Private Schools Better Than Public Schools?

I keep a list of interesting education-related articles that I have read before but had no time to fully digest at the time so I could go back and reread them later. “Public schools judged ‘superior’ to private schools, the new survey shows” from SMH from about three months ago was one such article. What it shows is that

Australians backed public schools over private schools by a slim margin: just 8.5 percentage points. Overall, 45.6 per cent of respondents either strongly disagreed (14.6%) or disagreed (31%) with the statement: “Private schools offer a superior education to public schools.

Meanwhile, 37.1 per cent either strongly agreed (7.2%) or agreed (29.9%).

This split remained fairly consistent across age, gender and location – with one glaring exception.

Australians earning $104,000 or more were the only group to back private schools over public schools. And they did so with a convincing margin of 16 percentage points.

Among high earners, agreement with the statement jumped to 50.4 per cent, while disagreement plunged to 33.9 per cent.

I am an advocate of Public Education, so my opinion is probably fairly biased to start with. That being said what type of school the parents going to send their children to is a personal one and is to be made with each family and children. There is no right or wrong answer this question.

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Is Boys Better At Math and Girls Better At Reading?

I just read an very interesting article on SMH Reading superiority in girls starts early, Naplan study finds. Let me first quote a few lines from the article.

The study also found that better performance in literacy was limited to girls from low and middle socioeconomic backgrounds, and only boys from high socioeconomic families did better in numeracy.

“Once you have a grasp of language and literacy you can use that in everything, so the gap could have a detrimental effect across all areas of learning [for boys].”

In maths, teachers giving more positive feedback to boys could lead to the numeracy gap that emerges in year 3, Professor Walker said.

“The way boys and girls are perceived and the feedback they get becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy,” she said.

The most interesting part to me was the fact the math advantage was only limited to boys from the higher socioeconomic background. So if as the article suggested that feedback children received becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy should have meant that regardless of their socioeconomic background would have similar gap manifest. With same logic it is unlike gender-based teaching would cause this as well. So what had caused this difference? I think this certainly deserve a more in detailed look into why it is so the case.

High Rise Schools in Australia

There is this article New inner Sydney high-rise school for 1200 students revealed on the SMH today regarding the new high school that is going to be built and open by 2020 on the current Cleveland Street Intensive English High School site. I have to say high rise schools make sense in inner suburbs such as Sydney and Melbourne etc. With the high land cost and people moving back into inner cities, this is more or less the only sensible option. I have attended a number of very compact primary schools in my earlier days. The main problem was not so much the vertical layout of the schools, it is the lack of open and green space that really hurt.

The site of Cleveland Street Intensive English High School is not big, so I cannot imagine they would be fit much else other than the buildings on the site. One option is to use the nearby Prince Alfred Park which is the most likely option. However, this represents lost of valuable public park land as well and will have a big impact on increasing inner Sydney population which also require a lot of open spaces.

I have not seen the actual plan yet, so should be interesting when we finally get to see it.

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Queensland Public School (Year 7) Catchment Map

This is the map for Queensland Public School (Primary) Catchment.

