Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Scenes from the class war in St Mary's Bay

While out-of-zone positions at the highly sought-after decile 10 school are few, changes to enrolment rules mean Mr Chisholm's children have a slightly better chance of selection than in previous years.

While some say giving priority to children solely because of the school their parent attended is unfair, it's a position he is happy to be in for the sake of his sons' education.

"We are very much in favour of it, anything to give you an advantage over the next guy is probably worth taking isn't it?"
Yes, that would be it. It's all about getting ahead, getting advantage. If Harry can get to Grammar because daddy is an Old Boy, then Angus will get to Grammar because Harry is a current boy. Of course, there is a school nearby which Mr Chisholm understands to be quite good, but it doesn't have the advantage, does it?

What's more, it has girls. And girls overachieve, excelling at all that girly-swot academic stuff, which is bad for boys' self-esteem. It is better for boys to go to a sporty school, one with built-in advantage. That way, they'll always be ahead.

Look at the quite good Western Springs College. Look at its mission statement:
All students, inspired with a love of learning, are challenged to discover and develop their unique personal strengths so that they are well equipped to contribute to the building of a just society.
Love of learning, unique personal strengths; who needs those when you are a Grammar OB? And why would a Grammar OB want his sons to contribute to the building of a just society? We have a perfectly good unjust society, where privilege is inherited and passed on to future generations. They don't even have to pay fees to gain advantage - everyone else contributes to their advantage. That's something worth taking, isn't it?

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