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Fintona Girls School, Balwyn

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School Reviews
By Parent - 06 Aug 2023, Rate: bad
current parent here planning to move next term, the neglect mentioned by senior staff in this school is 100% accurate. I had a 7 year old come home with scratches on her face and our complaint was still ignored.
One day they will bark up the wrong tree...
This principal will eventually learn the hard way.
By Parent - 01 Jan 2023, Rate: bad
Kids arent even learning anything. Tutoring will definitely be needed to keep up. Better of paying less tuition somewhere else and using the extra money for tutoring. Disappointing.
By Parent - 23 Nov 2022, Rate: average
Don’t know what the kids are even learning. Tutoring will 100% be needed, better off spending tuition somewhere else.
By Student - 14 Nov 2022, Rate: excellent
I enjoy Fintona's positive environment and the teachers are absolutely wonderful to be around, as well as the overall community. Whatever anyone else believes, I want to remind you that Fintona is an awesome school with stunning academic results.
By Student - 07 Nov 2022, Rate: bad
To Alice
I know you said you want to smash my head and punch me in the face because guess what so do I
By Alumnus - 26 Oct 2022, Rate: bad
After reading the Herald Sun article, and the reviews by other alumni and parents, I think it won't hurt to spill the beans on some insider information as I also graduated under the current deputy principal and principal.
Teachers are treated like trash by the principal and her side-kick the deputy principal. The teachers who spoke up against their tyranny were shamed in meetings, insulted through emails, and were even told off by coworkers as directed by the duo. In short, the duo were deflecting blame by pitching fellow staff members against each other to escape any responsibility themselves.
The principal is like a puppet, all nice words on the surface but never acts on the feedback she receives. She dismissed everything and pretends that the school isn't in shambles. Yes, she's living in constant denial.
The deputy principal, is a constant emotional mess. How did picking out our own Year 12 jumpers turn into a personal attack on her? Just because we didn't pick the one she liked? Funny that.
However, having been at the school longer than the duo have, I can say that it wasn't always like this. Under the previous principal and management, the school was thriving. There was a really low staff turnover as teachers who retired only did so because of old age. Students did not jump back and forth between schools so frequently either. Everyone was content and satisfied.
Clearly, and surely, a change of management is necessary to keep the teachers and students. If nothing is done, the school can say goodbye to enrolments and say hello to more withdrawals.
Having read the alumnus' comment below, I can second it and say that everything is true. Grab any student from this school on the sidewalk and they can confirm for you.
Hoping management is deep-cleaned to return the school to what it used to be.
By Parent - 25 Oct 2022, Rate: good
I feel compelled to state our experience with Fintona. As with most situations, there are positives and negatives. We are mostly happy with the school and can work around the less satisfactory elements. They provided immense support during the Covid period.
By Alumnus - 25 Oct 2022, Rate: bad
If you haven't already read the article in the Herald Sun published today, I recommend you go have a read after this. I'm a student who graduated under the current Deputy Principal and Principal.
I had several concerns with management of the senior school - specifically the head of senior school and principal. I personally felt like there was very little communication and consideration of the students needs even when they were raised through official channels (formal emails, through student leadership, through teachers etc). These issues ranged from impacting school life such as uniforms and fundraisers, as well as academically, for example when the head of senior school attempted to prevent students taking two 3/4 subjects in year 11.
The head of senior school (who I believe is also deputy principal) took students' feedback personally as "attacks" rather than taking the time to properly evaluate what students were suggesting. This included Year 11 students being prevented from walking to the local shops during their lunch despite being allowed to the previous year, or suggesting how common rooms could be improved (the latter incident resulted in her becoming very emotional).
I also have concerns about the high staff turnover deeply impacting students and their learning. I cannot exaggerate how important teachers are in your final year of school. No matter the skill of the teacher, girls will inevitably struggle to connect and trust teachers who are continuously forced to leave due to a toxic workplace environment. Issues with management and workplace politics spilled over into lessons, with tensions becoming evident to students. This even included teachers being pulled from lessons in front of students.
