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Thread: If money wasnt an issue

  1. #19

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    That's my completely unscientific opinion dachlostar! And I think the differences between the UK and Australia are a big factor too - you're quite right, the class system is (or at least used to be) very entrenched there which is why I left. Funnily enough my privately schooled ex husband used to say that if he ever started a business, he would employ uni graduates from a working class background because they worked their socks off!



    But schooling is just one aspect of a child's confidence of course, parental attitudes are also crucial. I had parents who told me that people like us didn't go to university, that I'd better leave school at 16 and if I was clever enough I might get to work in an office rather than the local factory. So I think that, more than the fact that I went to a state school, had a major impact on my confidence levels.

    But there's a lot said by media commentators these days about parents giving their kids too much confidence - y'know the 'you can achieve anything you want, you deserve it' kind of parenting. And I think that has its drawbacks too. My 14-year-old stepdaughter who lives in the US is currently struggling in school getting mostly Cs to Fs. Her mum is still telling her that she can be anything she wants, she can be a lawyer, she can work for the United Nations, hell, she can be president if she wants. Whereas, I believe a bit of realism is called for and I'd be telling her 'y'know what maybe school just isn't for you, maybe if you hate it that much you'd be better off not wasting your time, the teachers time and your parents time. Maybe you'd be better off leaving early and getting a job if school sux that much.' She's no dummy but she's no Einstein either. I know it's a cliche but she's exceptionally good with people and I think she'll be really successful if she finds something that uses those skills. I'm not convinced, however, that spending the next four years nagging her to do her homework when she's clearly not interested is going to be very productive at all. Nor do I think putting her in a private school would benefit her. She's just not interested in learning and would rather be out in the real world, doing. Nothing wrong with that, we all have different paths and we all find our way eventually.

  2. #20

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    That's an excellent point Fiona, not all people are academic, and it's a good thing that they're not. Can you imagine a world where everybody was a lawyer (or a president). Nothing would get done!!

  3. #21

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    Absolutely Suse. And some of the cleverest, well-qualified people are really quite dumb when it comes to their emotional lives! As I said, I used to think that if someone wasn't dripping in academic qualifications, they weren't worth talking to but in a very difficult stage in my life I spent most of my time drunk in a sticky carpet pub. Not the ideal place to learn life lessons maybe but I regard those few months as being way more educational than all the lectures I attended at uni. They taught me about how kind-hearted human beings are and how wise most people are based on what they've experienced not what they've learnt in books.

  4. #22

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    Really enjoyed reading your posts Fiona, agree with a lot of what you said

    Regarding sexual diversity. At my DD's private girls' school (preschool to year 12) there are at least 2 prominently displayed posters advertising the fact that her school is a gay-friendly place. It also says something along the lines of the fact that 1 in 10 people have gay/bi sexual preferences and that it is a normal part of life. I am really pleased to see this information on display. I'm am only still getting to know the staff in senior school and I can't say for sure what all their orientations are but there are a few "effeminate" male teachers. Not that it matters of course. One of my favourite teachers that has taught my DD spoke a lot about diversity to the girls. I remember in her introductory talk to the parents that she mentioned that her previous role was in a remote Indigenous Australian community. Teaching at a private girls' school was a bit outside her comfort zone (she really enjoyed working in her previous role) but she figured she needed to 'try it' before she retired. Honestly, she was THE BEST teacher..... so committed and actually picked up a hearing problem of my DD's that we never knew about! Anyhow, she taught at DD's school for about 3 years I think... extended her retirement a bit I think because she enjoyed it so much and was given every resource she had ever dreampt of. My DD was soooo fortunate to have her as a teacher... i miss her... she was a truely inspirational woman. Anyhow... enough rambling... i just thought I would share a bit on the gay acceptance issue You would hope EVERY school displayed these posters.

  5. #23

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    if money were no issue.....

    We can afford to send Archie to a private school and quite like the idea os him possibly being in a smaller class and getting more one on one time with teachers. however ther are only 2 private schools in our town, one is Catholic and one is Lutheran. i was raised Catholic but in the last 10 years have really gone a different way and now dont feel religious at all, Archie has not been baptised and has never been inside a church. DH was baptised Presbyterian (sp?) but has no idea what that religion is about and nor do i. So my dilemma is that i dont really feel comfortable with the idea of Archie going to a school where everything is strongly focused around a particular religion.

    i don't feel comfortable with sending him to a public school here either. We are zoned to 2 schools, one of which is in an extremely 'bad' area and is notoriuous for bullies (both kids and parents) etc, so there is absolutely no way we would send him to that school we would sooner move house than send him there. The other public school is HUGE, the classrooms are filled to brim with kids and the school is constantly getting even more huge due to the great numbers of new houses being built in our area, so i feel uncomfortable with the idea of sending my little boy to a great big scarey school, and i also figure the class numbers would be right up there...

    i think my perfect school would be a small public school, and i think im gonna fight to get him into one of them.....

    schooling is such a huge decision though!

    i agree with dachlostar that money spent on private schooling would be much better spent on travelling which could teach the child more in a couple of weeks than a years schooling could!