  • Albany Creek State High School4
  • Aldridge State High School
  • Alexandra Hills State High School
  • Allora P-10 State School
  • Alpha State School
  • Aramac State School
  • Aspley State High School
  • Atherton State High School
  • Aurukun State School
  • Aviation High School
  • Ayr State High School
  • Babinda State School
  • Balmoral State High School
  • Baralaba State School
  • Barcaldine Prep-12 State School
  • Beaudesert State High School
  • Beenleigh State High School
  • Beerwah State High School
  • Bell State School
  • Bellbird Park State Secondary College
  • Benowa State High School
  • Bentley Park College
  • Biggenden State School
  • Biloela State High School
  • Blackall State School
  • Blackwater State High School
  • Boonah State High School
  • Bowen State High School
  • Bracken Ridge State High School
  • Bray Park State High School
  • Bremer State High School
  • Bribie Island State High School
  • Brisbane Bayside State College
  • Brisbane State High School
  • Browns Plains State High School
  • Bundaberg North State High School
  • Bundaberg State High School
  • Bundamba State Secondary College
  • Burnett State College
  • Burnside State High School
  • Burpengary State Secondary College
  • Bwgcolman COM S
  • Caboolture State High School
  • Cairns State High School
  • Calamvale Community College
  • Calen District State College
  • Caloundra State High School
  • Capalaba State College
  • Capella State High School
  • Cavendish Road State High School
  • Cecil Plains State School
  • Centenary Heights State High School
  • Centenary State High School
  • Chancellor State College
  • Charleville State High School
  • Charters Towers State High School
  • Chinchilla State High School
  • Clermont State High School
  • Cleveland District State High School
  • Clifton State High School
  • Cloncurry State School P-12
  • Clontarf Beach State High School
  • Collinsville State High School
  • Cooktown State School
  • Coolum State High School
  • Coombabah State High School
  • Coorparoo Secondary College
  • Corinda State High School
  • Craigslea State High School
  • Crow’s Nest State School
  • Cunnamulla P-12 State School
  • Dakabin State High School
  • Dalby State High School
  • Deception Bay State High School
  • Dimbulah State School
  • Dirranbandi P-10 State School
  • Doomadgee State School
  • Dysart State High School
  • Earnshaw State College
  • Eidsvold State School
  • Elanora State High School
  • Emerald State High School
  • Everton Park State High School
  • Ferny Grove State High School
  • Flagstone State Community College
  • Forest Lake State High School
  • Gin Gin State High School
  • Gladstone State High School
  • Glenala State High School
  • Glenden State School
  • Glenmore State High School
  • Goomeri State School
  • Goondiwindi State High School
  • Gordonvale State High School
  • Gympie State High School
  • Harristown State High School
  • Heatley Secondary College
  • Helensvale State High School
  • Herberton State School
  • Hervey Bay State High School
  • Highfields State Secondary College
  • Holland Park State High School
  • Home Hill State High School
  • Hughenden State School
  • Indooroopilly State High School
  • Ingham State High School
  • Inglewood State School
  • Injune P-10 State School
  • Innisfail State College
  • Ipswich State High School
  • Isis District State High School
  • James Nash State High School
  • Jandowae Prep-10 State School
  • Kawana Waters State College
  • Kedron State High School
  • Keebra Park State High School
  • Kelvin Grove State College
  • Kenmore State High School
  • Kepnock State High School
  • Kilcoy State High School
  • Kilkivan State School
  • Killarney P-10 State School
  • Kingaroy State High School
  • Kingston State College
  • Kirwan State High School
  • Kowanyama State School
  • Kuranda District State College
  • Laidley State High School
  • Lockhart State School
  • Lockyer District State High School
  • Loganlea State High School
  • Longreach State High School
  • Lowood State High School
  • Mabel Park State High School
  • MacGregor State High School
  • Mackay North State High School
  • Mackay Northern Beaches State High School
  • Mackay State High School
  • Malanda State High School
  • Maleny State High School
  • Mansfield State High School
  • Mareeba State High School
  • Maroochydore State High School
  • Marsden State High School
  • Mary Valley State College
  • Maryborough State High School
  • Meridan State College
  • Merrimac State High School
  • Miami State High School
  • Middlemount Community School
  • Miles State High School
  • Millmerran State School
  • Mirani State High School
  • Miriam Vale State School
  • Mitchell State School
  • Mitchelton State High School
  • Monto State High School
  • Moranbah State High School
  • Morayfield State High School
  • Mornington Island State School
  • MoState Schoolman State High School
  • Mount Gravatt State High School
  • Mount Larcom State School
  • Mount Morgan State High School
  • Mountain Creek State High School
  • Moura State High School
  • Mundubbera State School
  • Murgon State High School
  • Murrumba State Secondary College
  • Nambour State College
  • Nanango State High School
  • Narangba Valley State High School
  • Nerang State High School
  • Noosa District State High School – Pomona Campus
  • Normanton State School
  • North Lakes State College
  • North Rockhampton State High School
  • Northern Beaches State High School
  • Northern Peninsula Area State College – Senior Campus
  • Oakey State High School
  • Ormeau Woods State High School
  • Pacific Pines State High School
  • Palm Beach-Currumbin State High School
  • Park Ridge State High School
  • Pimlico State High School
  • Pimpama State Secondary College
  • Pine Rivers State High School
  • Pioneer State High School
  • Pittsworth State High School
  • Proserpine State High School
  • Proston State School
  • Quilpie State College
  • Quinalow Prep-10 State School
  • Ravenshoe State School
  • Redbank Plains State High School
  • Redcliffe State High School
  • Redlynch State College
  • Richmond State School
  • Robina State High School
  • Rochedale State High School
  • Rockhampton State High School
  • Roma State College
  • Rosedale State School
  • Rosewood State High School
  • Runcorn State High School
  • Sandgate District State High School
  • Sarina State High School
  • Shailer Park State High School
  • Southport State High School
  • Spinifex State College – Mount Isa – Junior Campus
  • Springfield Central State High School
  • Springsure State School
  • Springwood State High School
  • St George State High School
  • Stanthorpe State High School
  • Stretton State College
  • Sunnybank State High School
  • Sunshine Beach State High School
  • Surat State School
  • Tagai State College – Thursday Island Secondary
  • Tambo State School
  • Tamborine Mountain State High School
  • Tannum Sands State High School
  • Tara Shire State College
  • Taroom State School
  • Texas P-10 State School
  • The Gap State High School
  • Theodore State School
  • Thuringowa State High School
  • Tin Can Bay State School
  • Toogoolawah State High School
  • Toolooa State High School
  • Toowoomba State High School
  • Townsville State High School
  • Trinity Bay State High School
  • Tropical North Learning Academy – Smithfield State High School
  • Tullawong State High School
  • Tully State High School
  • Upper Coomera State College
  • Urangan State High School
  • Varsity College
  • Victoria Point State High School
  • Wallumbilla State School
  • Wandoan State School P-10
  • Warwick State High School
  • Wavell State High School
  • Wellington Point State High School
  • Western Cape College – Weipa
  • Whites Hill State College
  • William RoState School State High School
  • Wilsonton State High School
  • Windaroo Valley State High School
  • Winton State School
  • Wondai State School
  • Woodcrest State College
  • Woodford State School
  • Woodridge State High School
  • Woree State High School
  • Wynnum State High School
  • Yarrabah State School
  • Yarraman State School
  • Yeppoon State High School
  • Yeronga State High School

