Over-priced school photos in public schools - Why don't schools take any initiatives?

The class/ group photo pricing in public schools seems to be ridiculous; not sure about other states but this is for NSW. For example, a Portrait photo is for $27, Group photo is for $29 and so on. There are packages priced even higher but unfortunately none of these options includes a 'digital' copy of the group photo. So, if you want a class group photo, then you have to spend ~$29 and you get a physical print in return.

I think that it's a big rip-off. Particularly in public schooling system where there are families from all different socio-economical backgrounds, cost of any such activity/ item is a sensitive subject and the schools should be doing something about it. Prices can easily be one-third of the current amounts and I believe the photographers (or the businesses involved) would still make money. In fact, they should just sell digital copy for a cheap price (to avoid people sharing digital copies) as that's what everyone wants. A digital file can be preserved safely for a very long duration and can be printed whenever required. Not sure what purpose they serve by offering only the physical print and that too at such an expensive rate in today's era where cost of photography has gone down significantly! One can scan the physical photo but its clarity/ resolution is never going to be the same as a digital file.

What I find surprising is that schools are approving this pricing every year and not taking any action to reduce the cost or make digital copies available to the kids especially when everything else in public system is kept cost-effective. I understand that it's not compulsory to buy the photos but most of the kids end up buying them under the peer pressure or just to keep a nice memory of their schooling days (as they should).

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Comments

  • +35 votes

    The school will probably get a decent percentage of the profits. So they don't mind if you have to spend more.

    • +11 votes

      I reckon the show is completely managed by private businesses so not sure if schools get any % officially; unless the approving authorities get it at a personal level. I could be wrong.

      • +12 votes

        Have you actually compared the cost of having a photoshoot at a studio done instead? You may not be so outraged if you do.

        Also, they're entirely optional. Nothing happens if you don't get school photos done. University graduation is well worthwhile I reckon, rest doesn't matter.

      • +19 votes

        I saw the tax return of a local school photographer….

        it was for $1.2M….in 2015.

        i buy school photos as rarely as possbile

        • +2 votes

          yeah if you break down the numbers.

          Assuming a school is 1500 people, roughly half might get either the class or a portrait. 750

          at $28 (average) between the two mentioned above, times the 750 people is $21,000… thats just one school. I imagine the photographer has less than $10k worth of kit (that they would use for 2-3years at least), and would spend maybe $2k on prints/incidentals for the shoot. They might have an assistant that they pay $1500 for the week, and pay probably $8k in tax. They still walk away with at least $10k per school (1 days work and a day or so in the studio).

          At those rates, theyre making alot of money for not much work…

          • +3 votes

            @geoffs87: $10k barely covers 2 pro level camera bodies (5D Mark IV's are about 7.5-8k for 2, but would be over 10k new), add on lenses and lighting and not to mention insurance. Gear is pricier than you think. As for prints, I'm not sure what they are using but a full set of ink for the Canon Pro10 runs ~150-170 and I get around 30 odd A4 prints from that not including the paper.

            • +14 votes

              @serideth: Cool, so they can buy 2 pro level bodies per shoot.

              • -7 votes

                @badarz: If you read the comment you would know that it means the projected 10k profit per school is inaccurate.

                • +1 vote

                  @serideth: Would they really be printing these themselves?

                  • +1 vote

                    @lockmc: They go to Harvey Norman or Kmart to print their photos LOL

            •  

              @serideth: In my experience they do not use proper pro level gear. In my senior year I remember the photographers were using a 2 year old Nikon that was equivalent to the Canon 550D.

          • +18 votes

            @geoffs87: At a large government school I was involved with:
            3 x photographic staff
            - 1 taking the class photo
            - 2 taking individual portraits, one on the camera, one checking the photos as they appeared on a laptop, and scanning the coded envelope with the students details.

            Equipment rig for class photos
            - aluminum benches for classes to stand on
            - backdrop and stands
            - a couple of large flashes with umbrella reflectors
            - 2 pro camera bodies with identical lenses (1 was a back up)
            - tripods for camera and each flash rig
            - Polaroid type camera to take a snap of the class so that the teacher can correctly label their students, in the correct position.

            Equipment rig for individual photos
            - stool or mat (standing shots) with foot-marks for positioning students
            - backdrop and stands
            - flash with umbrella reflector
            - 2 camera bodies with identical lenses (1 was back up)
            - tripods for camera and flash
            - laptop with linking cables to both the camera being used and a hand held scanner to scan the student envelopes

            Other equipment:
            - multiple spare batteries for the flashes and the cameras
            - multiple chargers for the batteries
            - purpose built trailer to transport all of the above
            - vehicle to tow, transport staff and consumables
            - consumables:- individually named envelope for each student, already sorted into class packs; individual class envelopes to hold orders; posters to remind staff and students of photograph day; sheets for class teacher to fill in (with attached instant photo of class); bags of single use combs to make students presentable (especially after recess or lunch break).

