The president of Trinity Grammar's alumni association has accused the prestigious private school of being too preoccupied with high ATARS, fundraising and building projects.
???In a scathing letter to the school council chair and headmaster, Old Trinity Grammarians' Association president David Baumgartner said the school needed to return its focus to the "holistic development" and wellbeing of students.
Mr Baumgartner, who has served on the association for 34 years, said there was a "resurgent undercurrent of frustration and anger" among the school community.
"There is too much inward focus on things like buildings, fundraising, marketing, ATAR excellence, Cambridge schooling program, etc," he wrote in his November 6 open letter, which made its way to hundreds of parents' inboxes.
He said he was also disappointed by the school's treatment of many respected and revered teachers.
"The constant change of staff and the disrespectful way in which it occurs seriously concerns me," he said.
Mr Baumgartner, whose two sons recently graduated from the school and also signed the letter, warned that the school should not be run like a business.
"In my opinion when a school diverts from its fundamental purpose of education and nurturing to one of business, its culture starts to break down," he said.
"Nowhere in the vision, mission or core values of the school are growth or profit mentioned."
He called on the school to have a greater focus on "the holistic development of each student - spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, physically, socially, and morally".
But the school council hit back, telling The Age it had a clear vision for Trinity Grammar and absolute confidence in headmaster Dr Michael Davies.
"The council appreciates that the school community will have a range of views and welcomes constructive feedback and dialogue with all members of the Trinity community," council chairman Garry Ringwood and chairman elect Rod Lyle said in a statement.
"We firmly believe that to stand still as a school is not in the interest of our boys or future generations of the Trinity community. Trinity has a long tradition of being a progressive school which embraces change, while staying true to the strong values which underpin our culture."
A few weeks after Mr Baumgartner's letter was circulated widely, Mr Ringwood wrote to parents addressing some of their concerns.
He said some parents were troubled about the amount of change in senior school staff.
"We are always sad to see good teachers go, but also respect that often people move to pursue new challenges and opportunities," he wrote in the November 22 letter.
He said in recent years, the school had talked a lot more about academic excellence. This was because there was growing evidence that Australian academic standards were falling behind other developed countries.
"When we talk about academic excellence, this in no way undermines our focus on providing an environment where our boys can develop to the best of their ability spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, physically, socially and morally," Mr Ringwood said.
"We remain committed to being an inclusive, open entry school and we believe this is core to Trinity's values."