The Cost of Private Education in Australia

Private/Independent schools in Australia are subsidised by the Federal and State Governments.

This funding assists in keeping the costs down when compared to the actual full cost of education in private schools. It also reduces the cost to government of the overall cost of education.

2017 Update on Australia Private School Fees (Inclusive of Materials Levy, Capital Levy and P&F Levy).

$ 100 Application Fee (non-refundable)
Annual Fees including all Levies:
$5,700 Prep to Yr 6
$8,676 Yr 7 – Yr 9
$9,048 Yr 10 – Yr 11

The above are comparison fees for one school in SE Queensland, where the 2010 fees were shown originally below.  This would be a common mid-range fee school.

These are examples of the more expensive schools.

2017 Brisbane Grammar School Annual Fees

​$20,810 Year 5 and 6
​$24,630 Years 7 to 12​
A non-refundable $2,493 confirmation fee is also payable.

2017 Anglican Church Grammar School, Brisbane (Churchie)

$ 395 Application Fee (non-refundable)
$1,575 Enrolment Confirmation Fee (non-refundable)
Annual Fees
$18,056 per year Prep School (Reception – Year 6)
$21,224 per year Senior School Day Students (Years 7 – 12)
$ 2,500 per year approx. Extra levies and fees

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2017 The Southport School, Gold Coast

$ 200 Application Fee (non-refundable)
$1,300 Enrolment Fee (non-refundable)
Annual Fees including all Levies:
$15,766 (Year 4 – Year 6)
$17,932 (year 7)
$19,064 (year 8)
$20,200 (year 9)
$20,936 (year 10-12)

2010 Australia Private School Fees.

The parents contribution to a childs private schooling in Australia can vary from about $800 per year to over $25,000 per year, depending on the type of school and its location.

From my own experiences, I would say that some common figures are between $3,000 and $6,000 per year.
The 2010 annual fees for my own daughters school were quoted as:

  • $2,944 Prep to Yr 6
  • $4,428 Yr 7 – Yr 9
  • $5,312 Yr 10 – Yr 11

Discounts are often given for more than one child, eg: My schools gives the following: 2nd Child deduct 10%, 3rd Child deduct 20%, 4th Child deduct 50%.

An indication of the top end in prices is shown by these newspaper articles:

Queenslands most expensive Private schools

The Southport School on the Gold Coast, which charges nearly $17,000 a year in fees.

South Australias most expensive Private schools

Popular Torrens Park school Scotch College continues to be one of the state’s most expensive with Year 12 fees of $19,160.

Government Contribution to Private Education

Many times have I seen comments about the cost of Private Education in Australia, especially during election times, when it is said that the taxpayer picks up a large expense for subsidising private education.

So, time to clear that bit up, or at least give some more information to chew over.

Queensland school funding from combined Governments was:

$ 6,734 Independent schools: (73% Federal Government and 27% Queensland Government)
$11,043 State Schools

About 32% of all School Children in Australia went to Private/Independent schools.

Woking on the above two quotes, and estimating the number of school children at about 2.2 million, we see the following figures:

Current cost to taxpayer, Private and State schools:

32% ie: 704,000 at $6,734 = $4,740,736,000
68% ie: 1,496,000 at $11,043 = $16,520,328,000

Total $21,261,064,000

Total theoretical cost if everyone went through the State Schools

100% ie: 2,200,000 at $11,043 = $24,294,600,000

Therefore a saving of 3 Billion dollars per year compared to the cost of only having a State system

The above is my calculations, based on my available data.

The following quotes are from an education source on the same topic, but with much more up to date figures:

  • Total expenditure by governments on school education was $34.2 billion in 2006-07.
  • 79% of this expenditure went to government schools which accounted for 67% of student enrolments.
  • 21% of this expenditure went to independant schools which accounted for 33% of student enrolments.
  • The savings to governments in Australia from the education of school students in non-government schools is in the order of $6.1 billion per annum


It seems that my calculations are on the conservative side.

Government Contribution to School Students in 2009

Catholic Schools

In 2009 the average per capita rates received by Brisbane Catholic Education are estimated to be:
Primary $4,592 per student
Secondary $6,464 per student

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