With Townsville parents already forking out hundreds of dollars more for their child’s private school tuition in 2019, they’re also being hit with a raft of additional levies and charges for special subjects, outdoor camps, building upgrades and even cleaning fees.
A look at the 2019 fee structures for private schools across the region shows nearly half have increased their annual fees by more than the cost of inflation.
All Souls St Gabriels School in Charters Towers will increase fees for Year 7 students by 6 per cent in 2019 — more than three times the inflation rate of 1.9 per cent.
Some Townsville private schools are also slapping parents with extra fees into the hundreds in the form of special subject levies including home economics, drama and even biology, and also charging compulsory contributions to school building funds.
Others also charge a non-refundable enrolment application and confirmation fees for new students.
Only one Townsville school is keeping their fees the same as last year, and one Townsville school is actually reducing their fees this year.
But their 2019 school fees for high schoolers are 0.25% lower, costing $5900 for Years 7-12, which includes a building fund levy.
For primary students in Years 3-6 the annual tuition fee for 2019 is $4750, which is a 9.4% drop to their fee last year at $5245.
Calvary Christian College’s base fee rate for Senior Secondary students (Years 11-12) increased by 3.07% this year, up to $5360 for the year’s fees.
Fees for Year 7 students had a similar increase, from $4860 last year to $5010 tuition in 2019, plus $1900 for a compulsory class trip to Canberra.
There’s also a $100 application fee for new families, but a 2.5% discount on tuition fees if paid in a lump sum.
There’s also a compulsory $150 ‘PiP levy’ for all students — the Parents in Partnership levy encouraging parent participation is refundable for five hours’ volunteer work by parents.
Annual fees at St Patrick’s College increased by 3.2% for 2019. Their annual fees for 2019 are $4980 for Years 7-10 and $5160 for Years 11-12. These fees include a building fund levy ($490 per family) and $50 P&F levy.
Townsville Grammar School’s fees have increased by 2.75%, with Years 7-12 now $12,380 a year and Prep-Year 6 students $9200 a year.
The school also has an enrolment application fee of $110 and confirmation fee of $300 for new students, as well as a ‘general purpose levy’ of $400 a year for all students.
Ryan Catholic College’s fees have increased 1.3% for 2019, with this year’s fees $3416 for primary schoolers and $4976 for high schoolers which includes all levies.
St Anthony’s Catholic College increased fees by about 1.5%, with primary school students $3106 for the year and $4250 for high school students this year. This total includes tuition, a school-based levy and building fund levy.
Annual tuition fees at St Margaret Mary’s College increased by 3% to $2276 for all students.
In addition to this yearly cost, there’s also a school-based levy of $1960 per student per year for excursions, camps, teaching materials etc.
Their P&F levy is $6.30 a year and a compulsory ‘family levy’ of $620 per family to help service the college’s loans on buildings or to maintain buildings and grounds. The total yearly fee per student adds up to $4862.30 a year.
St Joseph’s Catholic School on The Strand has increased their diocesan fee by 3% for 2019, up to $1516 for the year.
There are additional annual levies to the main school fees, including a $610 building fund levy (per family), $420 cleaning levy (per family), $577 resource levy (per child), $120 computer levy (per child) and $30 excursion levy (per child) — bringing the total fee for the year up to $3273 for one child.
Good Shepherd Catholic Community School’s fees rose by 1.76%, up to $2584 for the year. The total is inclusive of tuition plus resource and building
Holy Spirit School’s fees jumped 1.4%, charging $3220 for 2019. This includes $1304 in school levies and a $400 capital works levy.
The Marian School’s annual fees increased by 3% at $1516 for 2019. Additional school fees include a development levy ($720 for the year), resource levy ($768) and P&F levy of $10.
Southern Cross Catholic School’s fees rose by 2.5% in 2019, increasing to $2834 for primary students and $4159 for secondary students, which includes a school-based levy and building levy.
St Joseph’s Catholic School in Mundingburra increased their fees by 1.5%, up to $2876 a year for tuition and levies. There’s also a prep levy of $25 per term.
All Souls St Gabriels School in Charters Towers increased their Prep-Year 6 fees by 2% (to $3825), Year 7 fees increased by 6% to $7950 and there was an $80 increase for Years 11-12, up to $9300 for the year.
In 2019 there’s a compulsory IT levy to “partly fund IT infrastructure” — $60 per term for junior school and $85 per term for secondary school students. Academic subject levies are included in school fees but extracurriculars like horse club are $145 per term and cattle club at $100 per term.
There’s also a non-refundable application fee of $50 as well as a $150 enrolment confirmation fee for new students.
Columba Catholic College Charters Towers kept their fees the same as last year, $2386 for primary students and $6220 for high school students.
There is also a $300 student levy, $40 locker levy for high schoolers, $100 compulsory P&F Association membership and $360 building fund levy.
Independent Schools Queensland executive director David Robertson said private schools were “open and transparent” about their fees and published details about their tuition costs and charges on their websites.
“School fees are an important part of the information parents seek and schools readily provide this information to prospective families,” Mr Robertson told the Courier Mail.
“Many Queensland independent schools publish their fees, including a breakdown of compulsory and voluntary costs, on their websites and update these each year.”
The Cathedral School of St Anne and St James are yet to post their 2019 schedule of fees.
In 2018, school fees ranged from $8112 a year for Prep-Year 3 pupils up to $11,852 for seniors (Y10-12).
Fees also include a non-refundable application fee of $80 and confirmation fee of $300.
The Cathedral School also has ‘outdoor education’ fees for an annual camp, which ranges from $150 for Year 2 up to $1365 for Year 10 students.
There are also fees for some elective subjects, including $165 for Year 11 Biology & Science 21, $160 for Year 11-12 drama and $300 for Year 11 technology studies.
Our Lady of Lourdes in Ingham have increased their fees by 2.95%. In addition to tuition of $1516 per year, there is also compulsory levies charged including a maintenance levy ($200 per family per year), cleaning levy ($200 per family), building levy ($300 per family), resource levy ($170 per child), IT levy ($50 per child) and Prep levy ($80 per child).
Blackheath & Thornburgh College in Charters Towers have not publicly posted their 2019 school fees, but last year ranged from $3376 for Prep students up to $9700 for Years 11-12 students.
There’s also a non-refundable $50 application fee for new students as well as a $100 enrolment acceptance fee.
Ignatius Park College, Riverside Adventist Christian School, Burdekin Christian College, Burdekin Catholic High School, St Colman’s School Home Hill, St Francis School Ayr, St Teresa’s College at Abergowrie, All Souls St Gabriels School, Gilroy Santa Maria College and St Peter’s School Halifax have not publicly listed their school fees for 2019.
To search for and compare schools based on tuition fees and other criteria, visit www.goodschools.com.au.
This article originally appeared in the Townsville Bulletin – Townsville’s private school fees revealed