WHAT ARE CASH=STRAPPED PRIVATE SCHOOL PARENTS DOING IN TIMES OF PLAGUE?

Press Release 853

AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT

SCHOOLS

PRESS RELEASE 853

WHAT ARE CASH=STRAPPED PRIVATE SCHOOL PARENTS

DOING IN TIMES OF PLAGUE?

Private school fees are fast becoming an unnecessary luxury for Melbourne parents as their businesses plummet into Covid-19 insolvency. Only taxpayer funding is keeping them afloat. Although, even in the best of times, such funding has long been crucial to their survival. Public schools are bracing for extra enrolments as stressed private school parents fall back on the system which will not and cannot turn them and their precious children away. And soon they will discover that the public system is as good if not better than the overpriced private alternative.

Not unsurprisingly, the private sector is screaming for help from taxpayers. The market that their promotors have bowqed down and worshipped, is punishing them.

 Perhaps it is time for them to forget about fees, open their schools to all comers and become genuinely public schools.

Perhaps the moment of truth has arrived, if not for their administrators, then for the parents taken in by their blandishments.

 NEW SOUTH WALES

In April Jordon Baker from the Sydney Morning Herald  informed us that student recruitment by the private sector was faced with shutdowns and social distancing. Face-to-face open days and tours were out of reach.  Schools reported lower enrolment interest as parents got bogged down by remote learning in term two and the COVID-19 recession.

After all, what exactly would parents be paying for?  

In April Up to 60 per cent of families at some independent schools in Sydney asked for fee relief, putting pressure on school budgets. Most private schools in Sydney resisted blanket discounts for families, instead focusing on those doing it toughest and extending payment

. Geoff Newcombe, chief executive of the Association of Independent Schools of NSW, said many independent schools were now suffering financial stress, "with an increasing number of parents, as high as 60 per cent in some schools, requesting part or full fee remission," he said.

"With the government’s decision not to allow decoupling of the financial arrangements of boarding schools and early childhood centres from the main school accounts, a number of these facilities are now facing imminent closure.

"Independent schools in NSW provide the majority of boarding places and if facilities close, many students from regional and remote areas will be denied the opportunity to complete their education at called on the federal government to bring forward the July funding instalment, give non-government schools access to the JobSeeker threshold and give private schools in financial stress emergency interest-free loans.

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan said the government "could look, potentially, at bringing some of those [scheduled] payments forward to help with cash flow".

Mark Spencer, director of public policy at Christian Schools Australia, which represents 155 sites across the country, said his schools were reporting between 20 and 30 per cent of families asking for fee relief or deferral. "Schools are obviously working hard with those parents to keep them there, it's really dislocating for kids to have to move schools," he said.

Mr Spencer is calling on the federal government to use enrolment figures at the beginning of term one, rather than the usual census in August, to determine the school's student numbers, and therefore its funding allocation.

He feared schools' government funding, on which they determined their budget forecasts at the beginning of the year, will be reduced if students are forced to drop out because their parents have lost their jobs.

"Schools are budgeted on what they got in the door at the beginning of term one, [knowing they will receive] no less would be a real safeguard," he said.

Independent schools were last week given permission to reduce non-teaching staff members' pay by 25 per cent and ask them to swap jobs – grounds keepers doing cleaning, for example – to help meet the fee shortfall.

That was NSW in April.  But what is happening in Victoria?

 

 VICTORIA

That was NSW in April.  But what is happening in Victoria? We are now in the second shutdown, so, really, what on earth would private school parents be paying for?

Madeleine Heffernan in the Age of May 31, told us that :

The coronavirus recession will kill off above-inflation fee rises at Victorian private schools, and may lead to hefty staff cuts and even school closures.

Peter Goss, the Grattan Institute's school education program director, said loss of employment and tightened household budgets would probably reduce the number of people able to pay high school fees in 2021.

"That shifts the balance of supply and demand, and will put pressure on fees," Dr Goss said.

"Some schools, if they lose a moderate proportion of enrolments for 2021, may become economically unviable.

"Unfortunately, I expect a number of schools will have to take drastic action – sacking teachers and support staff – to reduce their costs. And some may have to close down."

 

"That shifts the balance of supply and demand, and will put pressure on fees," Dr Goss said.

"Some schools, if they lose a moderate proportion of enrolments for 2021, may become economically unviable.

"Unfortunately, I expect a number of schools will have to take drastic action – sacking teachers and support staff – to reduce their costs. And some may have to close down."

Thirty-six per cent of Victorian students attend a non-government school, the second-highest rate in the country. This leaves Victorians sensitive to price rises that have exceeded inflation for more than a decade.

Many school budgets have already come under pressure as parents seek fee discounts and deferrals.

While most schools do their budgets in July or August, Scotch College – the second most expensive place to educate a year 12 student, with fees of almost $40,000 – has already announced it will not increase fees for next year.