            Value to the school:
            Thumb nail size digital & physical photos provided for student records and library cards.
            Full set of class photos for school archive, usually in an album.
            Graduation photos for each graduating student, provided at no cost to the student.
            Staff photos, group and individual, used for school foyer and website.

            At my last school of 750 students (primary), it took a team of 3, 2 full days to complete the task. This was a major undertaking wrangling class groups for the class photo then the individual shots, even with a teacher and usually a teacher's aide helping.

            There was a return visit later in the year for the new reception/kindergarten students who started later in the year.

            • +4 votes

              @DashCam AKA Rolts: I taught for 37 years, and your description of the set-up is spot on. Our school of 1500 students took 3 days to work through. No kick-backs to the school as far as I’m aware.

          • +6 votes

            @geoffs87: Really, taking photos of kids is not a lot of work? I beg to differ. Something tells me you wouldn't be able to meet, position, and snapshot 750 people in 7 hours.

          • +2 votes

            @geoffs87: There's significant investment and risk to go along with that. Probably not quite enough to justify the cost, but it would go a long way.

            Working with kids is risky business - both from the side of the people hiring you (need to put in the effort to make sure they aren't hiring a predator), and from the side of you (proving you aren't a predator). Making a business of taking photos of kids magnifies that a fair bit. That effort requires time that needs to be paid, not to mention reputation that demands its own premium.

            Then you have the parents. Nobody Karens like a school mother. Those photos need to be fantastic, or there will be hell to pay. The kids don't want to spend more than 5 seconds sitting for the photo, and the school doesn't have time for them to spend longer anyways - so you'd best get it right the first time.

            All of that boils down to a large portion of the money not going to the service itself, but instead going to offset the various bullshit associated with the service. Probably still overpriced, but far less than it appears.

          •  

            @geoffs87: I'm totally on board with the consensus here, but it probably takes more than 1 day to process and print photos for 750 people

        • +2 votes

          1.2m! WOW

    • +4 votes

      Schools don’t get funds, they get the staff and student photos to use. Often this is set up my the district/region and schools have no choice in photography providers.

      • +1 vote

        They also don't have to do it themselves. If someone will come in and do something for you, and charge a price that most parent will pay without too much objection, then of course you're going to let them do it. If the teachers did it themselves then they'd be providing a worse service, and doing extra work for themselves, without any increase in pay.

    •  

      School take a cut on it they why they only print them family would share a file around

    • -1 vote

      Yes, the school is on a kick back.

    • +1 vote

      My local public school was offered a free TV if they switched photographer. They switched. I haven't seen the TV, though I suspect it's in the lounge room at the home of the principal.

      • -3 votes

        Mongrel comment.

        •  

          Not if it's true

  • +4 votes

    use google photo scanner

  •  

    gofundme?

    Guess it depends on the photography company used… care to name-and-shame? My 11yo's school photographer I think charge $48 for their cheapest package which is: 1 photobook (containing the class photo), 1 5"x 7" portrait, 4 small portraits, 4 smaller portraits. All their packages come with a high-res portrait download. I just suck it up and get that - and I pay cash because they charge another $1 for online ordering.
    Maybe you could put forward a motion to tender for a new photography company.. our school uses a company whose name is similar to the hair-regrowth company that Warney advertised for.

    • +21 votes

      You’re suggesting that someone hides in the bushes at a primary school with a camera? Right…

      •  

        Well, at least that will get you less time in jail than inviting the kids over for a ‘party’.

  • +8 votes

    families from all different socio-economical backgrounds, cost of any such activity/ item is a sensitive subject and the schools should be doing something about it.

    It is not compulsory.

    Not sure what purpose they serve by offering only the physical print and that too at such an expensive rate

    They have to earn a living. Equipment is expensive. It is a gig economy.

    If they just gave out digital copies, they'd be in a bad socio economic position and would be complaining of the cost of this activity.

    What I find surprising is that schools are approving this pricing every year and not taking any action to reduce the cost or make digital copies available to the kids especially when everything else in public system is kept cost-effective.

    Parents can volunteer. Of course that means a few adults have to take time off work, procure equipment, process the images and deal with any potential unhappy chappies.

    • -4 votes

      Obviously not from lower socio economic class. How is it right that a single mum or unemployed parents can't buy the photos. Yes it's optional but what kid doesn't want a copy of the class photo.

