Alia College – A progressive, democratic, community school in Hawthorn East.

What do we mean when we say Alia is a progressive democratic, community school?

At Alia we express our community values through the constant disagreements and irritations that occur when you put enthusiastic and engaged people together for five days a week. Civility is encouraged, but not at the cost of sincerity.

Our school is progressive in the way we communicate openly about conflict in order to seek resolutions. True harmony and peace exist when our real feelings can be aired in a carefully monitored environment without having them swept under the carpet or overly controlled by an authority figure.

Our school is democratic through the student-run meetings at the centre of our decision making. These meetings are based on the idea that we will be fair minded about differing views, leading to decisions that are reasonably just.

Alia provides a unique atmosphere:

  • Teachers are on a first name basis with students. There is no staff room. Teachers and students mingle during breaks.
  • Daily classes follow a timetabled program with no bells.
  • Students wear the clothes they choose (ie, no uniform).
  • Students have open access to the school kitchen where there are ovens, stoves, toasters, knives and boiling water.
  • No formal punishments such as detentions. When an issue arises, students and teachers discuss the matter — at considerable length, if needed.
  • The most serious rule at the school is that students must not interfere with the learning of other students.

We explain more here what we mean by progressive school.

Students interested in the school can do a trial day here to find out what the students and teachers are really like, in the way that only a student can.

“You have the freedom to say what you think and get a fair hearing, a freedom that is less likely to be given in other schools” – Alia graduate

Here are some ways to learn more about what makes Alia a great alternative: