The funding of education in Australia has become a real talking point in recent times. No longer just the conversation piece of politicians, bureaucrats and educators, how schools are funded is just as likely to be talked about at your next backyard barbecue.
Education and schooling at all levels comes at a cost. The starting point for most parents is to consider cost versus value: Is private school worth it? Here’s a snapshot of how private schools are funded*:
- In 2014, following the Gonski Review, a new funding model was legislated known as the ‘Schooling Resource Standard’ (SRS).
- Under the SRS, non–government schools are subject to ‘capacity to contribute’, which means that the amount of base funding they receive is dependent on the school community’s estimated capacity to pay. Parents at government schools don’t face this impost.
- Currently, independent schools derive approximately 60% of funding from private sources (fees and donations) and 40% from all government sources; however, the proportions of private/government funding vary greatly from school to school. Schools with a higher estimated capacity to pay receive less per capita funding.
- Independent schools in higher socio-economic areas currently receive approximately 1/5 of government funding to that of government schools.
- In 2013, on average, parents and donors in independent school communities contributed 82% of funds for capital works such as school buildings, grounds and equipment.
At Trinity, we firmly believe in parents having a thorough understanding of how their school is funded because we don’t believe value can be fully measured without understanding the funding part of the equation.
Private schools are generally associated with providing a wide range of opportunities, whether academic or co-curricular, that may not always be available in a public school. Private schools may have a reputation for:
- Smaller class sizes and individualised learning.
- High quality teaching from teachers who demonstrate a mastery of their subject area.
- Engaging learning environments.
- Strong academic success.
- An extensive co-curricular offering, whether it be arts, sport or community based and have the resources and facilities to maximise these opportunities.
- A peer group of highly motivated like-minded friends.
- Long-held traditions and rituals that contribute to the school’s culture and value set.
Ultimately, whether you decide a private school education is worth the investment is going to depend on your family’s situation, priorities and what suits your child.
At Trinity Grammar School, our focus is on developing the whole student, allowing boys to gain confidence in their abilities and achieve excellence in whatever they pursue.
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*Source: (How Governments Fund Independent Schools, Snapshot 2015.)