      At a typical school there are say 500 kids. So if each spends $60 that's $30,000 for a days work and a few printouts. Just to put that in perspective, even at a profit making photo centre that's about $4 for a fair size print. So $2,000 variable costs and a $28,000 gross profit. School photos arent exactly challenging shootong so a sub $1000 dslr would do it. Throw in a hundy for a tripod. Geez I could do 5 schools a year and be driving a

      To provide a comparison, last week I paid $40 for 3 large prints and a usb stick of 15 odd photos from the shotover jet ride in queenstown,nz. Biggest tourist trap and prices to match. And i thought that was a rip off. But at least their market is tourists who can afford to pay $160 for a 30 min jet boat ride in the first place.

      I felt the same as our author when the stationary lists came out. How is it schools with their barginning power can't get close to matching Officeworks prices.

      Then there's the horrendous uniform prices for cheap polyester dresses that fit like a sack.

      There is just no effort made to support families with controlling these expenses.

      • +3 votes

        Yes it's optional but what kid doesn't want a copy of the class photo.

        What kid doesn't want a gaming laptop, latest iPhone, branded clothes?

        These things like the photograph isn't essential nor compulsory. It is a teaching moment - spend within your means, do not keep up with the Jones', ensure your finances doesn't leave yourself dependant on others.

        challenging shootong so a sub $1000 dslr would do it… Geez I could do 5 schools a year and be driving a..

        Either you have grossly underestimated the business structure, running cost, staffing costs and risks or this is a goldmine and the streets are lined with school photographers.

      • +2 votes

        May I suggest that you invest a few thousand dollars and set up your own school photography business? This isn't a protected industry, you don't need a licence or a degree to start your own photography business (unlike most trades). If it was really that easy then more people would be doing it, and there'd be more competition, and the prices would be lower. Making the broad assumption that the rules of supply and demand do work here (and that corruption isn't a big factor) then the price that they charge is roughly the price that it's worth.

        When you decide that you don't want to set up your own business, then you'll understand why the ones that do are charging what they do.

        •  

          you do need a police check and or a working with children card if your planning to work with schools.

      • -2 votes

        Very well said! How is it that schools with their bargaining power can't get the prices more affordable to wider spectrum of the society - is my whole point. We aren't talking of private schools here. $40 for a photo per kid every year is a bit of a price for many households. Either make kids feel bad by not buying photos or take a pinch on your pocket every single year - all I am saying is that it shouldn't be too hard to avoid both of these. Schools can do it as they have a benefit of scale and hence negotiation power.

        Well, I am not saying that photos is the only expensive thing at schools. How about the food prices at canteen? But, at least other things have alternative options which parents/ kids can pursue. With photos, the only option is not to buy it.

      • -1 vote

        You mean, the schools are making no effort to subsidise the cost of other people's labour or possessions which you feel you have a right to? The horror!

        There are plenty of things a single mum can't buy. Should the government subsidise a Range Rover for you too? Get real. If you don't like what someone is selling don't buy it. That's how capitalism works. If you feel that your child will suffer without photos, take them yourself. Most smartphones come with amazing cameras which can produce HD photos. Total cost is virtually nothing.

        And "but he must make so much money" is still not a valid justification for demanding someone else's labour or material.

      •  

        @paulinspace

        At a typical school there are say 500 kids. So if each spends $60 that's $30,000 for a days work and a few printouts.

        You have performed a lot of mathematical calculations, but overlooked some obvious and important maths.
        How do you manage 500 individual photos, plus class photos, plus sports & other teams, plus sibling photos, etc. in a day?
        Even if you only allow 1 minute for each individual child photo, that would be 500 minutes total.
        500 minutes is 8.3 hours, but a typical school day is only 6.5 hours long.

        Even if you assume:
        * 1 minute per child
        * No morning recess
        * No lunch break
        * No class photos
        * No team photos
        * No sibling photos
        * No group photos of any sort
        * No downtime of any sort
        it would still not be possible to fit 8.3 hours into a 6.5 hour day.

        If you can manage 30 seconds or less per child, and produce quality images people want to buy, then you probably deserve to be paid as much as you are quoting for a day.

  • +3 votes

    Raise your concerns with the Parents committee (or whatever it is called). Probably too late for this year but plenty of time to influence for next year.

    I don't blame the photographers; they set a price to make a profit as a business.
    The schools agree for the service at the cost quoted.

  • +10 votes

    My parents never bought my school photos. I seemed to turn out alright.

    Take your own photos

    •  

      Take your own individual photos, and simply do a "group buy" for the class photo, to be scanned. Not as good, but imo it will be "good enough" for memories sake.

