Coburg family contemplates private education due to lack of high school in Coburg

Coburg parent Alexandra shared her family's situation on HSC's Facebook page earlier this month. This is what she had to say.

My eldest son has just entered the school system starting at Moreland Primary School. His three siblings are soon to follow and there is lots of talk amongst parents about where they are going to send their kids to high school. Many seem to think they will get into Uni High or Princes High on the back of their kids having skills in music or entering accelerated learning programs or will try and get them into Northcote or Brunswick Secondary. My husband and I both went to public schools and both have Masters degrees so we are not set on going private but at the same time there are simply not enough good options available in Coburg so we have enrolled our kids in various private schools. If you live in the city end of Coburg then the number 8 tram on Moreland Road is direct non-stop access to Melbourne Grammar and Melbourne Boys Grammar in South Yarra (45 min). Moreland Road buses head to the East to Ivanhoe train which is walking distance to Ivanhoe Grammar, Ivanhoe Girls Grammar (25 min) and Moreland buses heading West take you to Essendon train station which is a walk to Penleigh Essendon Grammar (boys and girls) and Lowther Hall (25 min). If none of our kids get a scholarship then we're looking at about $125k each child after tax for Year 7-Year 12. So about $500k in total. It's either that or heading north to Box Forrest and at the moment, with a lack of a school in Coburg, I would take the private school option any day of the week! Furthermore, recent property reports on Channel 7 made reference to suburbs that would boom when the market corrects itself. The only suburb in Melbourne mentioned was Coburg - becuase of its proximity to the city and tram network.........not because of access to good schools. So we'll make lots of money in our houses, but we'll have to pay private school fees. Nice!

I live a short walk to Moreland Primary School and it makes a massive difference to my day by being so close so I wish it could be the same for high school or a short bike ride. Kangan are going to be selling off their site in The Avenue shortly which in fact was the original Coburg High School. Oh how times have changed!


  1. Kangan owned the coburg tech site it was sold off and made into a skating children will luck out and will have to take public transport too if nothing is done now, my eldest is in high school in 2014, many girls schools to choose from but not in coburg, its not fair on the kids to have to bus it or tram/train it...

  2. This is truly a bizarre post for a few of reasons:

    It assumes that when the secondary school at Coburg is expanded to offer classes from years 7 to 12, the outcomes for students will be better then those offered at the public secondary school options currently availble to Coburg residents.

    Research demonstrates that school performance improvements are link to the SES profile of student families. Once students from middle class families start attending the under-performing local schools (which HSC never name, of course), outcomes will improve.

    Catching PT to local secondary school is positioned as some kind of deficit (which is completely baffling given that we are privileged enough to live in a middle suburb with good PT infrastructure, unlike the other areas of Melbourne), when it's ok if you're sending your child to a private school? Also, if students living near Moreland Rd attended secondary school on Bell Street, they would travel on PT to get there. My family must have missed the memo that catching PT to school was a bad thing.

    PT information, distance and travelling times have been included for private schools but not local secondary schools such as Brunswick or Fawkner.

    Finally, we need a secondary school for Coburg so that it strengthens its position as a 'boom' suburb'? Bizarre. Is it local education or property values informing your call for a school?

    The arguments don't stack up. The HSC needs to be more strategic in its approach.

  3. Hello Anonymous number two,

    The HSC working group do not orchestrate the content of comments from community members - Alexandra (who I do not know) posted this on our facebook page and we thought it was worth sharing as viewpoint so we asked for snap as we do for all personal stories.
    Most schools available to Coburg kids are at least an hour on 2 bitss of PT and not in the community thus diminishing opportunity for the important Family-School-Community Partnership.
    Cate, HSC working group