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The Forum > Article Comments > Reminders to 'keep receipts' won't improve access to education > Comments

Reminders to 'keep receipts' won't improve access to education : Comments

By Gerard Brody, published 23/7/2010

Requiring people to save receipts and fill in copious documents will not help them access financial support, education-related or otherwise.

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Simplicity makes good sense. I am profoundly busy so prioritise my time carefully. I wake up before dawn to engage with my children for three hours before work. They have breakfast, are cleaned and dressed, read to and supervised in craft (an eye problem in one means no TV). Lunch is made. Bags are packed. Some housework is done. I ready myself for work. I take the children to daycare then I go to work Ė I am walking distance from both. I pick the children up after work, cook dinner, talk to them, bath them, read to them, put them to bed, do some more housework, have an adult dinner, deal with household administration, sometimes do more work then go to bed for a sleep which is routinely disturbed by a child. I work part time. On days off Iím often even busier. On weekends we have family time. We cook in preparation for the week ahead, do grocery shopping, visit friends and family. My kids are not in school yet Ė then we'll have to deal with homework, sport, music and who knows what else. I don't have time for anything more. And given a choice of what to do with my time - I'd rather spend it on the kids and not on my finances. The Henry tax review is realistic. Personal finance experts may well think we should all become more capable, but many of us already have specialist knowledge in our jobs, years of education - I simply do not want to become informed about any more administrative processes. I'd rather read a novel or spend personal time with the children's father. I want a life - not a body of expertise. Anyway, we should be supporting the education of all children not just working parentís children.
Posted by Michelle X, Friday, 23 July 2010 3:03:46 PM
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Michelle X,
Careful, the australian psyche doesn't permit any leeway for common sense.
Your line "I want a life - not a body of expertise" should really be shoved under the present QLD Premier's nose. It would be hilarious to watch her struggling with the meaning of it.
Posted by individual, Saturday, 24 July 2010 7:19:12 AM
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Why should school uniforms, for instance, be so expensive?

When I attended school, the uniform was simple, easily made by many mums from readily available cloth (usually one colour, sometimes a standard check available from any haberdasher). Pre made uniforms were cheap and the sport uniform was a plain t-shirt (sky blue perhaps) and black shorts.

Many state schools now indulge in elaborate uniforms that simulate those of expensive private schools.

Typically, these schools define an elaborate uniform and then license a single uniform manufacturer to provide these through the school shop. The uniforms are expensive (more than reasonable business wear at kenmore and albany creek to my knowledge) and the definition is so precise as to exclude custom-tailored unless you buy the licensed cloth and logos, again directly from the licensed franchise holder.
The school polices this energetically and excludes children from education for minor deviations.

Given that it is illegal to *not* take children to school, and that exclusion is hardly beneficial to the child, expensive uniforms are an artificial barrier to education that penalises poor families more. The very families that *need* access to schooling, and which state schools were intended to provide access to.

Making expensive school uniforms a tax deduction is a sop to an unsustainable industry (elaborate rather than economical uniforms) that only exists due to the inflated pretensions of some parents in some schools who want the appearance of prestigious schooling rather than the substance. They are also a sop to parents who make enough to afford the uniform up-front. How about vouchers redeemable at the school shop directly? Thereby (perhaps) making the uniform purchase a lower up-front cost to those most unable to wait for a rebate.

How about an upper limit on the cost of a state school uniform? For instance, not to exceed the cost of a basic uniform from lowes/best&less or equivalent.

Rusty
Posted by Rusty Catheter, Sunday, 25 July 2010 6:23:00 PM
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I think it was the Hitler Youth mob that first insisted on uniforms or was it the Boys Scout Movement. Either way uniforms are a very effective part of indoctrination which in turn is another financial burden on working families not understood by academic decision makers.
Posted by individual, Sunday, 25 July 2010 7:29:59 PM
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I'm even prepared to accept that a uniform is a good idea. It stops school being a fashion parade.

When I went to school, it was cheaper to buy school uniforms than jeans and t-shirt. Further than that, while shiny leather shoes were specified, any adequate substitute would do. As would a "fair attempt" if one wore non-uniform but sort-of-blended-in, as many of the poorer kids had to do.

Compare that with "sent home for non-uniform" later overturned since the blouse was business-wear, but the child still missed a day.

I have yet to hear from the principal how that benefited the child's education. Perhaps he is having a hard time with his doublethink.

Rusty
Posted by Rusty Catheter, Sunday, 25 July 2010 8:36:17 PM
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""jesus" *supposedly* said"

I wouldn't want any body to think that *I* thought a document largely written and heavily edited in the reign of constantine could possibly be as accurate as, say, the observations of Darwin.

Rusty
Posted by Rusty Catheter, Sunday, 25 July 2010 9:31:44 PM
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