“ There is a need to revisit the fundamental principles that drive our educational beliefs; to re-inspire teachers; to question the notion that equality and accessibility are best served by reducing the range and quality of work that pupils undertake and, … to put a stop to what might be termed the ‘cultural disinheritance’ that has gone on for too long,” declared HRH The Prince of Wales to yet another charity he has founded, this one about education.
Constitutional monarchists and republicans agree on one thing: there is a need for education about the Australian constitutional system. Constitutional monarchists believe that if Australians were to know more about their constitutional system, one of the world’s most successful, they would hold on to it more than they do. Republicans curiously believe they would then want to change it.
In any event, constitutional monarchists have tried to do something about this. They established the Constitutional Education Foundation- Australia. Realising it had to be non-partisan on republicanism, they invited some eminent republicans to join them. Having done this, Lindsay Tanner MP launched an attack on CEF-A and ACM. After a long investigation by the Australian Tax Office, Tanner’s accusations have been shown to be groundless. They were made, as you might expect, under parliamentary privilege.
ACM remains strongly committed to the goal of all Australians, young, new and old, knowing more about the constitutional system. Gilbert Mane, the headmaster of John Colet School, an independent infants and primary school in Belrose, Sydney, spoke on the subject of education in the context of the theme of the 2007 National Conference, The Indispensable Crown: The Way Forward. His paper, now posted to the ACM site, was very well received by the delegates, who were interested in his attendance at the Prince Charles’ 2006 Summer Education Conference at Cambridge. Prince Charles had invited and especially sought out Mr Mane as the author of a chapter in a book on education which the Prince had read.
Mr Mane reported told delegates to the ACM National Conference that the Prince is “charming, personable, open and friendly..[with] an energy and charisma which goes with the position and his own nature.” He observed that the fact that he and his wife have met Prince Charles “never fails to spark a keen interest in everyone, including all my many republican friends.” His assessment of the Prince varies significantly from the picture presented by some journalists and republicans. Mr. Mane says the Prince is “committed, passionate and energised about re-establishing good sound education.”