Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore Australian educators’ work with “other people’s children” (OPCs) (Delpit, 2006) from the informal education market of the 1840s to the mass education market in contemporary times. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is structured as a narrative about the expansion of the educational state and the concomitant development of technologies of inclusion and exclusion. Snapshots of various educators’ work with “OPCs” are woven into the narrative. Findings – Notwithstanding contemporary efforts to “confront educational disadvantage” and an ever increasing array of technologies with which to differentiate students, OPCs remain on the margins of Australian education. Originality/value – This paper is a unique look at Australian educators’ work with “OPCs” over the past 175 years.