Meanwhile, high-fee co-educational school Peninsula Grammar has said 40 per cent of parents are having trouble paying fees, and forecast a minimum 10 per cent decline in enrolments next year.

Dr Goss predicted schools in the mid- to high-fee market would moderate fee increases or freeze fees. "I think they will avoid cutting fees because that would send a signal to the market we need to drop fees to attract enrolments, and being oversubscribed or being perceived as being oversubscribed is a marker of success," he said.

Dr Goss said lower-fee to mid-fee non-government schools might be harder hit. "The so-called aspirational market is where families might be hit with a double whammy of loss of income due to COVID-19 without the family wealth to ride it out."

Education consultant Paul O'Shannassy said there were a "significant number of families who are struggling to pay fees and are on deferred fee arrangements or discounts, so how many of those will withdraw their children will be very interesting to see".

"Many have lost businesses and may have to cut discretionary spending, such as school fees," he said.

"If a private school loses 5 to 10 per cent enrolments, that could equate to as many as 200 students, which could have serious implications for staffing, funding and programs.

 

Peninsula Grammar has predicted a fall in enrolments for next year.Credit:Simon Schluter

"While each school is different, girls' school are more vulnerable because that market is more competitive."

Catholic Education Victoria said fees were a matter for individual schools and families affected by COVID-19 should contact their school for fee relief. Independent Schools Victoria was contacted for comment.

Dr Goss said the government would need to carefully assess whether a school was a genuine victim of the COVID-19 recession or was marginal and should be allowed to close.

 

Peninsula Grammar sheds staff as cash-strapped families quit school

"The best thing to do would be to bring forward the Choice and Affordability Fund [$1.2 billion for non-government schools] as needed to support viable schools that are high-quality and are hit hard by a short-term disruption."

School marketing expert Stephen Holmes said schools might need to get creative to boost their balance sheets during the downturn, such as increasing class sizes, dropping some services and charging for others.

"It's making schools look at their intrinsic worth," he said. "What would people give up for lower fees? What would they want more of if they [schools] said they were going to increase their fees?"

 

 

WHAT FEES DO PRIVATE SCHOOLS CHARGE IN VICTORIA?


Consider the following list of schools and fees charged for secondary education. Private School News Australia, has compiled all the available 2019 Private School secondary school fees, from Melbourne’s largest catholic and independent Private schools. Now you can compare Private Schools fees for March 2019 in Melbourne below .

What they will be in 2021 is another questions. But the following figures will give readers some idea of pressures on parents whose businesses or jobs are going under.

Private Schools Melbourne Compare secondary School fees

The fees listed below are for general tuition, with some school levy’s included. Uniforms and additional school levy’s  are not included.

 

