YspeopleExplore tab


We must stop funding non-government schools

Thumb angry biker showing middle finger with both hands 000078716059 small

About Subversive

There is something just not right about our world and it involves the self centred, self serving nature of people.

There shoud be no government funding of private schools. And here's why!

I don’t care whether they call themselves independent schools, private schools, or, as the British call them, public schools -- non-government schools in Australia should not be funded by the government.

Why should taxpayers fund educating the elite? Picture: Shutterstock .

Why should taxpayers fund educating the elite? Picture: Shutterstock

As I recall, it was the Whitlam Government that first provided significant funding from the public purse to private schools in Australia. While governments since then have varied the criteria and amount of funding for non-government schools, they continue to do so at significant levels.

While I am a fan of the vision of Gough Whitlam, I believe his policies in this respect were wrong. In my humble view, there should be no government funding of non-government schools. If parents choose to send their children to a non-government school, they should pay the full cost.

Read more from Subversive Sam: Over 50? We're the invisible generation

While I am aware this is a controversial stand, it's one I'm absolutely committed to. Taxpayers should not be funding non-government schools -- and I am considering starting a long-term campaign that would lead to this becoming the norm.

My father, a one-time school teacher, once said to me that while the government subsidises public transport (buses, trams and trains) it does not do the same for taxis. Taxis are a private mode of transport and should be fully funded by the user.

I believe this is a valid metaphor for what should happen in the education system.

I am aware that the counter-argument is that if the parents of non-government schoolchildren pay their taxes, they should have their education subsidised as well. 

I totally agree, so long as their children access these services in the manner that government provides it to all. All children that attend a government school receive access to roughly the same investment by government.

Catch the bus and you get a subsidy, catch a taxi and you don’t. Attend a government school and receive the subsidy, attend a non-government school and you don’t.

I know there is an argument about choice. Parents should be free to make the choice they believe is best for them and their children.

I agree, so long as they are prepared to pay for it. I have the right to buy a Rolls-Royce and might do so, if I had the money. Up until recently, if you purchased a locally made car you knew it was subsidised, while the imported vehicle was not. That is gone now, as it should be.

I know there will be arguments about religious freedom.

I agree that religious freedom is important, but it is the responsibility of parents to indoctrinate children, not the school system. If parents want the school to do it, they should pay for it, just as they pay for a taxi.

Working for elite non-government schools, I have surveyed many hundreds of parents of non-government schoolchildren, only to find myself disgusted by many of the reasons cited by these parents for sending their children to these schools.

These reasons have included: ‘babysitting’ before and after school hours; providing the discipline that the parents didn't have time to provide; facilitating connections and relationships that will help them in business; religious education; ‘making a man' of their boys; and personal prestige. So many were concerned about prestige.

Education  -- and the erroneous view that private schools offer a superior standard of education (look at the statistics) -- were secondary factors. Further, however, I would argue that the factors listed in the previous paragraph are more important to parents and are not the responsibility of the government.

Government has a responsibility to provide the best possible education to the greatest possible number of people, and this obligation is best served by concentrating as much money as possible on larger-scale hubs that can maximise the return on investment.

This will be best achieved by concentrating funds on public centres of excellence. Fragmenting the funding, as occurs now, is far from cost effective.

I know many readers will disagree with me and I would really like to hear from them.

Banner 2
| Your rating
No ratings yet

Related stories

Separation of powers is about keeping the bastards honest.

Keep politics out of policing and our courts

Our federal politicians have been dancing on dangerous, sacrosanct ground when it comes to policing and our judiciary -- and it...

Social Issues Politics Australia Community
About 18 hours ago
(Ys Comment)
The chances of you falling victim to a violent crime are much lower than you've come to expect.

Are you living in fear of crime? Read on

What's your risk of falling a victim to a violent crime in Australia -- and are rates truly rising? You'll be shocked at the...

Social Issues Australia Community
5 days ago
(Ys Comment)
Be sure that the children in your life are learning the right lessons from you.

What are we teaching our children?

I guess this father never asked himself what lessons he was teaching his son that morning.

Community Social Issues Relationships
6 days ago
(Ys Comment)
Donald Trump has declared himself a genius.

Can you identify a genius?

Just what qualifies as genius? It's certainly not Tiger Woods, Paul McCartney or, shock horror, Donald Trump.

Culture Business Sport Celebrities
7 days ago
(Ys Comment)
Are you tired of armchair activists? (Image: Shutterstock).

Is social media killing activism?

Does making a comment actually make a difference?

Activism Social Media
12 days ago
(Ys Comment)
learning facts is of limited value (Image: Shutterstock).

The end of education as we know it

Is our current educational system outdated?

Society Education
13 days ago
(Ys Comment)
What are your intentions for the new year? (Image: Shutterstock).

Forget resolutions, create intentions

Do you make New Year's Resolutions? I don't. Read why making 'intentions' are better than resolutions here.

Goals Wellbeing New Year 2018
14 days ago
(Ys Comment)
Amazon is here to stay, so let's embrace it (Image: Shutterstock).

Amazon will improve our lives

Even offline shoppers will benefit. To start with department stores will go broke and gradually be replaced with customer...

Culture Technology Shopping
15 days ago
(Ys Comment)
Forget new years resolutions (Image: Shutterstock).

Why you should forget New Year Resolutions

Are you starting to list all the usual New Year Resolutions? I've stopped making them and read on to find out why.

2018 Goals New Year
15 days ago
(Ys Comment)
Smoking kills innocent children too.

Why do people kill their children?

Why do so many selfish parents insist on slowly killing their children with their bad habits?

Health Social Issues
19 days ago
(Ys Comment)
Trending stories
Spend time with your friends!.

10 powerful tips for self-investment

When we prioritise...

(Health & Beauty) 2 days ago
Corporal punishment was all the rage when I was at school.

Do you remember the cane and strap?

It doesn't seem that long...

(Nostalgia) 2 days ago
Aussie country music superstar Keith Urban.

Dang! Here's what's wrong with country music

Millionaire metrosexual...

(Entertainment & Culture) About 15 hours ago
The cat's out of the bag!.

20 truths about a woman's life after 50

The pros, the cons and a...

(Health & Beauty) 8 days ago
The author believes the merger of many charities would be in the best interests of the needy.

Why do charities exist?

Should charities exist for...

(Kindness) 8 months ago
Weekly Poll
Haiku of the week
Memory lane