It’s wonderful, aside from residual jetlag, to be back from foreign climes. Profound thanks to Mrs McKendrick and Mrs Donald and everyone who helped keep the ship on a steady course in my absence. It shows that the school is really a team effort, rather than a one man band.
While overseas I presented a paper at a conference of UK independent Head Teachers on Government Funding of Non-Government Schools in Australia. It was a load of laughs. It was interesting, in my research to discover that in 1962 non-government schools didn t receive a single penny from the government, and, in 2013 we receive $8.8 billion, 21% of the education budget. And that this came about because of Mother Celestine, the Headmistress of Our Lady of Mercy Preparatory school in Goulburn, and her three missing toilets.
The participants at the conference were delighted at the serendipity of this confluence of characters in 1961, which led, after threats by the Department to withhold registration because of those toilets, to the Catholic schools strike in the following year. This in turn led by inches to the levels of funding we have today. It is fair to say that some aspects of this story brought the house down.
After the conference (where Mrs Mane and I met HRH Princess Anne) I visited our sister schools in London and met with various head teachers and others.
But it is very, very nice to be home and to see the staff, parents and, especially the children.