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Independent schools challenge idea of high fees

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While an independent schooling is the most expensive option The Independent Schools Council of Australia (ISCA) advises that the expense can be misrepresented by companies selling financial products.

ISCA says that fee estimates used in the marketing material of school fee financing products do not reflect the fees of the majority of independent schools.

ISCA Executive Director Barry Wallett said that, “The most recent official data available shows a median Australian metropolitan Independent school fee of $6,685 per annum. Nationally, more than two-thirds of metropolitan Independent schools are charging below $10,000 per annum.”

Mr Wallett added, “Independent schools reflect the social and economic diversity of Australia and are predominantly attended by middle-income families. Their fees vary greatly, with the majority being far more affordable than modelling like ASG’s suggests. In addition, there are numerous ways parents can save on costs; with many Independent schools offering scholarships, all-inclusive fees, and discounts for siblings or lump sum payments. ISCA strongly encourages parents to do their own research on the fees of the schools that interest them.”

ISCA’s school fee information is derived from data on fees collected from all Australian Independent schools in 2017 (the most recent year for which accurate data is available).

ASG last year stated that their school fee estimates have been derived from a 2017 survey of their parent members, plus CPI adjusted data from similar surveys conducted in 2013 and 2015, which asked parents to estimate various costs that they paid for their children’s schooling. They state these are a guide only and do not guarantee that they will represent actual costs.

ISCA overview of fees charged by Australian metropolitan Independent schools in 20171

Median fee per student (Metro only)

NSW $6,685; VIC $9,084; QLD $6,244; SA $5,441; WA $6,244; TAS $3,411; NT $3,195; ACT $8,571

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