Marie Perry says fee increases are in line with expectations for the school’s wages growth. Photo: MLC

Rising fees a fact of school life

Fees at most of WA’s private schools are on the way up, with the BNiQ database showing the state’s most expensive schools are costing parents around $5,000 more per year than in 2013.


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It is astonishing for MLC to state that fee increases are in line with expectations for the school’s wages growth. What kind of statement is this when, as reported in the article, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports average weekly earnings of $1,298 in May 2013 had risen minimally to $1,320 in May 2018. If all businesses took this unrealistic attitude to wage and fee increases, it would surely be significantly inflationary to the economy. It is important to take a realistic view when increasing salaries (and fees) - a school is not insular to the rest of the economy and simply increasing fees to accommodate unnecessary and unrealistic salary increases simply doesn't make sense. It cannot be sustainable. Why do teachers at private schools expect such substantial increases when the rest of the employed population on average receives only 1.7% over five years? With this philosophy school fees are going to become a real outlier in terms of increased cost for families. I removed our child from a private school in 2017 due to exhorbitant fees being charged (and relentlessly increased annually). The MLC statement appears to reveal why this trend is the case.

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