School systems (was dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #929

Robyn Starkey rohina at
Fri Dec 17 18:35:04 EST 2004

Jon was talking about Australian schools

>Somewhere between a third and a quarter of all
>students go to private schools instead of the
>government system. Reasons vary but I suspect that
>snob value is actually the most important (and buying
>their children into an elite peer group - which with
>some 30% of the population going there is now
>nonsense), other reasons include percieved higher
>academic standards (many parents only send their kids
>to private schools if they fail to get into a
>selective government one - which have the highest
>academic results of all) and discipline problems in
>government schools (somewhat justified - we can't
>expel students who don't fit in).

As someone who was educated in the private system in Australia, I have to 
say that this is rather a cynical perspective. I think most parents who 
send their kids to private schools are doing so for reasons like smaller 
class sizes, better equipment and resources (library books, computers, 
etc), more music, art and phys ed programs, and better retention and 
success rates.


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