What if private school turns my daughter into a w--ker?

I SHOULDN'T have to worry about this yet. She is two years old - a long way from graduating high school and entering university or the workforce.

She tells me about wheels going around on the bus, and asks me what happened to my beard after a trim.

Why should I care about connections she needs to make?

At the moment she has a few best friends, whose names she doesn't know, and who she likes to surprise with short hugs.

And yet here we are, asking ourselves: private or public school?

When I turn my mind to my daughter's education, I become selfish.

I once read that children who do well should go to public schools because they lift those who battle.

The struggling are inspired and supported by the enthusiastic and ambitious. A noble idea, but is it convincing?

My wife and I went to state schools.

I had some great teachers, but would describe my education as pretty average overall.

What's so bad about going to a state school?
What's so bad about going to a state school? AAP Image/Paul Miller

The nearest private school to us charges more than $10,000 a year.

That's a lot of music, sporting and language tutors.I know I'm not paying that money just for the education.

No, I would be paying for the motivation. The extra push from a teacher who tells my daughter she should try out for track team, or join the debating club.

It's also an entry fee. It's the price of learning alongside future doctors, CEOs, lawyers and property developers. It's mercenary, but it's the real world.

What if private school creates some kind of monster? AAP Image/Julian Smith


A few years ago I covered a major case at Brisbane's Supreme Court. I was in an elevator with a few lawyers.

One asked another about a third lawyer who wasn't in the lift, "What school did he go to?"

"BBC (Brisbane Boys' College)," came the reply.

He nodded in approval and away they went.

Obviously, the curious lawyer was a wanker. Even 40 years out of the school gate, it apparently matters where you got your piece of paper.

The question is how much is that piece of paper worth to me, and to my daughter?