Private education costs $475,000: report

Melissa Jenkins
(Australian Associated Press)

Private education costs have soared at almost double the rate of wages growth over the past decade, new research shows.

The cost of private education rose by an estimated 61 per cent over the ten years to 2018 but wages grew by just 34 per cent over that time, according to figures from education savings plan provider ASG.

For a child born this year, the estimated average cost of a metropolitan government education from pre-school to the end of high school is $66,320, according to ASG’s Planning for Education Index.

Parents whose children have a faith-based education will fork out $240,679, while parents choosing to send their child to private school will pay around $475,342.

Extracurricular activities will cost parents up to $1,663 for secondary school children in metropolitan government schools, up to $1,541 for faith based schools and up to $1,809 for private schools.

At $547,414, Sydney is the most expensive city for private education, while the public education system costs the most in Melbourne where parents will pay an average of $75,263, or 13 per cent more than the national average of $66,320.

Brisbane is the cheapest city for private education, costing an estimated $368,573, which is more than $100,000 less expensive than the national metropolitan average.

But Brisbane also has the most expensive faith-based education, costing an estimated $251,866, some $11,000 more than the national average.

While education costs continue to rise, the rate of increase has slowed and the forecast cost of private education has fallen by $11,751 compared with last year.

But ASG chief operating officer Bruce Hawkins said education costs are placing more pressure on parents’ purse strings due to sluggish wages growth.

“Education costs are demanding a far greater share of the family wallet than in the past, placing more burden on the average family, already challenged by the rising cost of living,” he said.

“If you have three children, the cost of educating them in Sydney or Melbourne’s private education system could top $1.6 million.

“That’s significantly more than the purchase price of the average family home.”

ASG’s research is based on the responses of 13,500 parents asked to estimate education costs covering preschool, primary and secondary schools.


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