Sydney King’s School headmaster Tony George erupts over ‘woke’ attacks on top boys’ schools

Sydney King’s School headmaster Tony George erupts over ‘woke’ attacks on top boys’ schools

By David Southwell For Daily Mail Australia

00:33 20 Mar 2024, updated 01:01 20 Mar 2024


The headmaster of an elite private boys school has hit out at what he calls the ‘militant victimhood’ of ‘wokeness’ that targets the ‘straw man’ of ‘white privileged males’. 

Tony George, headmaster of The King’s School located in north-west Sydney, has lamented that ‘sections of government and the press seem intent on deriding independent boys’ schools with any story they can concoct’.

HIs remarks follow the recent expose by ABC program Four Corners of another Sydney private boys school, Cranbrook, which resulted in the resignation of its principal.

The King’s School headmaster Tony George has expressed his dismay at the ‘unfair targeting’ of elite boys’ schools

Headmaster Nicholas Sampson quits as principal of one of Australia’s most prestigious schools after ABC Four Corners program

Writing in The King’s School magazine Leader, Mr George stated ‘children attending non-government schools [are] being increasingly targeted and ridiculed’ in what he called ‘identity abuse’ and this was especially true of elite boys’ institutions.

‘Government single-sex schools have seemed to avoid criticism, as have single-sex girls’ schools,’ he wrote.

‘However, the underlying agenda against the straw man of white privileged males has fuelled the creation of the term toxic masculinity and the religious fervour it subsequently generates.’ 

Mr George argued ‘the practice of linking toxic behaviour to masculinity is to malign all males, just as linking oppression to the West maligns all western countries as oppressive’. 

He argued this ‘lambasted’ men and boys with the same ‘tarred brush of paranoia’.

‘Victimhood culture that seeks to use the genuine suffering of others to validate its own ideological agendas,’ he wrote.

Those who ’embrace victimhood’ focus ‘primarily on grievances and the identification of societal ills, often at the expense of positive action or constructive solutions’, according to Mr George.

He contrasted this with the leadership ethos taught at King’s School, which charges annual fees of $43,560 for those in Year 12. 

Located in north-west Sydney, The King’s School charges annual fees of $43,560 for those in Year 12

‘Character is antithetical to attitudes of whinging, complaining, or adopting a victimhood mentality,’ he wrote.


‘Optimism and hope are crucial for leaders to inspire and guide others, particularly in contrast to the despair and complaint associated with the contemporary woke critique,’ he wrote.

Mr George was particularly critical of modern journalism, which he accused of no longer reporting news ‘in the public interest’ and of chasing ‘clickbait memes’ to the detriment of ‘critical thought’. 

‘Journalists have joined the ranks of politicians for losing trust and credibility with the public tabloids and their gossip columnists are unlikely to self-reform,’ he wrote. 

A particular issue of contention was ‘the tabloid infatuation with the school fees of the top 1% of schools instead of the brain drain affecting more than 90% of NSW Government schools by their own selective schools’. 

A little under a fortnight ago, Cranbrook principal Nicholas Sampson resigned after the school council cited an ‘irrevocable breakdown of trust’ with him. 

This followed the revelations made in Four Corners that a female teacher was the victim of an attempted blackmail attempt by a male student, who demanded she send him nude photos.

The report also claimed it had obtained ‘multiple letters and documents from former Cranbrook staff members describing a toxic culture’ at the school.

The ABC has since claimed a teacher who had allegedly sent multiple graphic emails to a former female student was kept on staff by Mr Sampson and even promoted by him.

In a statement the school council confirmed Mr Sampson had offered his resignation.

‘The circumstances of the matter and subsequently Mr Sampson’s failure to disclose the matter to the current School Council in the context of this week’s ABC Four Corners broadcast, have led to an irrevocable breakdown of trust between the Headmaster and the School Council,’ the statement said.

‘The School Council communicated this to Mr Sampson and this morning received his resignation.’


Cranbrook charges fees up to $46,500 a year and boasts media and gaming tycoons Frank and James Packer along with software billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes among its ranks of illustrious old boys.  

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