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$60,000 per child for 'free' classes

| 17.01,12. 12:41 PM |


$60,000 per child for 'free' classes

January 17, 2012

IT'S supposed to be free but a public education costs families more than $60,000 a child.
New figures show the cost skyrockets to about $408,000 if the child attends a metropolitan private school and $176,145 for an independent school.

The Australian Scholarships Group, a not-for-profit organisation which helps parents plan for education costs, compiled the estimates based on a survey of 12,000 people on the cost of school fees, travel, uniforms, computer equipment and extracurricular activities.

The survey suggests public education expenses will increase by about 12 per cent over the next five years. Families of children beginning preschool this year can expect to pay on average $62,497 for 14 years of public education in a metropolitan area, $47,326 in regional areas.

This total is expected to rise to $70,552 for metropolitan schools in 2016. It is estimated the cost of a private education will rise by about 25 per cent over the same period of time.

At a government preschool in metropolitan NSW this year, families will pay up to $2199, including $1242 on fees, $511 on extracurricular activities, $121 on clothing, $89 on necessities, and $236 on travel.

The cost of educating a Year 12 student in 2012 is almost double that amount. Families will pay $866 on school fees, $1755 for extracurricular activities, $394 on uniforms, $345 on necessities, $195 on travel and $805 on computers.

Mum Rachael Sowden said she put aside money every week to help pay for her four children's school costs: "There are so many costs involved with sending them to school, it's not just the uniform. They need to have a new school bag, to have their hair cut, they need new pencil cases, and then there are school excursions."

Her eldest daughter Hannah last year went on a school trip to the snow which cost $850 and an excursion to the Gold Coast.

Australian Scholarships Group general manager development Frida Kordovoulos said many families were not prepared for the hidden costs of educating their children.

"Parents often overlook the total cost of education when budgeting as they tend to focus mainly on the annual school fees," she said.


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