The principal lacks connection with staff and students, and seems to only collaborate with the deputy principal. Especially compared to the previous principal, she is detached from the life of the school, and doesn't appear to take concerns of staff and students seriously. I had very little contact with her at any school events - where the principal should be getting to know at least the year 12 students and student leaders. Despite the around 50 students in the graduating class, she struggled with our names.
Parents take note: it is extremely common and needed to some extent for students to take extra tutoring. There are some good teachers, but the high turnover makes the quality of teaching and support very unpredictable. I also find it almost shameless the school boasts the results of students with Chinese 3/4 and Chinese Second Language 3/4 when the school does not teach these subjects at all.
In summary, the management of this school has degraded to a point where it affects all aspects of school life. I hope you examine this review and others critically before making the decision to join the Fintona community. It is not what it once was.
By Parent - 16 Jul 2021, Rate: poor
A mixed bag this place with some good teachers but also some mediocre ones. High staff turnover. Favouritism shown by the deputy principal and she has been complained about by many. Scholarship girls get all the opportunities while full fee paying ones miss out. The principal pays lip service to complaints and never responds or dodges them. Business Manager is arrogant and unhelpful. No wonder enrolments are falling.
By Parent - 24 Feb 2021, Rate: excellent
Fintona is a wonderful school. My daughter enjoys her time here and also has a very positive learning experience.
By Student - 05 Nov 2020, Rate: average
So here’s the thing, I truly believe that fintona is an excellent school and has made my life so much better in so many ways. However, the biggest downside to me is that the school has a habit of focusing all its attention on the “gifted” students and neglect the ones that need help a lot of the time.
By Student - 17 Oct 2020, Rate: excellent
I love fintona, it lead me to meet my best friends and it opened up another side of me, they were there for me when I needed them and I love the fact the school,classroom, is quite small which does put a certain limit on activities. I’ve been at this school for four years this being my fourth and I intend to stay, I read many of the comments by past teachers and possibly students and their parents talking about how they were bullied or they didn’t like fintona, our school has a no bullying policy and we have a counsellor so I don’t think the reason for you leaving fintona should be bullying, and if your unable to stand up for yourself that’s really not the fault of the school. and it is true the size of the school may not suit everyone, but a small classroom and year level has its many benefits such as you get to know almost everyone in the school and you develop close friendships with other students, the teachers here are also most of the time quite nice and they help you with your learning. I just want to say I will always cherish the years I spent at fintona because it’s an amazing school
By Employee - 11 Jun 2020, Rate: bad
Whatever you do, DO NOT send your child here. This environment only suits certain types of children so please consider whether or not your daughter fits in here before enrolling. Many girls at this school are extremely sheltered and insular about the world around them. In terms of friends, the classes are extremely small so your daughter’s options are very limited. There will be a huge chance that she is forced to be “friends” with people she doesn’t share any common interests in. Don’t get me wrong, Fintona is a great school but only for certain girls. If you fit into that mould, you’ll have an amazing time here, but if not - every moment will be hell.
By Student - 21 May 2020, Rate: excellent
this school is great
By Student - 21 May 2020, Rate: poor
One thing I hate about this school is that a lot of the other kids' parents are quite wealthy...which leads to disagreements at school. Heaps of wealthy kids boast about their riches and it's getting quite bad. Everyday when I go to school there are kids saying 'Hey look what I got on the weekend! I bet you don't have it' or something similar to that. Please do not go to this school, unless you want all this to happen.
By Parent - 20 May 2020, Rate: poor
If you are considering this school, be careful. My 8 year old daughter got bullied so much at this school that we had to change schools. I told the principal and she did nothing about it.
