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The King’s School to install plunge pool at on-site residence of headmaster as plan sparks backlash

Outrage as principal of one of Australia’s most expensive schools is allowed to install luxury plunge pool in his private home: ‘Fails pub test’

  • Director criticized plan to build plunge pool at school’s on-site residence
  • The King’s School principal, Tony George, had plans approved by the council
  • Questions about the school’s expenses and hefty fees for its students

A principal of one of the country’s wealthiest schools has been criticized for plans to build a luxurious plunge pool at his residence.

King’s School principal Tony George received council approval on Friday to install the two-by-three meter pool on the campus in North Parramatta, in Sydney’s west.

The school already has two swimming pools, a 50m heated pool and a 25m heated pool, sparking outrage from Federal Education Secretary Jason Clare, who said a third was completely unnecessary.

The plan raises questions about the school’s spending pattern, where parents already pay up to $40,000 a year and the government provides $21 million in aid.

“Federal governments have funded non-governmental schools for a long time and will continue to do so,” said Mr Clare.

“While 76 per cent of funding for this school comes from the pockets of parents and other private sources, I think most Australians would say that headmasters’ plunge pools fail the pub test.”

King's School principal, Tony George, received council approval to install the swimming pool at his campus residence in North Parramatta, Sydney's west

King’s School principal, Tony George, received council approval to install the swimming pool at his campus residence in North Parramatta, Sydney’s west

Plans for another swimming pool have raised questions about school spending, hefty $40,000 tuition from parents and $21 million in government support

Plans for another swimming pool have raised questions about school spending, hefty $40,000 tuition from parents and $21 million in government support

The King’s School issued a statement saying that the new swimming pool would still belong to the school, Sydney Morning Herald reported.

“The council approved this and the headmaster package is being adjusted to reflect these expenses,” the statement said.

‘The residence and the swimming pool remain the sole property of the school.’

Daily Mail Australia has contacted The King’s School for comment.

Mr George came under scrutiny after booking business class flights for himself, his wife, his deputy and their partner for a trip to the UK.

The group had flown abroad to watch the school’s rowing team compete at the Henley Royal Regatta.

A parent said some students had worked hard to raise money for the trip by organizing sausages, raffles and auctions.

Another parent, who wished to remain anonymous, said there were concerns about how the money was being spent.

“The parents are genuinely involved in the school and there are important and immediate issues about where the expenses are going,” he said.

The King's School has issued a statement saying that the new swimming pool would still belong to the school

The King’s School has issued a statement saying that the new swimming pool would still belong to the school

Mr. George earns over $700,000 a year as the school’s principal, which is $150,000 more than a prime minister’s salary, the Australian Financial Review reported.

Parents are charged tens of thousands of dollars a year to send their children to school, with the last year costing more than $40,000.

According to federal government data, the school had $80 million in revenue in 2020, including $21 million from the federal government.

Former head of the NSW Department of Education, Ken Boston, wondered how much taxpayer money is being funneled into the school.

“How much more would that add to the growth of our national stock of human capital? And there is absolutely no responsibility for this waste,” he said.

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