More ‘toxic culture’ claims made against elite boys’ school

Claire Halliday
Claire Halliday

Staff at St Kevin’s College – a prestigious private boys’ school in Melbourne – have accused the school of having a “toxic” and “misogynistic” culture, with several incidents reported by teachers.

The latest claims come just a few months after complaints by some parents that little was being done to resolve the school’s culture, following transphobic and sexist student attacks on teachers.

‘Jacquelyn’ is a former school parent and says her son asked to leave the school because of what he perceived as “boys’ club” behaviour that was “anti-women” and “entitled”, she told EducationDaily.

“Hearing these reports about teachers complaining about the way they were treated – by both kids and by other teachers – really doesn’t surprise me,” she says.

- Advertisement -

Claims staff members have quit in response to leadership inaction

Several educators within St Kevin’s College have made claims that at least two staff members have quit within the past year – actions taken after complaints about bullying and harassment were not dealt with by the school’s leadership.

Other concerning issues reported include a staff member making an inappropriate comment about burning sausages “like the Holocaust” at a school barbecue and same-sex attracted staff being sidelined.

Female staff also say they were “forced” to attend outdoor education camps, involving several days in the bush, with claims that male staff members told women to simply go on the pill to skip their period.

“It’s not good enough,” the source says.

- Advertisement -

Another source says female staff at the college’s Year nine campus who asked for support to discipline students were told they were the issue – not the students.

“All of the leadership positions in the middle school are now held by men, mostly from one teaching department. It is a real boys’ club.”

A Nous Review of the school in 2021 found evidence of a continuing “toxic” and “misogynistic” culture, with both staff and students reporting sexist behaviour and misogynistic language. In 2022, a cultural survey driven by school leadership revealed 13 per cent of staff reported that they didn’t feel safe at work.

Teachers claim bullying culture – schools says ‘no comment’

In response to this latest round of complaints about a bullying, toxic environment existing within the school, a St Kevin’s College spokesman says the school is working to create a more positive culture.

The spokesman says the school “employs more than 500 staff and is proud of its continued high retention rate. This is a strong reflection of the stability and commitment of our staff and executive leadership”.

- Advertisement -

“Any issues that arise at the College are managed according to best workplace practice and the law. Confidentiality around any alleged behaviours is our priority and commentary will not be made,” he says.

Share This Article
Claire Halliday has an extensive career as a full-time writer - across book publishing, copywriting, podcasting and feature journalism - for more than 25 years. She lives in Melbourne with children, two border collies and a grumpy Burmese cat. Contact: claire.halliday[at]