Parents are now shelling out over $250,000 to send their children to private school over 12 years, exclusive analysis reveals.
Parents are now shelling out over $250,000 to send their children to private school over 12 years, exclusive analysis reveals.

2020 fees: Our most expensive private schools revealed

PARENTS are now shelling out over $250,000 to send their children to private schools over 12 years, exclusive analysis reveals.

The cost of sending children to school from Year 1 to 12, based on 2020 fees alone, would be a staggering $263,472 at Brisbane Boys' College, $260,688 at Anglican Church Grammar School (Churchie) and $259,610 at St Margaret's Anglican Girls School.

If fees do not increase, for eight years of school from Year 5 to Year 12, parents would pay $211,200 at Brisbane Grammar School and at affiliate school Brisbane Girls Grammar fees are $154,692 for Years 7 to 12.

But as much as it hurts the hip pocket, parents have been given a breather against massive price hikes on private school fees, with more schools responding to increasing pressure on family budgets.

A new national report shows the rate of increase in private school fees fell in 2020, with the average increase at 2.8 per cent, compared to 3.1 per cent last year and 3.2 per cent in 2018.

In Queensland, the highest charging school was Brisbane Grammar School, with parents shelling out $27,540, in Western Australia PLC costs $29,635, South Australia's Walford Anglican School for Girls charges $27,409, ACT's Canberra Grammar costs $25,750 and Tasmania's The Friends' School is $19, 920.

NSW and Victoria are by far the most costly states in which to send your child to a private school, with some fees now breaking the $40,000 barrier.

The increase, though less than previous years, is still a significant hit to households, with parents forking out 35 per cent of the household budget on private school fees, according to Edstart, a lender that specialises in helping families pay for education costs.

Brisbane Grammar School has the highest fees, but they are all-inclusive.
Brisbane Grammar School has the highest fees, but they are all-inclusive.

"This inflation number has a far bigger impact on families than other household costs because so much of the family budget is tied up in school fees; when we talk about electricity or gas rises we are talking 2 to 5 per cent of the family budget, whereas school fees are more like 35 per cent," Edstart CEO Jack Stevens said

Brisbane Grammar School headmaster Anthony Micallef said the school's fees were all-inclusive to provide "high-quality teachers, innovative teaching, comprehensive wellbeing and state of the art facilities".

"The board strives to contain fee levels through careful long-term financial management and supports student diversity through a needs-based bursary program that assists over 50 boys," he said.

Independent Schools Queensland executive director David Robertson said parents chose to invest in their child's education twice, through taxes and tuition fees.

"These can be significant sums for families, whether parents choose independent schools for their child's entire school journey or part of it," he said.

"However, parents of one in 7 Queensland school-age children recognise the value of an independent education and are willing to sacrifice other areas of their lives to give their children, what they believe, is the best grounding and springboard into life."

Mr Robertson said families do not take decisions around school lightly and spend significant time researching schools that offer education that aligns with their values and aspirations for their children.

"The growth of enrolments in Queensland's independent schooling sector of 18 per cent between 2009 and 2019 confirms the value and benefit parents attribute to the quality and holistic nature of the education delivered by independent schools," he said.

Queensland Catholic Education Commission executive director Dr Lee-Anne Perry said fees for catholic schools were determined by each school's authority body and vary depending on circumstances.

"Within the Catholic school system we endeavour to ensure that as many young people as possible have access to a Catholic education irrespective of their financial position and most schools offer discounts for families with more than one child at the school," she said.

"Catholic schools also have fee relief policies, scholarships and bursaries for families that might encounter difficulties meeting their fee commitments."



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