Are schools north or south of the river getting more expensive?


Are schools north or south of the river getting more expensive?

Private school fees across Western Australia have jumped significantly over the past year, with schools in areas closest to the CBD and in the northern suburbs typically the most expensive.

The 2023 National School Fees Report, released on Wednesday by Edstart, revealed WA school fees rose by almost 4.5 per cent on average, up from just under 4 per cent last year.

The highest fee is now $33,460 at Presbyterian Ladies’ College, including compulsory fees, with the median cost across Perth sitting at $9442.

In Perth’s south-east, fees rose by an average 4.83 per cent, up from 2.26 per cent in 2023, and in Peel, the average increase jumped from 4.07 per cent to 5.5 per cent.

But in the north-west, the average increase dropped from 3.9 per cent in 2023 to 3.76 per cent, and in the north-east, the median fee declined by $400.

WA sits below the national average for fee increases, which is now 5.85 per cent.

Schools with annual fees below $10,000 also increased their costs less than schools with higher annual fees.

Edstart chief-executive Jack Stevens said the increases were to be expected.

“School fees rise in line with the operating costs of each school which has increased as a result of high inflation in the economy and upward pressure on staff wages,” he said.

“Rising staff wages are also behind the higher fee increase with many non-government schools offering pay rises to attract and retain teaching staff. With salaries comprising around 70 per cent of a school’s expenditure, this can place significant pressure on their budget.”

Nationally, some schools kept their fees steady, while others have listed increases of above 10 per cent.

Despite the higher average fee increase, 8 per cent of schools did not increase their fees at all this year, twice as many as 2023.

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