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This was the Headline in the Herald Sun in Melbourne on 19 April 2004. Not surprisingly, the "declaying portables" are in poor State, not "poor" Church schools.

Why is this so?

DOGS would like to remind readers of a little bit of unwritten history of the Victorian Education Department told us, first hand, by members who were in the bureaucracy during the years 1978 to 1984.

There were two "re-structures" of the central State Education bureaucracy in those years. By the end of 1982 many of the key positions in the bureaucracy were no longer filled with men and women who were dedicated to the State School system. Such people had been replaced by those who had been educated in and had children in - the private Church School sector.

DOGS demanded that those in charge of State schools be dedicated in word and deed to the system. Like many dedicated and well qualified educators behind the scenes who had been passed over in the selection process, DOGS knew what was going on!

Private school sympathisers newly appointed to positions of authority waived such considerations aside, and sweet talked the parents organisations with "decentralisation" romanticism - with money, jobs and positions on "consultative" committees.

"Consultation" leading to "collaboration" was all the go as out State schools were left to wither on a funding and maintenance vine. Parents and school councils were left with increased financial "responsibilities" - not power.

In particular, those in charge of the buildings and maintenance in the central bureaucracy were interested in a new concept for "temporary" classrooms. New schools from the 1970s and 1980s on tended to have a central administration block which was built in brick, and accompanying "temporary" portables which could follow "enrolments. "

Yet those bureaucrats behind the building of these "temporary" classrooms assumed - what did they assume?

1.     Did they assume that by t2004 a lot of those schools would be closed or sold to private schools?

That happened under both Kirner and Kennett - and the situation has not been rectified by the DLP dominated ALP  under Bracks.

2.     Did they assume that by the turn of the millennium there would only be State schools for the poorest sections of the community who were not acceptable to middle class private church schools?

Well, that is certainly how Mr Howard in Canberra believes it should go.


    1.     Billions and Billions of dollars of public money ( direct and indirect ) to churches and their schools later, we have

1.     Almost 70% of Victorian children, STILL enrolled in the   public school system.

2.     Decaying "temporary portables"

3.     Angry parents who are taxpayers - and voters

4.    A decentralised, demoralised public school bureaucracy.

5.    A highly centralised, powerful, ever more greedy church school       bureaucracy which one academic has described as a "behemoth"            ( Hedley Beare)

6.     Billions of dollars in federal aid going to church schools with no              public accountability for individual schools.

7.         State school parents are being forced to tax themselves for basic              facilities while being held accountable for every cent of public              AND private money spent in the State system.

The Education question in Australia in general and in Victoria in particular is a scandal. But the responsibility for the state of our State schools should be sheeted home to exactly where it belongs.

1.     The Bracks/Brumby DLP administration masquerading as an ALP              government.

2.         The Howard Government grovelling to Cardinal Pell

2.     The Church School interest which from within and without has              undermined our  State school bureaucracy - our most precious              democratic inheritance.

















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Last modified:Monday, 25 April 2005