For the final confirmation please contact the school in question.

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Victoria Melbourne Secondary School Zone Map

Following is the best Victorian and Melbourne Secondary School Zone Map that I have created. This should also be the best and most accurate that can be found on the internet, I tried Google searches myself. The total currently stands at 310 zones for Year 7.

Victorian Secondary School Zone

Melbourne Secondary School Zone Map

Full zoomable map
























The proper name used by the Victorian Department of Education is called “Designated neighbourhood school” which is what a particular address is zoned for the particular school. When discussed from the perspective of a particular school is often referred to as one of the following terms.

  • Designated neighbourhood zone
  • Designated neighbourhood boundary
  • Neighbourhood zone
  • School Zone
  • School intake area
  • School catchment

For the final confirmation please contact the school in question.

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Why Computer And Technology Related Courses Are Becoming So Unpopular With Australian School Students?

I am sure that I cannot be the only one that notices what once was once highly touted various technology related courses such as software programming suffer progressively less enrolment and interest in both secondary and tertiary level. Media kept written articles on how important the technology such as coding skills are to our future and students should be encouraged to that direction.

Alright if software programming is so important and much emphasis on this by the government and media, why was enrolment was in significant decline over the recent years. All the media articles just go on about the importance of the skills themselves without going into the root of the issue.

To be brutally honest, job prospect and potentially income is of likely more importance to most students and their parents relating to other reasons. Ideally, you want to combine interest with job prospects. If being a Doctor or pushing paper earns more money and offers better job security, then by far majority of the students will gravitate towards that direction when choosing what to study.

Now let’s start looking at software programming career future, it earns better than average salary and got decent job prospect. However compare to many other careers you needs to constantly update your skills, relative insecure job security due to outsourcing and other reasons, etc. Why would students want to compete with the host of 457 visa holders and bad job security when there are easier and better options like finance there to be had.

School Zoning in Victoria

School zoning in Victoria is simple yet can be complicated at the same time. In summary, the school zone or the official name Designated Neighbourhood Zone for Victorian schools are generally whatever closest to the student’s home. The exception between metro and rural area is that in the metro area this is defined by distance as the crow flies. In the rural area, it is defined as whatever closest travelling distance school to student’s home. Only Melbourne metropolitan region, Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong are considered as the metro area for this purpose.

Also in some specific circumstances, Victorian Department of Education and Training have designed a number of Primary and Secondary school with specifically designated neighbourhood zone. If this is the case, it will no longer follow the closest distance rule anymore. What this means is that even if you live opposite to a particular school, if student’s home does not fall into the specifically designated neighbourhood zone then he or she may not be accepted into the school in question.

What adds to the complication is that in Victoria, Public Schools have a large mix of year range. In NSW, it is generally Kindergarten to Year 6, plus Year 7 to 12 for Public Schools. There is a few exception of infant schools going from Kindergarten to Year 3, Junior High Schools from Year 7 to 10 and Senior High Schools from Year 11 to 12. However, schools like these are relatively rare, for example in Sydney there are only a handful of Senior schools going from Year 11 to 12 compare to the hundreds of regular ones from Year 7 to 12. Also, Kindergarten in NSW is equivalent of Preschool in Victoria which refers to the first year of primary education that starts before Year One.

