How to become a GPS boy

[GPS - the'Great Public Schools' of Sydney, are a bunch of elite private schools for boys]

The ski team – a hallmark of an elite school [NB: IN AUSTRALIA]

Would you really say your high school education is worth less than $160,000? Well, good news, we don’t either.



Try to be born into a rich family, because if your family worry about the price of bread, they’re not going to like our ski trips. If you can pull off sentences beginning with ‘if my FATHER heard about this’ in public, then you’re aligned with our values.

However, if you don’t have money or aren’t the son of an old boy, we’ll probably immediately decline you. At bare minimum, have a pushy Chinese tiger mum.

‘it is sweet and fitting to faint for one’s school’ ~ cadets


Rich people like capitalism and capitalism likes power structures. In this world, you’re either a prefect, a captain, a head boy – or you’re a degenerate and a radical. In our schools, we like to start sorting the sheep from the goats straight away.

Call the teacher ‘sir’ or ‘madam’, let them call you whatever they bloody like.

And if you can’t sit still in class, we recommend you take pills.


If you want to live in the GPS world, appearance is everything. You think wearing high socks is funny? Elitism is always in fashion, and we cherish those times when our students were even more elite than you *boater enters stage left*.

First of all, you better set yourself apart from all those public school plebs. Wear a blazer and a tie, it’s classy. Remember; as long as you look like a 1920s gentleman, you can lord it over everyone else and boost your self-esteem.

Secondly, remember your place – that stripe on a tie could mean the difference between a small-fry and a prefect, or even his eminence, the dux. Throw in a latin motto somewhere, because people will think you have an appreciation of the classics or have something to do with old money.

Rigorous inspections of where you wear your garters (if at all) is necessary and could lead to punishment.


We like punishment, because otherwise, the earlier categories of being rich, hierarchy and uniform would not be successfully maintained.

Reasons for afterschool detention do vary. We generally like to push the boundaries of reason and especially relish giving detentions for ‘giving cheek’, ‘looking surly’, etc. Sycophantic behaviour could work wonders though.

‘yes, I know it’s big … but don’t worry, the parents will cough up – they always do’


all GPS schools are in a ‘facilities race’ –  if Kings is building a new grand stand, well then Shore better build a bigger one. We need the latest and greatest libraries/swimming pools/sports ovals (NB: plurals) in order to look good for our brochures. So be prepared to make substantial donations towards our facilities or we can just stunt your development.


Play at least two instruments, and if you aren’t good at sport, you better play five at a time with a harmonica in your mouth. We particularly relish instruments that are hard to transport, such as a Double Bass or a harp, as it shows your wealth, that you don’t need public transport and gives an opportunity for your parents to show off their Jaguar when they pick you up.


Try to pick a sport that somehow evokes aristocratic leisure, such as rowing or rifle shooting.

Rowing would be an exceptional choice, as it also involves excessive amounts of expensive equipment and accessories and gives us a good excuse to have a boat house in Gladesville. If you’re a runt, your only chance of not being shunned in a GPS school is to become a cox.

Make sure that you are at the rowing regatta every year (aka ‘Jewel of the GPS sporting agenda’). Winter sports such as skiing are generally well regarded.


Give your parents our brochures for our unique trips, which contain attractive phrases such as ‘a cruise along the River Nile will allow students to fully appreciate the rich culture’.

Our really unique trips overseas are routine, so you better have the money for them and participate, because otherwise people will think you’re middle class.


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One Response to How to become a GPS boy

  1. IK says:

    The reduction of complexity to generalisation is either the sign of a propagandist or comes from ignorance. I wonder which category this article falls into?

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