MELBOURNE PRIVATE SCHOOL FEES 2019

SUBURB

YEAR 8

YEAR 10

YEAR 12

Geelong Grammar School

CORIO

$34,120

$41,260

$41,260

Mount Scopus Memorial College

BURWOOD

$34,980

$36,950

$37,880

Melbourne Girls Grammar

SOUTH YARRA

$33,896

$35,448

$36,276

Bialik College

HAWTHORN

$33,100

$35,950

$35,950

Lauriston Girls' School

ARMADALE

$32,664

$34,528

$34,528

Melbourne Grammar School

MELBOURNE

$32,160

$36,720

$34,260

Wesley College

MELBOURNE

$29,900

$33,520

$33,520

Ruyton Girls' School

KEW

$31,119

$32,148

$33,246

Camberwell Grammar School

CANTERBURY

$31,945

$32,605

$33,135

Brighton Grammar School

BRIGHTON

$32,691

$33,685

$32,693

Haileybury College

KEYSBOROUGH

$32,245

$32,580

$32,580

St Michael's Grammar School

ST KILDA

$32,920

$32,684

$32,535

Trinity Grammar School Kew

KEW

$30,960

$31,832

$32,280

Methodist Ladies' College

KEW

$29,790

$31,170

$32,130

Firbank Grammar School

BRIGHTON

$30,387

$31,803

$32,085

St Leonard's College

BRIGHTON EAST

$29,493

$30,968

$31,991

Carey Baptist Grammar School

KEW

$30,896

$30,896

$31,936

Caulfield Grammar School

ELSTERNWICK

$28,755

$31,254

$31,842

Presbyterian Ladies' College

BURWOOD

$28,620

$31,652

$31,652

Fintona Girls' School

BALWYN

$28,188

$29,216

$30,340

Xavier College

KEW

$28,100

$29,870

$29,870

Mentone Grammar School

MENTONE

$29,040

$29,580

$29,472

The Geelong College

NEWTOWN

$26,412

$29,284

$29,284

Genazzano FCJ College

KEW

$25,470

$28,680

$28,680

St Margaret's School

BERWICK

$27,160

$28,520

$28,520

Yarra Valley Grammar

RINGWOOD

$24,568

$26,596

$28,101

Shelford Girls' Grammar

CAULFIELD

$25,054

$27,154

$27,948

Loreto Mandeville Hall

TOORAK

$25,070

$27,420

$27,420

Ivanhoe Grammar School

IVANHOE

$26,540

$27,400

$27,400

Peninsula Grammar

MOUNT ELIZA

$25,533

$27,120

$27,120

Ivanhoe Girls' Grammar School

IVANHOE

$24,200

$26,100

$27,120

Woodleigh School

LANGWARRIN SOUTH

$23,483

$25,181

$26,345

Penleigh & Essendon Grammar School

KEILOR EAST

$20,996

$21,936

$21,564

Westbourne Grammar School

TRUGANINA

$20,236

$21,208

$21,208

Ballarat Grammar

WENDOUREE

$16,960

$20,180

$20,600

The Hamilton and Alexandra College

HAMILTON

$18,312

$19,616

$19,617

Ballarat Clarendon College

BALLARAT

$16,400

$19,130

$19,570

St Kevin's College

TOORAK

$19,100

$19,100

$19,100

Gippsland Grammar

SALE

$15,100

$15,560

$16,730

Overnewton Anglican Community College

KEILOR

$12,684

$15,568

$16,416

Luther College

CROYDON

$14,830

$15,670

$15,890

Christian College Bellarine

DRYSDALE

$13,348

   