  • +8 votes

    Perhaps you should start your own school photo business, charge far cheaper rates and show them how it's done while still putting food on the table? Who knows, if you're super cheap school photo business model is a success you could be contracting out to all the schools…

    • +5 votes

      this, OP have you contacted the photographer directly about the cost? if you not happy with the costs have you tried doing the portraits yourself?

      to be honest i don't know where else you can get a portrait photo for $27?, even the santa photos during xmas cost more than this.

      • +1 vote

        Just wait to Christmas time, when OP will start a new thread about how expensive those are as well if not done already

        •  

          Now that you've mentioned it, I would rather combine it with this threat. On a serious note, charging $30'ish per physical print photo in public schools is very different from charging similar money for Santa photo in Westfield mall or RSL club. We are talking of two different types of audiences and respective affordability (rather pinch on pocket). You may argue that none of the both is compulsory but that doesn't negate the issue of absurd pricing.

          • +1 vote

            @virhlpool:

            We are talking of two different types of audiences and respective affordability

            So the customer's capacity to purchase the product should determine the price charged?

            Lol is that really your thought process?

            So you should be able to buy the best product money can buy, at a price you can afford, not what it's really worth to produce?

            •  

              @spackbace:

              So the customer's capacity to purchase the product should determine the price charged?

              Not exactly, but that's where the role of schools come into play. Who else can help these things be more affordable to wider student community if not schools, if at all prices were negotiable? I am not questioning the price alone; I am questioning the passive approach of schools which allows 'any' price as they are not the affected party directly. Think of it - a good procurement department of any efficient org or institution would negotiate hard if they were affected by the pricing directly. In this case, it's the students and their parents who are affected so schools probably don't bother.

              • +5 votes

                @virhlpool: Schools don't have an infinite budget.

                Which would you rather they focused on, making calls to multiple providers to save a few bucks off the photo package, or something that involves the education of your kids?

                Ever seen how few admin staff your average school has? Most businesses have more admin than your average school

                Bring it up at your next P&C meeting if you want change. Otherwise feel free to keep whinging online, it won't change anything.

                Oh, but if you want a cheaper service, you need to find a cheaper service. Sounds like you haven't even managed that among your research

          • +1 vote

            @virhlpool: I discount the fact that these things are expensive and so are a lot of other things in life, if we only paid cost price for everything no-one would service the population. eg the exuberant price of food and clothing

          •  

            @virhlpool:

            On a serious note, charging $30'ish per physical print photo in public schools is very different from charging similar money for Santa photo in Westfield mall or RSL club. We are talking of two different types of audiences and respective affordability (rather pinch on pocket).

            You are getting very close to the point of simply saying "someone else" should be subsidising your consumption.

            Perhaps the Westfield and RSL examples could charge $5 more so yours can be $5 less?

            Perhaps the kids at those "posh private schools" could be charged $50 so you only have to pay $10?

            Hell, why not just get the gummint to provide "free" school photos?

            Dagnabit, you pay your taxes … you're entitled to school photos provided free of charge and in infinite supply to your dozen of extended family members!

  •  

    The School would need to check that any of the other alternatives allow for individuals having a Current Working with Children Check.

  • +10 votes

    Specifically on the topic of why schools don't take action on the pricing … frankly, it's because they've got better things to worry about.

    The prices, by and large, are the prices. School photos are not an ultra-competitive industry.

    The schools are not going to get any benefit (financially, or even just a pat on the back) from negotiating a few bucks off the price from parents so why would they get involved when its ultimately non-core to their operation?

    I agree, the prices appear to be overs, but short of setting up your own arrangement, what are you going to do?

    • +14 votes

      Ah, gotta love a Diji segue

    • +8 votes

      This is untrue.
      In round figures public schools have about 2/3 of students, private (both Catholic and Independent) about 1/3.
      State and Federal combined funding is around $13,000 per Government student, $11,500 per Catholic student, and $9,500 per independent student.
      It is not hard to work out with those two figures that Government funding of education flows substantially more to the government sector than the private sector.
      However, State Governments are the primary funders of Government education because education is the preserve of State Governments.
      The Federal Government is the primary funder of private education. People who do not understand the difference point solely to Commonwealth funding, ignore State Government funding, and bleat about how unfair it it. Those are the same geniuses who thought that Scott Morrison was responsible for putting out bushfires.

      • +4 votes

        Shhh, Diji never responds to educated counter-arguments. He'd rather make a comment, then disappear, only to reappear in the next topic that he can slightly blame on LibLab govt.

        • +4 votes

          And then he wonders why people won't vote the Greens. lol

      • +2 votes

        Why subsidise them at all? I'd love to see all of that funding go to public schools

        •  

          Why shouldn't they get government funding? If anything, they should be getting more to equal that of public school students.

