25/01/2016 - 14:50

Diversity reigns at private schools

25/01/2016 - 14:50


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Parents who send their children to private schools in 2016 are paying on average 2.2 times more than they did a decade ago.

Enrolments at WA private schools have grown by more than 41 per cent in the past decade

Parents who send their children to private schools in 2016 are paying on average 2.2 times more than they did a decade ago.

According to BNiQ data, the average increase in fees for the top 20 private schools in Western Australia, ranked by number of enrolments, has grown by more than 127 per cent, in real terms.

In 2006, WA’s most expensive private school was the Australian School for International Education, which then charged $13,500 per annum.

This year the most expensive school is Scotch College, where the highest fee is $26,148.

Over the same 10-year period, enrolments at private schools that are members of the Association of Independent Schools of WA have grown by more than 41 per cent.

 Source: BNiQ and NGIS Australia

Perth geospatial business NGIS Australia used BNiQ data to create the map (above), which shows where private schools are located in and around Perth, as well as their religious affiliation, number of students and annual fees.

A small number of large, expensive schools are mainly centred in the western suburbs and near the Swan River, while a much greater proportion of smaller, cheaper schools are distributed throughout the suburbs.

This mix aligns with recent data from the Independent Schools Council of Australia, which found 81 per cent of WA’s private schools charge fees below $10,000 per year, and only 10 per cent charge $20,000 per year or more.

ISCA data also showed the annual household incomes of families who send their children to private schools in WA is higher than the national average.

According to ISCA, 51 per cent of families with students in private schools in WA reported incomes of $130,000 or more, 39 per cent reported incomes between $41,600 and $129,999, and 10 per cent reported incomes of less than $41,599.

Outside of fee variances, ISCA data shows students in WA’s independent schools come from diverse ethnic backgrounds.

WA has the highest gathering of students at private schools with English and South African backgrounds.

In WA, 90 per cent of independent school students hold Australian citizenship.

This figure, while high, is the lowest nationally, with 97 per cent of students in the Australian Capital Territory being Australian citizens.

Only 45 per cent of private school students in WA have parents who were both born in Australia, compared with 71 per cent in Tasmania.

BNiQ data shows that the most popular language taught at all private schools in WA is French, with 45 out of 149 schools offering it, followed by an tie between classes in Indonesian and Japanese (39 schools), then Italian (23).

Just 13 schools offer indigenous languages, nine teach Mandarin, six teach Spanish, five teach Arabic, and three Greek.

Auslan is taught at two schools, as is Dutch, and Hebrew.

Thai, Malay, Latin, and Korean languages are taught at only one institution each.

The top 20 and 10 schools, ranked by number of enrolments, show a preference for French, Indonesian, Italian, and Japanese languages.

Business News found almost three-quarters of students in Catholic schools in WA identify as Catholic, while in contrast only a small number of students at Anglican schools practice that faith.



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