake and eat it " ( he said it not us! )

Perhaps the most interesting invitee to Peter Dawkins August 2004 Conference was Mr. Tony Mackay. The official program described him as "Australian adviser on schools policy to the UK Government and Director, Centre for Strategic Thinking. A search of the internet is even more informative.

Tony Mackay is also the Executive Director of Incorporated Association of Registered Teachers in Victoria ( IARTV) and Director of the Centre for Strategic Educational Thinking ( CSET) which was set up as a new division of IARTV in the year 2000.

The constituent bodies of the IARTV are the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia and the Victorian Independent Education Union. ( private school teachers union). The IARTV, amongst other roles, facilitates the involvement of the Independent School profession on educational bodies and committees and undertakes to liaise with other organisations and governments. The IARTV also works in co-operation with the Association of Independent Schools of Victoria (AISV) and the National Council of Independent Schools Association. Of course, the ruling body of the IARTV is made up of private school persons. Part of IARTV work is to publish seminar series, and papers, which enmeshes some of the above and others who are or have been in teacher unions. We note the names of Bill Hannan, Gerry Tickell, Vic Zbar, Graham Marshall. We also note that Tony Mackay is a member of the Board of Directors of the Australian Council of Educational Research, a Board member of the University of Melbourne Faculty of Education; and a Governing Body Member of two prep-year 12 Melbourne Independent schools. Tony Mackay is also a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators.

Of even more interest for those in the battle over  the integration of the public and private education systems is the fact that he is a DEMOS International Associate. DEMOS was the group that advised the Melbourne Education Foundation in their advocacy of public/private integration for Australia.

DOGS also note that the co-sponsor of Dr. Dawkins 2004 Conference was the Australian newspaper. We refer you to two of the News Releases, 106 and 146 ( pr106.htm , pr146.htm ) which outline the vicious attacks upon public education by this newspaper, its editor and its journalists.

If these are the sort of people and organisations that Dr. Peter Dawkins invites to his Conference, then public school supporters believe that he should not have been appointed to the Secretary ship of Education in Victoria.

DOGS note however, that this appointment fits like a glove into the Bracks/Kosky plan for the destruction of public education in Victoria.












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Last modified:Friday, 07 July 2006