In Victoria there are dizzying array of year range for public schools, for example, they can be the following combination which I am sure I missed some

  • Preschool to Year 4
  • Preschool to Year 5
  • Preschool to Year 6
  • Preschool to Year 7
  • Preschool to Year 8
  • Year 5 to Year 12
  • Year 7 to Year 9
  • Year 7 to Year 10
  • Year 7 to Year 12
  • Year 8 to Year 12
  • Year 9 to Year 12
  • Year 10 to Year 12
  • Year 11 to Year 12

Now you see why it is a major pain in the rear for someone to create school zone maps for Victora, it is major work just to sort out the year range and group them.

The official Victorian government blog entry can be found here. As in all cases with Victoria School Zones, for final confirmation, you should contact the school in question. Most of the schools will have some spare spaces so out of area application is very viable for most of the schools and worth a try if there are specific schools students want to attend but their own fall outside of its school zone.

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Artarmon Public School Upgrade

How is the Easter Holiday for your guys, I have had a good one and came back refreshed. Today’s topic is something the parents from the local communities are well aware of. To refresh what is happening, Artarmon Public School has been the first or second ranked Public School at primary level in NSW for a number of years now. This fact combined with significant development in new dwelling within the school catchment area caused a massive surge in the school enrolment number. What the Department of Education doing is bringing demountable classrooms to accommodate the increase in enrollment number. Last time I visited Artarmon Public School, there are close to 20 classrooms plus various of facilities with demountable style hall and other facilities hosted in them as well. Sufficient to say it is one of the most crowded school I have visited in Sydney. You can find more pictures and information in the two blog entries I did for Artarmon Public School previously.

Following is the project overview for the proposed upgrade for Artarmon Public School.

The project involves:

  • The establishment of a temporary school, known as the Barton Road Campus;
  • The construction of a new 3 storey building incorporating 21 future focused teaching spaces and library (anticipated completion early 2018);
  • New student amenities (anticipated completion early 2018);
  • A new hall on the Abbott Road Campus (anticipated completion early 2019);
  • The integration of Abbott Lane to provide a better functional link between the McMillan and Abbott Road Campus'(anticipated completion early 2018);
  • The creation of a shared access way in Hampden Lane (anticipated completion early 2018);
  • The removal of demountable teaching spaces (anticipated completion early 2019); and
  • More continuous and functional open play space (anticipated completion early 2019).

The complete project is due for completion in early 2019.

On completion of the project, students currently residing in the Barton Road Campus will be transferred back to the McMillan Road Campus and the temporary school will be decommissioned.

There is a bit of back and forth with the proposed upgrade, the original plan was modified last year and the school hall part of it got axed. There was a pretty significant local community backlash for this change. The good news is that Department of Education has listened and original plan has been reinstated which is really great and secures the short to intermediate future for the school. However in the long term, there still possible catchment shrink with more new public school coming online in the North Shore area to future relief the enrollment pressure.

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School Funding in Australia

With school funding in Australia, it is not just about giving more money to the schools. With the current budget constraint, efficient use and distribution of the money to schools is a much better alternative. States need to work closer with their Federal counterpart to come up with better and more efficient options on how the money is used. I know it is politically sensitive to reduce the funding to schools that do not really need them compare to the others, primarily these are the top end of private schools. Indoor pools are a nice thing to have but hardly required items, this money just better off to be spent elsewhere. You have to lay the original blame on John Howard with creating this problem and Gillard government for lack of courage to properly implement the Gonski plan.

Another phenomenon is that many schools function largely with the free help from parents particularly mothers. All the canteen of public schools in my local area is run by volunteering parents. My children’s public school P&C pays the cleaners for the school drawing its own fund. It is planning to install Air Conditioners for all classrooms with its own fund as well. Another local public school even paid for an extra teacher with its own money as well.

You have to question why your local schools rely so heavily on the contributing of money and free labour from parents.

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How Big Of A Factor Is Local School When Purchasing Properties?

I remember reading an article years ago that school is one of the top things that people looking at when purchasing a property. Being a parent myself, I fully understand all parents concern on this. I personally wasn’t as picky as some people I know, rank 100 with rank 2 in the state does not really matter that much to me. However, that is not to say all parents are similar to me. I was also lucky that the schools in the area I was interested in all were of good enough quality for me so that sure made my life easier when house hunting. The school is very important, however, if the parents don’t spend the effort at educating their children, no matter how good the schools it will not help.

Some properties that are on different side of the street due to falling in or out of a particular school zone can end up the price difference in hundred thousands of dollars. What I think what a good school has to offer are accommodating environment with parents that spend effort working with their children and school. I always make the joke to my partner that as long as my kids don’t abuse alcohol, don’t do drugs, practice safe sex and not lead a life of crime, I am all good whatever else they do.

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