          • +1 vote

            @ozhunter: Because they are a business and already charge expensive fees? Because we should be pulling up the standard of public schools so that the minimum standard of education increases?

            • +1 vote

              @sakurashu: Fees would be less expensive if the government subsidize their costs equally with public schools.

              Private school students/parents shouldn't be penalised because they want better quality of education(not just academically) for their kids and are willing to pay extra for it.

              As it is now, private schools are putting less strain on the government funding for schools.

              •  

                @ozhunter: You misunderstand the difference between equality and equity

                •  

                  @DisabledUser222687: Not sure what you're trying to say.

                  All parents can send their kids to public schools if they want. They also have the option to pay more and send them to private ones.

                  •  

                    @ozhunter: Think of government money as the boxes the people are standing on in the image attached to my post.

                    The boxes should be used to prop up those born without, not be given evenly to everyone, including those who already have. Equity ensures fairness of outcome, whilst equality disregards the unfairness people are born into.

                    •  

                      @DisabledUser222687: Think of the the public school as the tallest boy in the equality image. Everyone gets the same standard of education.

                      Then there are those who want even better and are willing to forego other luxuries to have it.

                      Equity ensures fairness of outcome

                      That's like giving all students A+ regardless of how hard they work/how smart they are.

                      •  

                        @ozhunter:

                        Think of the the public school as the tallest boy in the equality image. Everyone gets the same standard of education.

                        You completely misunderstand the analogy. The tallest kid is the rich families which can afford private education, the shortest are the poorest kids who can't afford a decent education. The boxes represent the government spending in order to even the playing field. What the kids do with that affects their overall outcomes, but this way each kid is given an even playing field.

                        That's like giving all students A+ regardless of how hard they work/how smart they are.

                        Again, you misunderstand the concept of equity vs equality. Equality is giving everyone access to the same staircase to get into the classroom. Equity is building a ramp for the kid in a wheelchair. When we say 'equity of outcome' we are talking about making sure the playing field is level, that everyone has the same opportunities to succeed, not making sure everyone succeeds.

                        Imagine two junior ice hockey teams who both get say $200 from the government to train. One is rich due to the families of members being able to pay thousands of dollars in club fees and can afford state of the art equipment and access to an ice rink. The other is so poor they can only practice on grass and the $200 barely allows them to buy more than a dozen second hand sticks that are practically falling apart. Now, it's game day and the two teams are competing against each other. Naturally, the poor team loses. Do you think this is a fair competition? Do you think the poor kids didn't try hard enough or do you think they weren't given the same opportunity to succeed? Now, imagine this game determines their ability to get into university. Do you think the outcomes are fair?

                        Nobody is saying we should strip all advantage from the rich kids. As I said, they pay thousands of dollars out of their own pockets towards training and they should definitely benefit frm that. But don't you think it's far more equitable if we give the poor team $400 towards their training and let the rich kids take care of themselves, since they're in a clear position to do so?

                        Finally, just as an added aside, do you think private schools aren't created to make a profit? If you give them more government money, they'll simply pocket it, they won't drop their fees.

                        •  

                          @DisabledUser222687:

                          The tallest kid is the rich families which can afford private education, the shortest are the poorest kids who can't afford a decent education.

                          No, that is not the case at all. I know multiple couples who send their child/children to private school ($3-4k/yr) and they are by no means rich. Both parents just prioritize their children's educational upbringing over nicer cars, more holidays, etc.

                          The education received in either public or private is both of acceptable standard, and is likely why parents don't spend the extra money if their kids end up the same academically.

                          Finally, just as an added aside, do you think private schools aren't created to make a profit? If you give them more government money, they'll simply pocket it, they won't drop their fees.

                          Even if they do, that doesn't bother me. If others still find value in sending their kids there, then good for them.

                          It's like public and private hospitals.

                          •  

                            @ozhunter: Ignore the use of rich, and instead think "affluent". Not every parent can even afford an extra 3-4k per year. A large part of the population ant afford that, even if they wanted to make the sacrifice. These are the schools which need government help far more than private schools.

                            And I'll repeat my story again, since you failed to address it. Think hard about the questions within.

                            Imagine two junior ice hockey teams who both get say $200 from the government to train. One is rich due to the families of members being able to pay thousands of dollars in club fees and can afford state of the art equipment and access to an ice rink. The other is so poor they can only practice on grass and the $200 barely allows them to buy more than a dozen second hand sticks that are practically falling apart. Now, it's game day and the two teams are competing against each other. Naturally, the poor team loses. Do you think this is a fair competition? Do you think the poor kids didn't try hard enough or do you think they weren't given the same opportunity to succeed? Now, imagine this game determines their ability to get into university. Do you think the outcomes are fair?

