Central West parents who enrol their children in government schools this year will spend almost $74,000 over 13 years.
That’s according to Australian Scholarships Group Friendly Society Ltd (ASG), a not-for-profit organisation which conducted a study with the help of Monash University.
Its study showed that government education was the most expensive in regional NSW compared with other regions in the country.
It said the cost for regional NSW over 13 years ($73,808) is 27.3 per cent above the national average ($57,994) and 11 per cent higher than Sydney ($66,470).
The amount for regional NSW ($73,808) is 27.3 per cent above the national average ($57,994) and 11 per cent higher than Sydney ($66,470).ASG
“School fees ($332) make up a small fraction of the estimated total cost of a government education each year in regional NSW, with sports equipment ($349), external tuition ($915) and devices ($1252) all costing parents more,” the study said.
The median cost of a government education was estimated to be $65,410 in regional Queensland and $53,094 in regional Western Australia.
The median cost of a Catholic education was estimated at $112,248 for regional NSW and it is somewhat similar to the cost ($114,531) in Sydney.
“School fees ($3152) are easily the most expensive component of a Catholic education in regional NSW, well ahead of other annual expenses including uniforms ($387), musical equipment ($484) and devices ($943),” the study said.
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ASG CEO Ross Higgins said irrespective of Australia’s high or low inflationary environment, the cost of education has risen at more than double the rate of inflation over the past decade.
“Education costs, including tuition costs, uniforms, transport and devices, are demanding a far greater share of the family budget than in the past,” Mr Higgins said.
“More than ever, the costs associated with education are placing more of a burden on Australian families, which are already challenged by the rising cost of living.
“With less discretionary money to spend, it’s going to be very hard to pay for education, which means parents who have saved will be in a better position in the long run.
NSW shadow minister for education Jihad Dib said parents are increasingly being forced to pay more for sports equipment, laptops, transport, tutors and basics like toilet paper.
“The hidden costs are on top of government school fees,” Mr Dib said.
Member for Dubbo Troy Grant said the costs were directly out of the control of the government.
“We do not set the prices for uniforms, shoes, extra-curricular activities, excursions and a myriad of other things that are involved with getting a child through 13 years of gaining an education.”
“We are mindful of the stress that comes with the cost of living, and NSW public schools have never been better funded than they are now.”
The median cost of an independent school education is estimated to be $203,654 in regional NSW and $461,999 in Sydney, which is the highest in the country.
“School fees are the most expensive part of an independent education in regional NSW, costing parents approximately $8500 per child per year, well ahead of uniforms ($466), transport ($626) and devices ($900),” the study said.
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