By Student - 20 Aug 2019, Rate: poor
Took away my happiness
By Student - 08 Sep 2017, Rate: excellent
As a student at Fintona, I can definitely say that there's no other school I'd rather attend. I have been attending the school for almost 9 years and the quality of care and teaching is excellent. I have recently been quite unwell and have really been struggling with my health this year. The school have been incredibly supportive and understanding, they have made every adjustment possible to ensure that my time at school is easier for me. I am amazed at the high standard of the pastoral care. The teaching is excellent, it really feels like they care about you and want to help you in your subjects. They explain everything clearly and thoroughly and only want you to do your best, which of course varies for each student. I love Fintona I've already made so many memories which I cherish and I can't wait for all the years to come. If you're looking for a school with flash facilities this is not the place for you, however, if you're looking for a quality education and an environment that is accepting, open minded and naturing then I'll see you at Fintona.
By Parent - 11 Oct 2016, Rate: good
My daughter started in K3 kindy and she seems to enjoyed it. Teachers are great, but I'm really not 100% satisfied with curriculum from prep to year 2. We noticed my daughter was doing the same thing for the last 3 years. School is small which leads to good and bad. Good part is the teacher will be able to identify and care for each individual child. Bad thing is girls are hanging around with same group of people each day which leads to disagreement. We have seen bully not only from the girls, parents were involved too. Majority of families are rich and parents are forming little favourite groups!! Fintona is a good school, but I really can't stand those up to themselves parents. Oh well, I guess it happens in every private school!
By Parent - 13 May 2016, Rate: good
Overall, Fintona is a great school with good education, but the fact that it's TOO small and other things make it okay. Don't get me wrong, my daughter loves this school, no matter how big or how small. Maybe in the younger years, the students should have been taught good behaviours but now in the middle years and senior years, the girls are so mature. So, I rate this school GOOD over certain aspects.
Well, most of these things come from my daughter.
By Parent - 08 Feb 2016, Rate: excellent
good teachers
By Student - 14 Nov 2015, Rate: bad
I attended in year 1 the girls were nasty and snobby I hated it. I was there for 6 weeks (they did refund the money)and decided I could not stand another minute. I went home crying everyday and my parents decided to pull me out. I was a student in 2006 It sounds like nothing has changed.
By Student - 14 Aug 2015, Rate: excellent
Fintona is a wonderful school. The girls are eager to learn and the staff are very supportive. The principal is amazing - she goes to basically all the school events to support the students. The standard of education is really high. I would highly recommend Fintona!!!
By Student - 26 Jul 2015, Rate: excellent
Excellent school! Even it is not a big school but I found make friends is easy. Girls here are friendly and work hard. Our teachers are very helpful and supportive. I love this school and will recommend to anyone.
By Employee - 26 Jun 2015, Rate: bad
Spending this amount of money on your child's education is such a waste. As a previous employee I can tell you that the teaching at Fintona is average. The staff are not a caring community. My teaching has been and is now at a much higher standard at schools with 1/4 the fees or less. The Principal is completely out of touch. I would rather be tortured than work there- is that an environment you want your daughter in?
By Alumnus - 24 Jun 2015, Rate: excellent
Good school good teachers
By Parent - 01 Dec 2014, Rate: poor
I am in agreement with the comments posted on 26 Aug 13. We were attracted to the school's heavily publicised small class sizes, and hoping our daughter would flourish in a school that prides itself in nurturing their students. It fails due to its confused leadership and its inapt ability to focus learning strategies to maximise all their students potential. Calibre of this school is purely its students, nothing to do with the school or its ability to facilitate students maximising their potential. Your money is better spent at another school.
By Parent - 26 Aug 2013, Rate: average
If you are considering this school, I strongly recommend going in with your eyes open and be prepared to move your daughter away. Small classes are "good" but too small is a big problem. Problems are amplified in such a small environment and the pastoral care has been pitiful. While the school understandably expects loyalty from its community, it shows none of that loyalty to its students or their families. Very disappointed with certain aspects of this school.
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