                            Nobody is saying we should strip all advantage from the rich kids. As I said, they pay thousands of dollars out of their own pockets towards training and they should definitely benefit frm that. But don't you think it's far more equitable if we give the poor team $400 towards their training and let the rich kids take care of themselves, since they're in a clear position to do so?

                            •  

                              @DisabledUser222687: Affluent??? One couple I know has a ~300k house, one 2004 car, and together make about 65k gross per year. They much rather make sacrifices and send their child to private school than indulge themselves.

                              I think you're mainly think about the rich elite schools when I'm referring to the smaller independent one. Either way, the principle remains the same.

                              And I'll repeat my story again, since you failed to address it

                              Life isn't fair. Extra facilities cost more money. Even if we gave the poor team more money. The rich student could still an advantage by having better facilities, private lessons, etc. As long as the school is holding up the acceptable academic standard, then that's the most important thing.

                              You'd expect public schools being much larger should be more efficient with their resources due to larger number of students. If there still isn't enough funds, the more equitable thing to do is to either raise the cost of public schooling(this way forces parents to prioritize their child's education more) or get funds another like by raising income taxes(that way the people who actually earn more). Definitely not by penalizing parents who rather give their child more.

                              •  

                                @ozhunter:

                                They much rather make sacrifices and send their child to private school than indulge themselves.

                                Which is great, and in an equitable system, maybe they'd receive some of the funds per student that they need, proportionate to their needs.

                                I think you're mainly think about the rich elite schools when I'm referring to the smaller independent one. Either way, the principle remains the same.

                                So yeah you're ok with a school which asks for $30k per student getting government money, while a school in one of the lowest ses areas whose children need a lot of care and aren't adequately provided with it fight for every scrap of funding? This is cool with you?

                                Life isn't fair.

                                And it seems like you have no interest in changing this. "(profanity) you kid, you were born to a poor family in an area where the public school is straining to manage with all the feral kids from the local area. Sucked in, your funding should go to scotch college so they can upgrade the heating on their Olympic swimming pool. Life isn't fair". Seems like a good attitude.

                                Extra facilities cost more money. Even if we gave the poor team more money. The rich student could still an advantage by having better facilities, private lessons, etc.

                                I covered this already if you read the post fully. You will never remove (nor should you) the advantage of wealth. That isn't realistic or reasonable. The point is to try and make the system as fair as reasonably possible. In other words, $200 to the rich club is nothing and would be better served going to the poor team. They may only do marginally better against the rich team, but it gives them functionally double the chance to succeed and that's what counts. A private school who charges $20k+ per student does not need the government money, it doesn't lead to better outcomes for the kids. the public school down the road who has a bunch of messed up kids from shitty, low ses families need a hell of a lot more than the 10k per child in funding that they currently receive.

                                You forget that the sort of loving, caring or at least rich parents who send their kids to even the smallest of private schools already give their child a massive advantage: on average they are probably far, far better parents. They care more, they're more invested in their child's future. In other words, those kids already have a massive advantage in life, even if it isn't necessarily economic. And that's great, but I want you to turn to those kids who were unluckily enough to be born into relatively shitty families and go "life isn't fair".

                                As long as the school is holding up the acceptable academic standard, then that's the most important thing.

                                Just go look at the atar results from a public school in a rich area vs a poor area. It's very clear that the economic environment that the kids grow up in massively influences the educational outcomes. And yet, the government school in the richest suburbs gets the same per student funding that the schools in the poorest suburbs do. This isn't right.

                                Countries such as Finland have long since seen this problem for what it is and addressed it. It turns out when you assign funding based on equity of need and not equality, the educational outcomes of the entire population of your country greatly improves. This has a flow on effect throughout society such as lower crime rates and an increase in civic engagement. I'm not spruking some crazy, untested, pie in the sky, leftie idea. The Gonski report which was drafted by and unanimously agreed upon by educational professionals found the same thing I'm telling you now.

                                If you want a fair system which raises the educational outcomes for all Australians, you must employ equity, not equality.

                                •  

                                  @DisabledUser222687:

                                  So yeah you're ok with a school which asks for $30k per student getting government money,

                                  Yes. Even if they charged 100k, and parents still want to send them there, that's their choice.

                                  And it seems like you have no interest in changing this.

                                  I see it fair in that every student should receive the same amount. If the parent's want extra facilities above what is needed and they want to pay for it, then it's fine with me if they have that option.

                                  Just go look at the atar results from a public school in a rich area vs a poor area.

                                  So it's not the lack of funding? There's many other factors. Afaik, public and private schools perform similarly academically.

                                  If you want a fair system which raises the educational outcomes for all Australians, you must employ equity, not equality.

