Tuesday, January 03, 2006


But rising demand pushes up prices too, of course. New schools are not set up overnight in today's heavily regulated circumstances

Parents at Sydney's richest schools are struggling to keep pace with the cost of a year's education, which in one case has rocketed to almost $22,000 after another fee increase of more than double the inflation rate. A Herald survey of 44 of the state's elite secondary schools has revealed fee rises as high as 15.5 per cent and an average of 6.5 per cent. The inflation rate to September was 3 per cent. It is the fifth year in a row that private schools have lifted their fees by at least twice the inflation index, a move principals say is required to account for the increase of about 5 per cent in teachers' salaries next year and the cost of complying with insurance and workplace laws. The most expensive education in NSW and possibly Australia is provided by Shore, which charges $21,804 for year 11. It was the first school to top $20,000 last year and has lifted its fees by a further 5.8 per cent....

Murray Williams, whose son is going into year 11 at SCECGS Redlands at a cost of $19,800, said parents were tired of the "same massive fee rises and bullshit excuses. "The problem for people like me is that we got the kids into schools when it was reasonably affordable, but with the compounding rises it's now very expensive - and you can't just drop your kids out a year from the HSC. "It used to be that we slaved to pay off the mortgage, but the fact is that mortgage repayments today are truly petty cash alongside this stuff. With two kids costing $20,000 each and a third at $18,000 - all after tax - plus trips, books, uniforms, sports, you have to earn $140,000 before getting out of bed."

Several parents said they were concerned about meeting the cost of spiralling fees in coming years. The director of the Association of Independent Schools of NSW, Geoff Newcombe, defended the 6.5 per cent increase, saying "the cost of education, like health, is always much higher than inflation - to make a comparison between them is meaningless". Schools were spending 70 per cent of their budgets on teachers' salaries, "which keep going up and up", Dr Newcombe said. "[Schools are] so conscious of complying with occupational health and safety legislation, [NSW] Board of Studies requirements - they're actually employing people to monitor compliance."

But a teacher at one of the most expensive schools confided: "Principals say they have to lift fees to pay us, but the money mostly goes into their $300,000-plus pay packets, not to mention the corporate jobs they keep creating: business managers, marketing directors - all six-figure salaries."....

In Britain, where independent school fees have risen by more than three times the rate of inflation over the past 20 years, the top 50 schools have recently been found guilty of price-fixing. The chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Graeme Samuel, said although he had received no allegations of impropriety, "if there was a perception that prices were rising at a regular rate across the board every year, we'd certainly be interested to know why".

More here

High-school Lesson one: Finish Year 12 to get work

Young people who leave school without finishing Year 12 are twice as likely to be unemployed after a year as those who complete secondary school. And the trend gets worse a year further on, a study of a group of 3500 young Victorians in post-school years has found. The University of Melbourne survey was released yesterday by Victorian Education Minister Lynne Kosky, who urged students to stay at school. "Students who have completed 13 years of school are more likely to have work, spent less time looking for work and work more hours," she said. "Students thinking of leaving school without any education or training options should think again, go back to school next year or start a TAFE course."

While 10 per cent of students who completed Year 12 were unable to find work or study a year out from school, the figure was double for those who left after Years 10 or 11. Of those still trying to find work or education a year later, 85per cent of the group who finished Year 12 entered the workforce or full-time study, but just 59 per cent of the early leavers had the same success.

The survey found schools in poorer regions had far higher proportions of students leaving without finishing Year 12. More than 30 per cent of students in the poorest regions quit school early, while just 15per cent did so in the wealthiest regions. About two-thirds of all students who left school early were male.

Friends Sam Kerbage, Liam Oliphant and Luke Stanza have finished Year 12 and believe it is the best option for the long term, but say they have friends who quit school early and found solid work that pays well. Sam, 19, left school in 2003 and started a computer science course, but deferred it to make some money before embarking on a career in hospitality. "People who drop out of school early, sometimes they achieve even more than other people do," he said.



For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL schools should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the poor and minimal regulation.

The NEA and similar unions worldwide believe that children should be thoroughly indoctrinated with Green/Left, feminist/homosexual ideology but the "3 R's" are something that kids should just be allowed to "discover"

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