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Independent School Education More Affordable than Report Portrays

Letter supplied to The Courier-Mail, 17 January 2017

An independent school education is more affordable and in reach of more parents than what has been portrayed by recent reports about the costs of schooling (C-M, Jan 17).

Report author, Australian Scholarships Group (ASG), admits in its own fine print to using figures which “represent the highest amount parents and families could expect to pay”. This is therefore not reflective of the real costs the majority of parents sending their children to independent schools are likely to face.

About 50 percent of all Queensland independent schools have average annual fee levels of less than $5,000 per student, while 84 percent have average fees under $10,000. Various reports confirm that Brisbane is one of the most affordable major capital cities for an independent school education.

Queensland independent schools and their boards are extremely mindful of the rising costs parents and carers face every year and strive to maintain affordable tuition fees for their communities, while also balancing increasing wage and technology costs.

The high value and financial priority parents place on providing their children with a quality education is evidenced by the 120,000 students expected to enrol in Queensland’s more than 200 independent schools in 2017.

In the independent schooling sector in Queensland, on average parents contribute 50 percent of the operational costs associated with their child’s school education.  Whether it’s over six years of high school or a full 13 years of schooling, that’s a huge personal financial investment that parents are choosing to make in their child’s education.

By not taking up fully government funded places in state schools, these parents are saving governments, and therefore taxpayers, billions of dollars over the course of their child’s schooling life. That’s something these parents should be acknowledged for.

David Robertson
Executive Director



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