Parents are coughing up less to send their children to Gold Coast’s best private schools than other large cities in Australia.
Data from Good Education Media shows private school fees increased 35 per cent on the Glitter Strip from 2009 to 2016, or from $5565 on average each year to $7648.
By comparison, fees in Brisbane rose 47 per cent to $10,302 in the same period and more than 50 per cent across Australia.
Year on year Gold Coast parents budgeted for an average 4 per cent increase in fees, well above inflation.
Gold Coast Christian College, Silkwood School and St Andrews Lutheran College posted the steepest fee hikes on the Gold Coast over the 2009-2016 period, with increases of 93, 57 and 53 per cent respectively.
Ross White, from Good Education Media, said the Gold Coast’s private school pricing stood out when compared with other major cities.
“While we can’t compare the data to other regional areas, the Gold Coast’s fees on average have remained relatively low when compared to major population centres,” Mr White said.
“We can speculate that there are two major drivers behind the increase in school fees, that is population and technology booms.”
“Population is a price driver in metropolitan cities as more people struggle to get a place in the right schools and schools are forced to build up.
“Whether or not that is behind the price direction n the Gold Coast is another case.”
Michael Laidler, the principal at Assisi College, said his school was conscious of slow-wage growth.
“We try to give as much value as possible for parents,” he said. “As much as people say things are OK I think there are a lot of people hurting out there.
“The thing is wages aren’t going up by 5 and 6 per cent every year so we don’t match that.”
Mr Laidler said the Gold Coast’s education reputation had prompted families to move to the city.
“My observation is that big city fees are quite astronomical. As a city we strike the right balance between that large population and affordability.”
King’s Christian College had been able to keep prices relatively low despite opening a second campus at Pimpama.
Finance administrator Elaine Clinton said the school did not add extras to their fee structure.
PRIVATE SCHOOL FEE INCREASES 2009-2016
Top three schools
|Gold Coast College||93%||$3194 – $6152|
|Silkwood School||57%||$3586 – $5621|
|St Andrews College||53%||$4297 – $6516|
Bottom three schools
|Assisi Catholic College||22%||$2987 – $3537|
|King’s College||25%||$4303 – $5358|
|Aquinas College||26%||$4705 – $5902|
STATE AVERAGE FEE INCREASES 2009-2016
|State||% increase||Average fees|
|QLD||42%||$4481 – $6379|
|– Brisbane||47%||$5565 – $7648|
|– Gold Coast||47%||$6998 – $10302|
|ACT||48%||$6048 – $8959|
|NSW||42%||$5053 – $7187|
|NT||50%||$2353 – $3529|
|SA||53%||$4567 – $7003|
|TAS||36%||$3512 – $4905|
|VIC||45%||$6459 – $9342|
|WA||50%||$4750 – $7124|
Source: The Good Schools Guide 2009-2016 school fees data (Good Education Media)
This article originally featured in the Gold Coast Bulletin – Gold Coast private school fees: The city’s cheapest school fees revealed