“Breathtaking” tuition fees putting parents under the pump
Futurity Investment Group research released Tuesday shows that 39% of public and private schools are likely to raise fees this year.
For Paul, a father of two in Adelaide, the rapidly mounting costs are jeopardizing the private school plans he had for his children, even if his eldest starts year one at a private Catholic school this year.
Paul said the school raised fees by about $300 last year and the family is currently paying about $3,000 for basic tuition.
But their daughter’s uniform cost $800 more this year, and the family also had to buy an iPad for homework.
Paul expects to pay about $20,000 per year per child for private school tuition when his children reach high school, and an additional $6,000 on top for other necessities such as uniforms, devices, and excursions.
But he doesn’t expect his and his wife’s combined income to be enough to cover the cost of their children’s schooling.
“We have to start saving because we are not going to compromise on our children’s education,” he said.
“Maybe we can jeopardize our travels, maybe eating out, and all those things, which aren’t that important, but raising the kids is the most important thing for us.”
“If you are [not] in a high income bracket, sending your child… to one of these great schools is quite difficult, it’s not for a normal person.
“Breathtaking” Five-Figure Public School Price
The average rate for 13 years of study at a private school in Australia starts at over $100,000, but data from the Futurity Investment Group shows government tuition fees aren’t far behind.
A public school education in Sydney is the most expensive in the country, averaging $92,375 in total.
Although the average salary for a full-time Australian has reached just under $96,000, Futurity group leader Kate Hill said the cost of public education in cities like Sydney is “quite mind-blowing”, and that the income of the parents will not be able to continue.
“The cost of education outweighs any wage growth for parents,” Ms Hill said.
“So it’s becoming more and more difficult to find the funds to educate children.”
She said parents asking for “more and more” services is costing schools money, which has caused the cost of education to rise at twice the rate of inflation according to research by Futurity Investment Group.
But keeping students at home is not a get-out-of-jail card, as families bear the brunt of social isolation.
Additional cost of mental health support
Ms Hill said one of the services schools are spending more money on is mental health support.
For Jacinta, a mother of three based in Thornbury, the need for mental health support was overwhelmingly clear from the start of the pandemic in 2020.
She had two children enrolled in public school at the time, one of whom has since graduated.
Both the children and Jacinta have been taking advice during the pandemic, and her youngest child, who is entering grade 10 this year, has struggled the most with the loss of daily in-person school interactions.
For Jacinta, supporting her family’s mental well-being added to the pressure trying to support their upbringing.
The children’s teachers have struggled to fill the gaps in remote learning, even though the school has hired occasional substitute teachers to monitor students as well.
Jacinta ended up shelling out an extra $90 a week for math lessons for her two children and $30 a week for guitar lessons for her youngest child to help keep him engaged in his learning.
Her family weren’t the only ones facing extra costs to learn from home, as data from the Futurity Investment Group shows it cost an average of $1,856 on top of regular tuition for the children to attend the homeschooling in 2021.
Although her family has been able to get through the past two years taking care of their education and mental health, Jacinta said she realizes that not everyone is able to access the same services.
She said the “large equity gap”, which is present even in publicly funded education, has been highlighted during the pandemic.
“Because I teach…I know there were families that didn’t have enough devices for the kids at home, they had to share, or they didn’t have good WiFi,” he said. she declared.
“I kept saying to my friends and family, ‘What about people who don’t have the things I have? How do they deal with that?
When asked to comment on the issue of rising education costs, a spokesperson for Acting Education and Youth Minister Stuart Robert said the federal government does not set the tuition fees, which are instead set by state and territory governments and the institution for non-governmental organizations. schools.
The spokesperson said $315.2 billion is expected to be provided to schools between 2018 and 2029 under the government’s Quality Schools scheme, with more than $24 billion provided in 2022.
Commonwealth funding for state schools has also increased by more than 64% per pupil over the past 10 years, and by more than 49% in non-government schools, they said.