Non-govt. School Fees Up Almost Double CPI

Filed under Education & Childcare, News ~ by Press on  28 Feb 2019

The eastern states have been powering ahead with higher GDP growth and lower unemployment, conversely Western Australia has been met with the opposite fate.

Even more evident, the recently released National School Fee Report illustrates the impact of the divide in the cost of non-government school education in Australia.

In WA, the average fee increase over the last year at non-government schools was 1.6% (a result less than the current inflation rate), while the average fee increase in the eastern states was more than double – with increases between 3.2% to 5.1%.

1 in 7 schools in WA have either decreased or kept their school fees the same. Jack Stevens, CEO and Co-Founder of Edstart (curators of the National School Fee Report), explained this as a first in the analysis’ history.

Compared to only 1 in 30 private schools reducing or holding fees steady in Victoria and New South Wales, seeing 1 in 7 WA schools taking this action is unheard of. No doubt schools are feeling the pressure from families affected by the long-running property downturn, higher levels of unemployment and the hangover from the mining boom.

While it has taken the schools time to adjust, the shift in mindset is becoming apparent. With some schools in WA only increasing their fees by 1-2%, and so many schools not increasing their fees at all, it is a clear reflection that WA is feeling the compounded impact of all of those factors,” aid Mr Stevens.

Alongside the divide between east and west, of the 320 schools analysed across the country, over 84% increased their fees by more than the current rate of inflation.

ACT had the highest average fee increase at 5.1%, followed by VIC and NSW at 3.7% and Queensland with 3.2%. The national increase was 3.1%. By contrast, national CPI was 1.8% over the same period.

Non-government schools are vulnerable to changes in their environment such as government funding shifts and increasing operating costs. The impact of these shifts has a ripple effect on families. Those families who have already paid their first invoice for 2019 are now likely planning or thinking about how they will manage the rest of the year.

Our goal for the National School Fee Report is to put a spotlight on private school fee trends throughout Australia and help families better manage these costs, which are typically the number 1 or 2 largest household expense.”

For the National School Fee Report visit:

Key findings from 2019 National School Fee Report:

Private school fees across Australia have risen by an average of 3.1% in 2019, which is slightly down from 3.2% last year. While several schools reduced their fees or had no fee change, we found that over 84% of schools increased their fees by more than the current inflation rate of 1.8%*.

Average National increase = 3.10%

% of schools with no increase = 8.80%

% of school with increases above inflation = 84.72%

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