                                  I support equal opportunity not trying to force an equitable outcome at the expense of private school parents just because you think they are rich. I don't know if there is a lack of funding in public school, but it shouldn't come from cutting from private schools. Many could just move their students to the public school system which would then cause even more strain on the government.

                                  Instead of taking money from those who care more about their children's education, you could take money from public school parents(like they do with child support). Not all parents care about their child's education equally.

                                  •  

                                    @ozhunter:

                                    I support equal opportunity not trying to force an equitable outcome at the expense of private school parents

                                    So you don't support equity, despite the fact that time and time again, studies have shown it to be a far more beneficial division of spending for society. You're happy to watch the little kid standing on the box that fails to see over the fence, if it means the tall kid who doesn't need a box gets the same thing to stand on.

                                    You have a real "F*&^ you, got mine" mentality here. You're thinking about education from the perspective of the parents and the "money" they're losing, instead of thinking about education from the perspective of the kids. Think about that for a while.

                                    You're also happy letting tax payer money go to a for profit institution. You aren't taking away $9k from the parents buying into these schools, you're taking $9k per kid away from the CEO and board of directors. I feel like you'd rather live in America at this point, just so that your precious tax doesn't go towards those dirty poor people who can't afford health insurance.

                                    • -1 vote

                                      @DisabledUser222687: I'm definitely pro-capitalism.

                                      So you don't support equity, despite the fact that time and time again, studies have shown it to be a far more beneficial division of spending for society.

                                      When you said "This has a flow on effect throughout society such as lower crime rates and an increase in civic engagement" it just sounds like lazy parenting from some public school parents and you expect others to make up for it. How much money does it cost to teach them morals? Private schools do tend to be more religious; maybe that's a factor.

                                      You're thinking about education from the perspective of the parents and the "money" they're losing

                                      Education costs money. We do have a disagreement on where schools should get that extra money. You want to take money from whose who are more likely invested and care more about their children's upbringing and expect them to bear the cost of the more lazy parents. That's what this "forced equity" outcome achieves.

                                      •  

                                        @ozhunter:

                                        I'm definitely pro-capitalism.

                                        You're just pro inherited wealth. You're basically saying these kids were born to lazy parents, so f$%^ em. "I was born to loving parents who gave me a head start in life, so now I have a good job, good moral fibre and can provide for my kids and I'll be damned if anyone else is going to get a red cent of that. If some kid has a lazy or abusive parent, who gives an s#$% what happens to that kid. Tough luck to them."

                                        When you said "This has a flow on effect throughout society such as lower crime rates and an increase in civic engagement" it just sounds like lazy parenting from some public school parents and you expect others to make up for it.

                                        It sounds like a fact to me. I'm not sure about you, but I'd rather not live in a shithole like the USA where the wealth-gap causes so much crime and a generational poverty trap. I'd rather live in a nice, clean, low crime environment. If that means we have to redistribute wealth, so be it. You can rationalise your selfishness any way you want, but the end result in society is the same. social democracies result in far better outcomes and quality of life for everyone. Every metric such as the world happiness index, corruption index, HDI reflect this. you can deny it all you want, but that is the reality.

                                        You want to take money from whose who are more likely invested and care more about their children's upbringing and expect them to bear the cost of the more lazy parents. That's what this "forced equity" outcome achieves.

                                        Replace "children's upbringing" with "health". If you think for profit healthcare is great and the public healthcare system is "theft", then this conversation is over. If you don't think this, then rethink your idea of wealth redistribution and the education system. "equity" isn't equity of outcome, it's equity of opportunity. this generally leads to fairer outcomes. I don't know how many times I have to repeat that.

                                        •  

                                          @DisabledUser222687:

                                          You're just pro inherited wealth

                                          I'm that too. Of course the child should benefit from the sacrifices the parents make. I'd guess you are a hard-line communist/socialist. Except you don't want to take more from the state to increase public school funding, you specifically want it from those who to go private schools. I'd guess a majority of those parents who send their kids to public schools could easily pay a couple thousand per family for a better school environment(just like private school parents do)

                                          I'd rather live in a nice, clean, low crime environment. If that means we have to redistribute wealth, so be it

                                          Sounds like it has absolutely nothing to do with redistributing wealth at all. It's a moral issue. You can teach kids how to be a morally good person, but there's no guarantee that will continue to do so outside of school. Having a school environment that reflects the home environment is a big reason why people choose private schools, particularly Christian ones. Money isn't going to fix the problem. I would support Christian values in public schools.

                                          Replace "children's upbringing" with "health". If you think for profit healthcare is great and the public healthcare system is "theft", then this conversation is over.

