Brisbane offers the most affordable private education in any Australian capital city, according to new research released this week.
The Australian Scholarship Group’s (ASG) annual Planning for Education Index, released Tuesday, shows the forecast cost of a private education in Brisbane for a child born in 2016 is $360,044. That’s nothing to be sneezed at, but it’s still 23 per cent less than the national average, which sits at $468,397.
Sydney ($552,351), Melbourne ($512,283) and Canberra ($431,538) are the most expensive cities to send a child through the private school system — a fact worth keeping in mind if you’re planning a big move anytime soon.
If you’d rather send your child to a state school, there’s good news there, too — at $58,843, the cost of sending a child born in 2016 through the state school system in Brisbane is 12 per cent less than the national average of $66,862, and well behind Sydney ($73,063) and Melbourne ($75,193).
Alas, the cost of sending a child born in 2016 to a religious denominational school in Brisbane (such as a Catholic, Anglican, Buddhist, Islamic or Hindu school) came in third at $235,563, behind only Sydney ($240,768) and Adelaide ($239,053).
Meanwhile, a private education in regional Queensland is forecast to cost $326,762 for a child born in 2016 ($33,282 less than Brisbane); a state education in regional Queensland is expected to cost $50,478 ($8,365 less than Brisbane); and a religious education in regional Queensland will cost $193,262 (the highest regional cost in Australia, but still $42,301 cheaper than than Brisbane).
The forecast is based on more than 12,500 survey responses, and estimates the cost of education based on factors like school fees, transport, uniforms, computers, school excursions and sports trips.
On average, the ASG report found that school fees have swelled to twice the rate of inflation, leaving some parents spending more than the price of a family home on private school education.
ASG CEO John Velegrinis says parents will need to take a “disciplined approach” to their children’s education in the face of these fee rises.
“Regardless of whether you send your children to a government, systemic or private school, the cost of that education will clearly increase, which is why we advocate that parents start planning for education as early as possible, even from the moment their child is born,” he said.
“We’re very fortunate in Australia to have a variety of excellent government, systemic and private schools. If you have two or three children, the cost of a private education could be higher than the purchase price of the family home.
“We advocate parents use a disciplined approach by putting a little bit away each week so they can financially can afford their children’s educational goals and aspirations.”
Have rising fees turned you off the idea of a private education for your child, or do you still think it’s worth it? Have your say in the comments below!