New data shows Australia’s inflation crisis is continuing to cascade through to the cost of operations, forcing schools to adjust their fees to cover costs.
EdStart’s School Fee Report 2024, which analysed fees from more than 700 Australian schools, found that Victoria once again had the highest fee school in the nation, crossing the $50,000 mark for the first time for any school in Australia.
The next most pricey state to educate a child was NSW, where the highest fee school for a Year 12 student is a whopping $49,825, and the top ten most expensive schools in the state are all above $44,000 per year.
While other states all saw significant increases to fees, their highest fees were all much lower than Victoria and NSW.
Queensland was in third place, with the next highest school fee at $34,180, still over $15,000 lower than Victoria and NSW. The highest fee school in Western Australia was $33,460 and the highest fees in South Australia and the ACT crossed the $30,000 mark for the first time at $31,251 and $30,800 respectively. Tasmania’s highest fee school was much lower at $23,560.
“School fees rise in line with the operating costs of each school which has increased as a result of high inflation in the economy and upward pressure on staff wages,” Edstart CEO, Jack Stevens said.
“Rising staff wages are also behind the higher fee increase with many non-government schools offering pay rises to attract and retain teaching staff.”
Stevens noted that with salaries comprising around 70% of a school’s expenditure, this can place significant pressure on their budget.
Equitable school funding will help lower costs
Speaking to Seven Sunrise’s Natalie Barr recently about the rising cost of schooling, Federal Education Minister, Jason Clare said a fairer school funding arrangement will help lower costs for families and improve educational outcomes.
“One of the big things that we need to do this year is strike a new National School Reform Agreement which funds our public schools properly so they’ve got the resources they need to help children who fall behind to catch up, to keep up, to finish school,” Minister Clare said.
“I want public education to be parents’ first choice. The best way to do that is making sure that they’re fully and fairly funded and that we tie that funding to the things that will make a difference.”
Minister Clare said this will both help with costs and make sure that children get the education that they deserve.
“I wish all students the best for the 2024 school year, and I want to thank all teachers, support stuff and school leaders for the incredible work they do in our schools. Have a great 2024.”