Christian College Highton

HIGHTON

$13,348

$14,144

$15,468

Girton Grammar School

BENDIGO

$14,384

$14,384

$14,384

Kardinia International College

BELL POST HILL

$10,507

$12,413

$13,477

Braemar College

WOODEND

$11,200

$12,400

$13,184

The Kilmore International School

KILMORE

$9,970

$10,715

$12,820

Whitefriars College Inc

DONVALE

$11,780

$12,280

$12,780

Marcellin College

BULLEEN

$11,180

$12,480

$12,480

St Paul's Anglican Grammar School

WARRAGUL

$10,450

$11,641

$12,406

Star of the Sea College

BRIGHTON

$11,134

$12,223

$12,275

Donvale Christian College

DONVALE

$10,965

$10,965

$12,135

Oxley Christian College

CHIRNSIDE PARK

$9,158

$10,822

$11,970

De La Salle College

MALVERN

$11,957

$11,957

$11,957

Beaconhills College

PAKENHAM

$9,640

$11,610

$11,610

Melbourne Rudolf Steiner School

WARRANWOOD

$9,727

$10,079

$10,975

Waverley Christian College

WANTIRNA SOUTH

$8,550

$8,550

$10,440

Bacchus Marsh Grammar

BACCHUS MARSH

$9,060

$9,908

$10,232

Balcombe Grammar School

MOUNT MARTHA

$9,588

$9,588

$10,140

Heathdale Christian College

WERRIBEE

$9,580

$9,990

$9,990

Catholic Ladies' College Ltd

ELTHAM

$9,740

$9,982

$9,982

St Columba's College

ESSENDON

$9,300

$9,600

$9,600

Our Lady of Sion College

BOX HILL

$9,090

$9,410

$9,410

Our Lady of Mercy College

HEIDELBERG

$9,400

$9,400

$9,400

St Bernard's College

ESSENDON

$8,601

$9,505

$9,125

Flinders Christian Community College

TYABB

$7,835

$8,405

$8,925

Gilson College

TAYLORS HILL

$8,280

$8,280

$8,900

Hillcrest Christian College

CLYDE NORTH

$7,747

$8,356

$8,772

Newhaven College

NEWHAVEN

$7,572

$8,020

$8,652

St Joseph's College

FERNTREE GULLY

$8,320

$8,320

$8,320

Aitken College

GREENVALE

$7,132

$8,006

$8,006

Lakeside College

PAKENHAM

$7,380

$7,740

$7,990

Sacred Heart Girls' College

OAKLEIGH

$7,950

$8,250

$7,950

Hume Anglican Grammar

CRAIGIEBURN

$6,520

$7,190

$7,920

Emmaus College

VERMONT SOUTH

$8,325

$7,650

$7,870

Salesian College

CHADSTONE

$6,780

$6,780

$7,690

Heritage College

NARRE WARREN SOUTH

$6,693

$7,357

$7,688

Avila College

MOUNT WAVERLEY

$7,390

$7,390

$7,590

Loyola College

WATSONIA

$6,939

$6,939

$7,538

Chairo Christian School

DROUIN

$6,590

$6,950

$7,527

Sacred Heart College

NEWTOWN

$7,000

$7,000

$7,500

Assumption College

KILMORE

$6,993

$7,254

$7,413

Mazenod College

MULGRAVE

$7,350

$7,350

$7,350

St Bede's College

MENTONE

$7,400

$7,610

$7,030

Loreto College

BALLARAT

$6,395

$6,615

$7,030

Lighthouse Christian College

CRANBOURNE

$5,593

$6,338

$6,976

St Patrick's College Ballarat

BALLARAT

$6,100

$6,550

$6,950

St Monica's College

EPPING

$6,055

$6,390

$6,850

Parade College

BUNDOORA

$6,143

$6,534

$6,806

Mount Lilydale Mercy College

LILYDALE

$6,800

$6,800

$6,800

Santa Maria College

NORTHCOTE

$6,610

$6,610

$6,610

Salesian College

SUNBURY

$6,400

$6,400

$6,400

Padua College

MORNINGTON

$5,770

$5,770

$6,380

Damascus College

MOUNT CLEAR

$5,505

$6,065

$6,355

Marymede Catholic College

SOUTH MORANG

$5,726

$6,037

$6,338

Kilbreda College

MENTONE

$6,300

$6,300

$6,300

St Joseph's College Geelong

NEWTOWN

$6,280

$6,280

$6,280

MacKillop Catholic Regional College

WERRIBEE

$5,330

$5,730

$6,165

Emmanuel College

ALTONA NORTH

$5,700

$5,290

$5,720

Catholic College Wodonga

WODONGA

$5,200

$5,640

$5,710

Sirius College

BROADMEADOWS

$4,775

$5,040

$5,700

Australian International Academy of Education

COBURG

$4,056

$5,290

$5,644

Lavalla Catholic College

TRARALGON

$5,322

$5,589

$5,589

Mount St Joseph Girls' College

ALTONA

$5,508

$5,020

$5,568

Mercy College

COBURG NORTH

$5,550

$5,550

$5,550

Thomas Carr College

TARNEIT

$5,680

$5,530

$5,530

Marist-Sion College

WARRAGUL

$5,390

$5,390

$5,390

Caroline Chisholm Catholic College

BRAYBROOK

$4,530

$5,140

$5,200

Catholic College Sale

SALE

$5,185

$5,185

$5,185

St Peter's College

CRANBOURNE

$5,150

$5,150

$5,150

Saint Ignatius College Geelong

DRYSDALE

$5,100

$5,100

$5,100

St Joseph's College Mildura

MILDURA

$5,021

$5,021

$5,021

Holy Trinity Lutheran School

HORSHAM

$4,142

$4,796

$4,796

St Francis Xavier College

BEACONSFIELD

$5,300

$5,300

$4,750

Galen Catholic College

WANGARATTA

$4,070

$4,540

$4,750

Emmanuel College Inc.

WARRNAMBOOL

$4,253

$4,503

$4,600

Catholic Regional College Melton

MELTON WEST

$4,070

$4,070

$4,330

FCJ College

BENALLA

$4,300

$4,300

$4,300

Penola Catholic College

BROADMEADOWS

$3,080

$3,499

$3,999

Al-Taqwa College

HOPPERS CROSSING

$3,175

$3,255

$3,885

Kolbe Catholic College

GREENVALE

$3,300

$3,600

$3,880

St John's Regional College

DANDENONG

$3,434

$3,645

$3,845

Notre Dame College

SHEPPARTON

$3,840

$3,840

$3,840

Sacred Heart School

YARRAWONGA

$3,810

$3,810

$3,810

Simonds Catholic College

WEST MELBOURNE

$3,390

$3,390

$3,780

Clonard College

HERNE HILL

$3,660

$3,660

$3,660

St Mary MacKillop College

SWAN HILL

$3,720

$3,880

$3,650

Victory Christian College

STRATHDALE

$3,330

$3,330

$3,440

Darul Ulum College of Victoria

FAWKNER

$2,800

$2,800

$3,280

Ilim College

DALLAS

$3,728

$3,728

$3,278

St Joseph's College

ECHUCA

$3,250

$3,250

$3,250

Highview Christian Community College

MARYBOROUGH

$3,180

$3,180

$3,180

Cobram Anglican Grammar School

COBRAM

$3,125

$3,125

$3,125

Mercy Regional College

CAMPERDOWN

$3,144

$2,839

$3,121

Minaret College

SPRINGVALE

$2,500

$2,800

$2,800

Killester College

SPRINGVALE

$2,130

$2,130

$2,130

Marian College

ARARAT

$1,815

$1,815

$1,815

St James'  College

BENTLEIGH EAST

$6,400

$6,500

 

Trinity Lutheran College

MILDURA

$4,875

$5,845

 

Catholic Regional College St Albans

ST ALBANS

$2,318

$2,318

 

Islamic College Of Melbourne

TARNEIT

$2,000

$2,000

 

St Mary's College

SEYMOUR

$1,530

$1,530

 
         

 

 

 

 

 

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