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Cost of living forcing kids out of private schools

Aussie parents are turning their backs on private schools due to rising costs.

A composite image of kids in class from a private school in Sydney and Australian money to represent the rising cost of living,
The rising cost of living is pushing students out of private schools. (Source: Getty)

The cost-of-living crisis has seen millions of Aussie families switching to public schooling to save the budget, according to new research.

According to Finder’s Parenting Report 2023, which surveyed 1,032 Australian parents of children under 12, 17 per cent were contemplating moving their child from a private school to a public school to reduce their expenses.

A further 10 per cent of families had already made the switch to a public school as living costs skyrocket. Families in NSW (14 per cent) were more likely to have already made the switch, compared to VIC (8 per cent) and Qld (8 per cent).

Sending a child to a private primary school costs, on average, $7,967 per year in Victoria, compared to just $303 for a public school.

Finder money expert Sarah Megginson said the costs of private school were becoming unmanageable for some.

“A private school education is a ‘luxury’, with many families having to prioritise other expenses like housing, groceries and petrol costs. With so many bills rising, private schooling is on the chopping block,” Megginson said.

This comes after Finder analysis found back-to-school costs in 2023 – including tuition, supplies and other costs – were set to burn an $11.4 billion hole in parents’ pockets.

That's $2,325 for each primary school child and $4,212 for secondary students, on average, for school expenses this year.

Finder’s Parenting Report 2023 found almost one in four (22 per cent) would keep their children in private schools, despite the rising cost of living.

The largest exodus was expected in NSW – where one in five parents (20 per cent) admitted they were considering moving their children from private to public schools. This was in addition to the 14 per cent who already moved to less pricey pastures.

That’s compared to 19 per cent of parents in VIC who were considering moving their child from a private school to a public school, and 16 per cent in Qld.

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