  6. #24

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    I just read an article that reminded me of this thread....
    NSW HSC results have just come out - out of the top 10 schools 3 are private and the rest are public...
    Islamic school's debut in HSC top 10
    Anna Patty Education Editor
    December 20, 2007

    THE Sydney Islamic school Malek Fahd has swept into the top 10 HSC performers this year, joining James Ruse Agricultural High, which has maintained first position for the 12th consecutive year.

    State selective schools hold seven positions in the Herald's list of top HSC performers.

    The private boys' school Sydney Grammar, which is also selective, and Ascham School for girls, are also in the top 10.

    Although Malek Fahd Islamic School is not selective, like some other private schools, it has been known to encourage underperforming students to repeat a year or consider another school.

    James Ruse, which selects the cream of the state's academic talent, has bettered the success it had last year. The proportion of its year 12 students who scored 90 or above rose from 65 to 74 per cent, the Herald's analysis shows.

    Larissa Treskin, who replaced Michael Quinlan as principal of the school last year after he served 15 years, said students had lifted their overall performance in the HSC this year.

    "We had a great improvement across the board in the percentage of students in band six [a score of 90 or more]," she said.

    "Their teachers are thrilled that all the hard work by everybody has resulted in such great achievements."

    Of the school's 48 year 11 students who completed their HSC agriculture exams this year, 45 scored 90 or above, including James Sin, who topped the state.

    Hornsby Girls' High School relinquishes its No.2 position on the Herald's HSC league table, to drop into fifth position in this year's results.

    North Sydney Girls' High is ranked second this year, followed by Sydney Girls' High in third position and Baulkham Hills High in fourth.

    The first private school to appear on the table is Ascham, in sixth place, swapping the position it held last year with seventh-placed Sydney Grammar.

    Malek Fahd is ranked ninth this year and was 15th last year. Sydney Boys' High School is 10th in the table this year and was eighth last year. Malek Fahd and Sydney Boys' High are each ranked in the top five schools for their performance in maths, but close to 40th in English.

    The president of the NSW Board of Studies, Gordon Stanley, said there was a record number of all-rounders this year - 1035 students achieved 90 and above in at least 10 units of study. (Most subjects are worth two units, some are worth one and advanced courses are worth three or four.) Last year 800 students scored 90 or more in 10 units.

    Professor Stanley said the increase might be the most significant aspect of this year's result.

    "The standards are the same but the performance with respect to those standards is up this year," he said.

    Professor Stanley partly attributed the increase to a rise in the number of HSC candidates.

    He said more students achieved 90 or more in English this year.

    Four of the top six schools in the Herald's table are girls' schools.

    The first academically non-selective school on the Herald's table is the Conservatorium High, in 39th position, followed by Killara High, in 56th place.

    Schools are ranked in this way: the number of credits (90 or more in a subject) a school earns is divided by the number of HSC examinations students at that school sit. It removes the natural advantage had by larger schools.

    Raw data, based on the number of credits each school receives, still ranks James Ruse, with 167 year 12 students and 804 credits, in first place and North Sydney Girls' High, with 161 students and 625 credits, second.

    If the raw data were used in the Herald's table Baulkham Hills High, with 186 year 12 students and 624 credits, would have displaced Sydney Girls' High, which had 161 students and 533 credits, in third position.

    http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2007/...e#contentSwap1

  7. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by dachlostar View Post
    If money wasn't an issue I would definately send my children to a public school. If the local school didn't suit them then I'd transfer them to a differant one.

    I don't think that schooling is just about what goes on in the classroom, it's also about what happens in the playground and after school.
    I think it's important for children to socialise with a wide vatiety of people and that's more likely to happen in a public school. The area that we currently live in is one of the most multicultural in Australia I think my children can only benefit from mingling with people from such a wide variety of backgrounds.

    TBH I don't think that educationally children benefit from private schools. Every year when the HSC lists come out in NSW public schools fare better than the private schools. Last year the split between public and private for distinguished achievers was 52/48 in favour of public schools and the top 3 schools were all public schools. Luckily for us 2 of them are not far from us.
    If I thought that either of my boys would perform better in arts and humanities subjects in a single gender school I'm lucky that there are a few publicly funded ones around.

