Extra cost of going private
Add-on school charges hit parents
EDUCATION REPORTER PARENTS already paying thousands to send their children to private schools are being hit with a raft of additional fees.
They include technology levies and stationery charges that run into the hundreds as wealthy independent schools in Brisbane impose a number of extra charges to cover costs for building upgrades, school camps and even photocopying.
While some schools, have moved to an “all-inclusive” fee structure, others are informing parents they will have to pay extra on top of tuition fees.
At some schools, extra charges add thousands to tuition fees making it difficult for parents in school selection and affordability.
Technology levies are now commonplace and range from $100 a year for senior students at St Peter’s College in Indooroopilly to $1200 for seniors at Brisbane Boys’ College in Toowong.
While some schools have voluntary contributions to building maintenance funds, others charge compulsory capital levies, or infrastructure fees. Some schools also bill for stationery costs, including photocopying.
Anglican Church Grammar School, or Churchie, in Years 7-12 has a $200 book rental levy and another $320 for a stationery pack, and Somerville House charges $500 for the stationery.
General or co-curricular levies are also often charged as tuition fee add-ons and include expenses for camps, music and sport.
Kedron’s Padua College charges seniors a $2025 an- General/activity levies Technology/ICT levies Infrastructure/building levies Stationery levies Religious body levies nual activity levy and St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School in Corinda has a $494 general levy for Year 12 students for excursions, student ID cards and diaries.
Sue Kloeden, executive officer of the Queensland Independent Schools Parents Network, said there was a preference among parents for clear, all-inclusive fees.
Catherine and Brendan Fitzgerald have their four children in private schools and took into account extra costs. “There are a lot of little costs that you don’t really think about,’’ Ms Fitzgerald said. Brisbane Boys’ College technology levy Padua College general purpose and activity levy St Laurence’s College compulsory building levy NO SURPRISES: Scarborough mum Catherine Fitzgerald, with children David 14, Georgina 9, Robert 11, and John 12, has taken the extra costs into account. Picture: Lachie Millard
$500-$2000+ $100-$1000+ $300-$1000 $300-$500 $50-$140 $1200 $2025 $196 a term