                                          I definitely don't think it is a right, but it is good Australia is wealthy enough to help those less fortunate. Resources are limited, and if someone rather spend their personal money for better healthcare, then that's up to them.

        • +1 vote

          I would like to see the day that governments do not pay for schools - they pay for students.
          That way students (and their families) can choose what school best meets their needs, and the funding goes with the kid.

          •  

            @Almost Banned: If you look at Australian universities you can see how this type of model could backfire though - what if a school never fails students just so that they can appeal to more students and families? Does it follow that the funding belongs there?

            I don't agree that we should be treating education so much like a business

            • +2 votes

              @sakurashu:

              what if a school never fails students just so that they can appeal to more students and families?

              Standardised tests, centrally assessed.

              Schools are responsible for the education.

              A separate authority is responsible for the examination.

              •  

                @Seraphin7: Yep - if parents can see school ethos, focus, and results, and can move their kids with their funding, I think we would see some very interesting developments in education. The key would be ensuring good information.
                You would see some school heavily focussed on scores.
                But you would also see some schools reject that model and focus on other things.
                Some kids will do well in one type of school, while others gravitate to a different model.
                In small regional areas you might have to be generalist schools, but regions could also divide their schools so you have one vocationally focussed and the other academically.
                Either way, families can choose the school that best fits their child, and be free to move.
                The voucher can also be weighted - special needs kis get extra funding so schools want to attract them. Gifted kids get weighting for special extension programs.
                This model would not just give families educational choice, it would mean schools could be more innovative, teachers could be rewarded for success rather than seniority.
                It would take some adjustment - but could be revolutionary.

          • +2 votes

            @Almost Banned: That would be doable. Annually give parents an education voucher equivalent to the former average cost of public school education. The voucher can only be spent on schooling.

            •  

              @Thaal Sinestro: ^^^ Bingo.
              The only reason I can think of why this isn't already happening is because the SSTU doesn't like it.

              • +1 vote

                @Almost Banned: Agreed. The various Teachers' Unions across the country have very little interest in improving educational standards. Tying funding to results is their worst nightmare.

                I have a lot of time for the voucher model. The one thing I would note is that the "voucher" is in no way (or should not be) physical or redeemable. The "voucher" is simply the enrolment record of the child. Once a child is enrolled at a school, the school earns the value of the voucher. It is not something the parents ever actually see.

                •  

                  @Seraphin7: Of course - a voucher is never a cash payment to anyone except the service provider.

    • +3 votes

      I blame climate change for the outrageous price of school photos.

  • +1 vote

    $27 for a portrait is cheap.

    • +1 vote

      it cost $18.95 for passport photos (https://auspost.com.au/id-and-document-services/passports/pa...)

      Considering your getting a studio light setup with a professional photographer and posing for $27 i don't think that expensive.
      whereas at auspost it done by the staff.

    • +1 vote

      I wouldn't say its cheap… its adequate, but doesn't have the same ring to it

  •  

    maybe you are getting ripped off…
    we have 3 kids, we spent $135 total for their photos
    this price included:
    class photo each
    10 x portrait photos of different sizes each
    +
    siblings photo x 5 of different sizes and a digital download copy

    for each child we only ordered the basic pack.. we could have spent more.

  •  

    The schools receive decent commissions from the photography companies. Your school's P&C should be able to tell you the amount of commission they are receiving along with any other 'freebies' from the photographers (ID Cards, free photos for teachers, digital files for admin, etc.)

  •  

    Which company OP? I have raised this before re MSP pricing - https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/306767

    In the grand scheme of things, $30-$40 per child per year is about $3 per month per child.

    •  

      I am not comfortable naming and shaming but the prices seems to be equally bad across all those providers in schools and childcare centres too. As someone mentioned above, all everyone needs is a digital file and everyone should be happy to pay $8-$10 for it. ~$30 is a bit too much for an OzBargainer - I feel bad.

      •  

        I'm not sure where their profit margin ends up, but like you, I do find it annoying that the higher priced packages have the higher res digital photos.

        •  

          higher priced packages have the higher res digital photos.

          No package has the digital version of the group photo though. They just have individual portrait. So if one needs a group photo, there is no way to buy a digital version - except you get physical copy from someone and scan it to the best possible result (which still won't be as good as digital). haha..

          •  

            @virhlpool:

            So if one needs a group photo, there is no way to buy a digital version

            I'm assuming you mean class and not family? For me personally, I think a scanned digital copy of the class photo would suffice as a memory.

            •  

              @ShortyX: Yup, I mean class group photo, not the family.

      •  

        photographer needs to make money.
        If he/she isn't selling any prints because your purchased a digital file. Then they're going to charge according that your not going to be purchasing any prints.