What’s the cost saving for public vs private school?

Parents can save up to $750,000 in school fees for choosing public education over private a new study has shown.

A study on the typical costs for a public education versus a private education across Australian metropolitan regions was conducted by the Australian Scholarships Group (ASG) in collaboration with Monash University in early 2019.

The study factored in tuition costs, uniforms, transport, devices and other related education expenses over a full 13 years of primary and secondary schooling if a child were to start school in 2019.

Based on Census data for the average number of children per family in Sydney (1.9), Brisbane (1.9) and Melbourne (1.8), the total savings for choosing public over private schooling were $751,505 for Sydney families, $662,018 for Melbourne families and $254,617 for Brisbane families.

Total education costs for public vs private school

Of the eastern capital cities, for private education, Sydney was ranked as the most expensive per child with a total education cost of $461,999; followed by Melbourne ($438,391) and then Brisbane ($209,609).

Comparatively, for public schools, Brisbane recorded the highest overall public education cost ($75,600), followed by Melbourne ($70,603) and then Sydney ($66,470).

The study was based on data sourced from 2,300 members from the ASG regarding education costs, as well as publicly available information on school fees from the Good Schools Guide and My School online resources.

Strong demand for a good school catchment area

With the cost of schooling representing such a significant portion of household expenses, it comes as little surprise that properties located in top public school catchments are highly sought after.

Strong demand can add pressure to property prices in desirable catchment areas and factor into investor decisions.

“Buying in the right public school catchment zone can be a top priority for many families who either can’t afford or prefer not to send their kids to private school,” said Ironfish Head of Property, William Mitchell.

“It’s interesting to see how a property’s investment performance may be influenced by the public school catchment zone it falls in – and the relative demand for properties situated in a preferred school catchment area.”

‘If a family knows they’re going to save $750,000 for Sydney school fees– how much more will they be prepared to pay to get into a top quality public school catchment suburb over an adjacent suburb not within the same catchment zone?”

Want to learn more about the fundamental drivers for property performance in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth or Adelaide? Download our latest quarterly market report.

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