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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 at one of Australia’s most expensive schools is allowed to install a luxury plunge pool at his private residence: ‘Doesn’t pass the pub test’

  • Principal slammed over plan to build plunge pool at on-site residence of school
  • The King’s School headmaster Tony George had plans approved by council
  • Questions raised about school’s expenditure and hefty fees for its students 

A principal of one of the country’s richest schools has been slammed over plans to build a luxurious plunge pool at his on-site residence.

The King’s School headmaster Tony George received council approval to install the two-by-three-metre pool on the campus at North Parramatta, in western Sydney, on Friday.

The school already has two pools, a 50m and a 25m heated pool, prompting outrage from federal education minister Jason Clare, who said a third was completely unnecessary. 

The plan has raised questions about the school’s spending habits, where parents already pay up to $40,000 a year and the government gives $21 million in support. 

‘Federal governments have funded non-government schools for a long time and that will continue,’ Mr Clare said.

‘While 76 per cent of funding for this school comes out of the pockets of parents and other private sources, I think most Australians would say plunge pools for principals doesn’t pass the pub test.’

The King’s School headmaster Tony George received council approval to install the plunge pool at his on-site residence on the campus at North Parramatta, in western Sydney

Plans for another pool has raised questions about the school's expenditure, hefty $40,000 school fees from parents and $21million support from the government

Plans for another pool has raised questions about the school’s expenditure, hefty $40,000 school fees from parents and $21million support from the government

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

‘The council approved this and the headmaster’s package will be adjusted to reflect this expenditure,’ the statement read.

‘The residence and the pool will continue to be totally owned by 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 United Kingdom.

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

One parent said some students had worked hard to raise money for the trip by hosting sausage sizzles, 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 committed to the school and there are significant and immediate issues about where the spending is going,’ he said. 

The King's School released a statement saying the new pool would still belong to the school

The King’s School released a statement saying the new pool would still belong to the school

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

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

The school hit $80 million in revenue in 2020 including $21 million from the federal government, according to federal government data.

Former NSW Department of Education head Ken Boston questioned the amount of taxpayer money being funnelled into the school.

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

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