Why do independent schools exist?
The independent sector provides parents from varied socio-economic backgrounds a choice of school based on values, community and culture. The more choice parents have, the better they will be able to select a school that suits their children's needs.
The tuition fees paid by independent school parents reduce the financial impost on governments. Australian governments would need to spend an additional $8.3 billion annually on education if non-state schools did not exist.
By encouraging choice and supporting independent schools, governments are able to spend less on providing schools and can fund other community services. Ultimately, the whole society benefits from the vibrant and diverse school options made available to Australian families.
Who attends independent schools?
Queensland's independent schools educate more than 116,000 students at 188 schools across more than 200 campuses. That's 15 per cent of all school students, and nearly 20 per cent of secondary students in the state.
Our sector is growing. The number of students at independent schools has increased by 39 per cent over the past decade.
Independent schools provide education to communities with widely varying backgrounds including Indigenous families, new migrants and young people at risk of disengaging from schooling.
More than half of all Queensland's independent schools serve communities with average or lower income families.
How are independent schools funded?
The average cost of educating a child at an independent school is much the same as educating a child at a state school. Independent schools receive funding from Federal and State Governments calculated as a proportion of the cost of educating a child in a state school.
On average, across the independent school sector in Queensland, 50% of funding comes from government (approximately 35% from the Federal Government and approximately 15% from the State Government). The other 50% of funding comes from parents. The level of government funding received is a major determinate in setting school fees along with the rising cost of education.
Education costs include increases in teacher salaries, capital costs for new buildings and maintenance programs plus implementation of the Australian curriculum.
Many independent schools offer scholarships and bursaries for students whose parents are unable to pay full fees.
Why do independent schools receive government funding?
All children are entitled to a high-quality education supported by public funding. The government provides funding for both government and non-government schools to ensure that all students have access to a quality education.
It is the right of all parents to decide on the best school for their children. The more choice parents have in selecting a school, the better they will be able to select a school that suits their children's needs.
To ensure that parents of all income levels have even greater educational choice, governments provide more funding to non-government schools which serve the neediest communities.
Who funds the cost of building an independent school?
Overall, parents fund 80 per cent of the cost of school buildings at independent schools in Australia.
The limited amount of government funding for the construction of independent schools goes mostly to those schools with the greatest need.