Advertising in Schools

The cash-strapped Sylvania Heights Public School has sold off advertising space to major businesses including McDonald's and Wendys in a bid to raise funds for educational materials.
But a bitter row over the right to display sponsors' signs in schoolyards has erupted between parents – and the Education Department is struggling to find a solution.

For payment of $500 each, the P&C committee allowed 10 businesses to have advertising signs displayed in the school grounds. And space has been left for eight more potential sponsors. The scheme – which earns the school $5000 a year – has provided extra reading materials for the school's 510 children.

While the signs were approved by the Department of Education and Training and the school community, the P&C Federation said the arrangements breached its policy on sponsorships. It is understood at least one parent has complained about the presence of McDonald's on the signs.

Federation president Sharryn Brownlee said the policy banned advertising in all public schools. "That's the rule . . . there are 2250 [school] sites and if we have that number of sites with promos and marketing and advertising it's a bad message," Ms Brownlee said. "If you are selling advertising then the next thing you could be selling anything at a school.

"[Students] are a captive market, they're impressionable minds and that's why we have a policy against it.

Other government schools also have entered sponsorship deals with local businesses and display their advertising signs. Agreement usually is reached within the school community but the arrangements have to comply with council and department regulations.


Advertising in public schools to raise funds should not be the first option, preferably the funding should come from the government, but in this case the government is cash strapped and the kids need the extra funds. I'm happy for them to raise funds in this way as it means us, the taxpayer, does not have to foot the bill.

If we are so concerned about the effects of advertising material on 'impressionable minds', then we better switch off the TV, turn off the radio, throw out the computer, don't have a post box or phone, blindfold our kids, go into the room and all curl into the foetal position for the rest of our lives. Don't get me wrong I am as tired as the next person, of advertising, everywhere you turn, its an ad for something or someone trying to sell you something, but thats free markets and sometimes is actually quite useful, I hope we have learnt to cope with it.

Kids are impressionable but they are not stupid, I'm sure the kids will not be shocked and horrified when they discover the existence of one burger franchise called Mcdonalds and its jovial clown Ronald, oh my how did they miss that in all these years.

The complaining parent can always exercise their democratic right NOT to associate with the EEEVIL-CORPORATION and their clown.

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