Warning become self-fulfilling prophecies in the hands of a mass media trained in the art of disguising publicity as news. For many years, news about public or private schools or both, has often signalled doom, on the one hand, and infinite variety and riches, on the other. The story is familiar, so familiar as to be tiresome. Lazy journalists, ever at the ready for a slightly new angle, beef up the latest statistics and, quelle surprise, another front page news item emerges. Thus the Sydney Morning Herald educational writers tell us once again of the drift towards private schools.