    I would rather save my school fees so that we can afford to take the boys to places in Australia and abroad that will enrich and instruct them in ways that a classroom can't.
    Brilliant post Chloe, my views exactly. As a teacher in a public school I am a passionate supporter of public education and wouldn't send my children to a private school even if I had tonnes of money.

  8. #26

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    The first academically non-selective school on the Herald's table is the Conservatorium High, in 39th position, followed by Killara High, in 56th place.

    I know it's not a popular view but I am happy with my DD's school which is Independent. 70% of the girls got 80 and above as their VCE result compared to 20% in the state system.

    I hope the state system improves because despite sending my child to a private school i am too an advocate for the public system. Same as health care. But I feel the standards needs to be raised to meet our needs as a family. I hope the Rudd government is able to achieve this.

  9. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bathsheba View Post
    The first academically non-selective school on the Herald's table is the Conservatorium High, in 39th position, followed by Killara High, in 56th place.
    I wouldn't read too much into that Bath I'm not sure how the Victorian system works but NSW has a fantastic selective schools system which siphons off many of the high achievers and allows them to meet their full potential in the public system. Obviously those schools are going to occupy most of the top spots. If they didn't they wouldn't be meeting their objective.

    ETA - The NSW public school system doesn't just offer academically selective schools it also has Technology High Schools, Sports High Schools, Language Schools and Creative and Performing Arts Schools. I think it's fantastic that students who are gifted in such diverse areas are offered opportunities to pursue their talents.

    I think that the best thing about this is that talented students aren't forced to go at the speed of the slowest person in the class which is often the fate of bright students in other systems.
    Last edited by Phteven; December 20th, 2007 at 04:15 PM. Reason: ETA....

  10. #28
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    Just an observation that no one went for option three - home schooling.

  11. #29

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    To be perfectly honest, I'd be too scared to homeschool. I have the utmost admiration for other people who do, but its not for me.


    Quote Originally Posted by Roryrory View Post
    If money wasn't an issue I would move to an area to ensure my children went to a good public school.
    That would be my first choice as well.

    A few of my parents friends and one of my Aunts are primary school teachers in my local area so I have an idea of what's available, and TBH there are only 2 public schools that I'd send DS to of the ones available both are outside my zoned to area. There are 2 private schools we could choose as well, but the one I prefer (smaller class sizes, less focus on religion) would involve a 30+ minute bus trip each way for DS. Or if I had no choice there's one of the many religios schools in my area that I's consider.

    As for high schools, not any of the local state schools. If we lived in a different area as I said, I'd have no problem with it, but at really have no choice. I have less of an issue with RE in high school as I think kids are more able to express their own opinions and make up their own minds so I'll have no issue in sending DS to a Catholic boys high school in Toorak. (well other than a sh*tfight with DH)

    I always wanted to send any daughters I had to MacRob, -- what are people opinons on selective entrance on-private schools? I've alswyas classed Melbourne High and MacROb as private schools even though technically they arent..

  12. #30

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    I've read that too that once at univesity, private school students have a higher drop out rate. I think this is to do with the "spoon feeding" they receive in high school. My beliefs don't necessarily sway to private or public, but to what is the best school in my area. After much research I decided to send my dd to the local Catholic Primary school. Although I am baptised Catholic, I am not practicing, but her school has such a lovely community feel about it and I am happy for her to have religion introduced to her at school. She can choose when she is older if she wants to follow any religion or not. The school demographic represents a wide range of students from various social, economic and cultural backgrounds and they teach about other backgrounds, religions etc. (actually more so than the local public primary). My other 2 dd's will go there and then I will be sending them to one of the Catholic Girls colleges in high school. I have read that girls actually perform better in single sex school than in co ed situations, whereas boys it doesn't matter. The fees aren't as high as a private school, but the school does seem to offer more in terms of extra carricular activities and class sizes were smaller and they encourage alot of parent involvement than our local public school. I think at the end of the day, education is the best gift we can give our children and public or private doesn't matter. You need to do the research and find out what is best for your family.

  13. #31

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    Actually, regarding boys and single sex education, it can make a significant difference as boys and girls learn differently.
    There is an excellent book called Why Gender Matters by Dr Leonard Sax that talks about it.
    There are a few schools (private and public, single sex and co-ed) in Melbourne that are introducing single sex classes for some subjects and co-ed for others as well.


    ...but the school does seem to offer more in terms of extra carricular activities and class sizes were smaller and they encourage alot of parent involvement than our local public school. I think at the end of the day, education is the best gift we can give our children and public or private doesn't matter. You need to do the research and find out what is best for your family.
    That's exactly what it comes down to for me to Jo.

  14. #32

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    I totally agree Divvy.... I strongly believe in giving the best education to my children... I would sacrifice any want to make sure my kids receive a great education. My parents gave up a lot for my private school education and I am very grateful for that! I knew girls at my school who would travel over an hour everyday to get to school because their parents also believed it was one of the better schools in Brisbane. Sometimes I feel that some parents only think of themselves and not of their kids when it comes to schooling for their kids... high-school in Queensland is only 5 years... 5 years of going without somethings and working hard is not much of a parents life to give up for their kids. That's what I think anyway.

  15. #33

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    I am a huge fan of public schools. I went to 2 different co-ed catholic primary school, then an all girl catholic school up until the end of year 10, and then moved to a co-ed public school for year 11 and 12.

    I had the same kinds of issues at my Catholic school as Roryrory mentioned and this was one of the big reasons I felt that I could not stay there. Once I moved to a public school, I felt that I was able to express myself more and that I was more free to have my own opinions on issues without getting told off for not agreeing with my teacher.

    I found at the catholic school we were pretty much taught only one viewpoint (on everything, not just religious issues) and I dont feel that this would make for a very well rounded person, if you get what I mean. If you were to have an opinion differnt to that of a teachers, you would be told you were wrong. At my public school, I had friends from different cultural backgrounds and I leanred alot about customs/traditions in other countries (where my peers were from) and about religious traditions in faiths other than christianity. There were people from varying socio economic backgrounds from all over sydney including the blue mountains, but at the catholic school everyone seemed to be on the same level and were all from "the north shore" or "northern beaches" (the 2 schools were in the same suburb) and there was nowhere near as many differnt nationalities represented. There were also openly gay people (whereas I know of a few girls in my grade at the other school who felt they were unable to 'come out' until much later, even though they knew they were gay at the time.. girls were told off if they were seen holding hands, so I dont blame them for feeling that they could not tell anyone).

    So, for me, I felt I had a better experience and was able to grow more as a person in a public school. I felt I was also given more opportunities at my public school. With private schools, (correct me if I'm incoreect) it seems like they're pretty much all catholic, anglican or aimed towards some other faith. We're not religious so we dont want to have Claire attend a religious type school and have those views forced upon her.

    DH is also dead-against private schools. He is a teacher is a very good public school. You get crap teachers in any school, public or private, unfortunately. I think we probably will look for a good single sex school for high school, basically becauses boys and girls learn differently. We will have her attend a co-ed primary school though. We have a few more years to think about that though, but I plan on doing some research to find a school that best suits her prsonality and abilities.

  16. #34

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    I think the area you live in also comes into play. Up here we only have a small number of schools I would send my children too, and only a very few are any good. Numbers are very large, bullying is rife and many kids slip through the cracks. At my kids catholic school, only half are catholic, and religion is not taught every day or rammed down your throat. Class sizes are small, and my daughter gets extra help DAILY for her english skills. We have top of the line resources and sports groups. Kids were expelled last year for fighting outside of school hours!!They have zero tolerance for a lot of bad behaviours, and to our family the money is worth it.

    We are on one income with 5 kids, and are definatly not above average in income. I pay per week, with no interest or extra fees, and it is nothing compared to the extra help and attention my kids are getting. We are very far from snobbish, and most families there are just regular folk that want that little bit extra for individual kids. If one of our close public schools offered similar education, then they would of gone there. A small classed, personal public school thats close was just not an option unfortunatly.

  17. #35

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    I totally agree Jodie and well done! I'm familiar with your area and would send my DD to the girls' school which has a great reputation if we moved to the region. I'm finding it harder to know where to send my sons though. My DD seems to have escaped bullying which was one of my main aims as I was bullied at one of the local public primary schools in your area and it brings back sad memories. If you can send your child to a school with zero tolerance of bullying then half the battle is won! Kids can't learn if they are sitting in class stressing about being bullied every time they put their hand up or go outside.

  18. #36

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    I have to agree purplemamma, the catholic school my daughter goes to encourage teachings about other religions and cultures in their re classes and it is taught in a very informal manner. I think the curriculum offers such wide variety and I disagree that only public schools turn out well rounded children. They are not about bible bashing anymore and I think my daughter has a better understanding of other cultures and religions through her re lessons and the students are encouraged to give their opinions. Even in grade one she is involved in projects within the wider community. Religion is only a small part of her catholic school upbringing and I am happy for her to be in such a caring, loving environment where the students are taght to respect and care for each other..

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