Private and State Education Costs in Australia

The cost of Education in Australia

Public Education Costs in Australia

In Australia the Government provides a FREE State operated education system, and they also subsidise a very large Private Education system.
In 2003, about 32% of all School Children in Australia went to Private/Independent schools.

Although State Schools are classed as free education, Voluntary Contributions of about $60 per child per year are normally expected, and asked for, by every school.
This cost can however be much higher in some State schools.

Each child also has to supply their own stationery, for which a list is provided detailing exactly what is required each year. The cost of this can be between $100 and $200 each year.

State school uniforms can be from around $200 upwards.

State schools must accept all children that live in their ‘catchment area’, and will bring in extra teachers etc as required to cater for any overflow of students

Parent Payments in Victorian State Government Schools

Private Education Costs in Australia

About a third of Australian children attend Private/Independent schools.
This is a much higher percentage than in the UK, due to the fact that the Australian Governments, both Federal & State, contribute to the cost of EVERY child’s education, whether State or Private.

Private School Fees

Private School Fees can start from about $800 per year, rising to $20,000+ per year, but some common figures are between $3,000 and $6,000 per year.

An example of one of the Independent school fees in SE Queensland can be seen here:

Faith Lutheran College fees for 2010: (Tuition Fees + Activities Levy = Total)

  • $2,944 + $ 780.00 = $3,724.00 Junior School Prep to Yr 6
  • $4,428 + $1,648.00 = $6,076.00 Middle School Yr 7 – Yr 9
  • $5,312 + $1,136.00 = $6,448.00 Senior School Yr 10 – Yr 12

There is also an annual Capital Funding Levy charged per family, of about $300.

Most schools also have extra charges for School Excursions etc, but the above school has actually included the compulsory excursions and camps in those fees.

Catholic School Fees

An example of Catholic school fees inSydney can be seen at:

Annual tuition fees for 2010 for children attending Sydney Catholic systemic schools are as follows:

Education Category Advert

Year 1st Child 2nd Child 3rd Child
Primary K-6 $854.00 $640.50 $427.00
Secondary: 7-8 $1,198.00 $898.50 $599.00
Secondary: 9-10 $1,327.00 $995.25 $663.50
Secondary: 11-12 $1,769.00 $1,326.75 $884.50

There is also an annual building Levy charged per family, of about $300.

An example of Catholic school fees inBrisbane can be seen at:

2009 Basic Recommended Catholic School Fees

Preschool & Primary

  • $800 for one child
  • $1,124 per family of two children
  • $1,372 per family of 3 or more students

Secondary School :

  • $1,688 for one child
  • $2,816 per family of 2 children
  • $ 132 per extra child.
    Building Fund contributions are an extra $404 per family for Primary or $616 per family for secondary.

2007 Fees were:

  • Preschool & Primary : $744 per student or $1,048 for two children or $1,280 per family of 3 or more students, with a building fund contribution of $376 per primary school family.
  • Secondary School : $1,576 per student or $2,628 per family (2 students or more), with a building fund contribution of $480 per school family

An example of 2009 fees for Townsville Diocesan Tuition Fee for Catholic Primary Schools is:

  • One child – $1,048 per year
  • 2nd child – $158 per year
  • 3rd child – $104 per year
  • 4th and subsequent children at no cost.
  • School levies will apply in addition to these fees.

However, I have seen an example of a 2009 fee at one local (Brisbane) Catholic primary school, and they are quoting: 1 Child $ 2,200, 2 Children $ 2,880 and 3 Children $ 3,400.
That is about 3 times the 2007 quoted figures from the above 2007 document.

The most expensive schools in each State of Australia
  • VIC: Geelong Grammar in Victoria, fees for year 12 in 2009 will be about $29,000.
  • NSW: Shore – Sydney Church of England Grammar School. $20,940 for 2009
  • WA: Christ Church Grammar. $17,560 for 2009
  • SA: Prince Alfred College. $15,117 for 2009
  • QLD: Brisbane Girls Grammar. $14,980 for 2009

There are often extra costs over and above basic fees. For example, my schools basic fees are about $4,000 with an extra $1,700 to cover other costs, camps etc.

South Australia 2011 Senior Fees selected private schools
  • $20,480 Scotch College
  • $19,450 St Peter’s College
  • $19,365 Prince Alfred College ($17,205 Tuition)
  • $18,800 Seymour College
  • $18,285 Walford
  • $17,200 Westminster
Education Tax Refund Legislation

From July 2008 education costs are being reduced slightly by the Education Tax Refund Legislation at:

This legislation provides a tax rebate of up to $375 for each primary school child and $750 for each secondary school child, per year.
It is payable to Families receiving Family Tax Benefit (Part A) with children in primary or secondary studies, where they have spent out on the cost of key purchases for their children s education, including:

laptops; home computers and associated costs; home internet connections; printers; education software; trade tools for use at school; school text books and stationery.

The rebate is calculated at 50% of the cost up to the maximum limits quoted.

Update January 2009

Private school funding figures recently made available for 2006, show that Queensland Independent schools received an average of $5,910 per student from parents.

Queensland school funding from combined Governments was:

  • $ 6,734 Independent schools: (73% Federal Government and 27% Queensland Government)
  • $11,043 State Schools

When looking at Independent schools, after adding the Parents fees to the government funding, the Independent schools receive an average of $12,644 per student, only $1,601 (or 14%) more than a State school student has available.

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In Australia in 2014.
65.1% of all students attended State Schools
34.9% of all students attended non-government schools.

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