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Most parents will need to make the decision as to where their children will go to school. That’s especially true for children heading into high school, as often more options are considered for the later schooling years.

The reality is that education costs are rising. If you want to have the choice of schools, you need to be planning early to ensure you have the freedom to make the decision without financial limitations getting in the way.

Where you live and send your kids to school is a major factor when it comes to school fees in Australia.

The Futurity Planning for Education Index* has revealed some insights that will help you understand the costs you’ll likely incur for your child’s education.


The index has uncovered Australia’s most expensive cities and states for government, Catholic and independent education. The research also calculated the total cost of education in regional and remote areas for a child starting school in 2022.

How much money is spent on education in Australia?

The short answer is more than you probably think.

Knowing how much money is spent on education in Australia will help you work out your future commitments.

The cost to educate a child in Australia over 13 years varies, based on a few key factors:

  • Whether you choose a public, Catholic or independent school
  • What state you live in
  • If you are city or regionally based

The national average cost of a government education in Australia is $83,869.

The national average cost of a Catholic education in Australia is $143,944.

The national average cost of an independent school education in Australia is $349,404.

While these figures are a lot to digest, knowing what to expect can help you plan for the future education you want for your child.

Paying for education

Education and schooling costs in Australia are generally climbing. The reality is all education costs money, regardless of the type of school. Whether it be government, private or Catholic the cost of educating your children adds up.

Rising education costs can be a concern for many parents. If education for your kids is a priority, then the best way to prepare is to understand what’s involved.

While some figures revealed as part of the Futurity Planning for Education Index can be overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. Arming yourself with knowledge is the best way to create a plan that lets you choose the school and education to suit your child.

Tuition makes up just one part of the total cost when paying for education for your child. Other costs you need to consider include:

  • Computers
  • Uniforms
  • Travel
  • Excursions
  • Extra curricular activities
  • Tutoring and other outside school learning

Using an online calculator such as our Cost of Education Calculator is a great way to work out the potential cost of education specific to your own personal situation.

There are options when it comes to how you pay for education. It’s worthwhile considering a savings and investment product designed specifically to allow you to meet education costs. Futurity offers loans to help make paying school fees and meeting education costs achievable.

Public school fees in Australia

Many of us assume that public education in Australia is free. That’s not the case and the optional public school fees paid in Australia are just part of the equation.

The current annual school fee of $433 is only a fraction of the total, with the remainder going towards other related costs such as outside tuition, school camps, sports equipment, electronic devices, uniforms and textbooks.

In 2022, parents with children at a Sydney public school are predicted to pay $92,375 in total for their schooling. That’s about ten percent above the national average of $81,823.

Brisbane and Perth are Australia’s most affordable capital cities for a Government education, with costs being $74,988 and $76,229 respectively.

Catholic school fees in Australia

The Catholic system accounts for around 20 percent of students in Australia.

The Index discovered Brisbane is Australia’s most expensive city for a Catholic education, costing $158,199 over 13 years of schooling. That’s around 10% above the national average.

Catholic school fees average $2,471 per year making them the most expensive component of Catholic education in Brisbane. That’s well ahead of outside tuition ($1,051), uniforms and textbooks ($919), school camps and sports equipment ($841) and electronic devices ($788).

Private school fees in Australia

It will probably come as little surprise that Sydney is the most expensive city in Australia for an Independent education for a child starting school in 2022.

The Futurity Planning for Education Index found Sydney parents with a child starting at a private school in 2022 will spend $459,236 over the course of their education.

Thirteen years of school will cost 31% or $109,832 more than the national average. Perth is Australia’s most affordable city for an Independent education costing $215,554.

When it comes to a breakdown of costs involved with a private school education, school fees are the most expensive component averaging $23,936. Next highest costs are outside tuition ($1,523), school camps and sports equipment ($1,156) and uniforms and textbooks ($683).

How much are school fees in Australia?

Tools like the Planning for Education Index provide a great foundation of knowledge. But if you have a particular school in mind it’s worthwhile doing some research yourself so you can tailor any planning you do, specific to your own circumstances.

The below table is a great start though, providing you with an indication of what to expect

  • By state - capital city and regional areas.
  • Comparison of Government, Catholic and independent schools for each location.

Note these figures are for 13 years of schooling.


NSW (regional & remote)$59,683$117,476$137,268
QLD (regional & remote)$78,503$121,648$164,142
SA (regional & remote)$71,478$106,821$142,357
VIC (regional & remote)$59,162$108,182$213,232
WA (regional & remote)$74,645$110,054$154,213

Be prepared for more education options

Understanding and preparing for the cost of education is the first step to providing your children with schooling opportunities and options.

The second is to speak with an expert who can help you navigate the changing landscape of education in Australia and be financially prepared to give your children the best options.

From education loans and other tax-effective investment products to alternatives like Education Bonds, Futurity can help you save and accumulate the money you need for education expenses.

Get in touch with Futurity to find out options available.

* The Futurity Investment Group Planning for Education Index is based on data sourced from a survey of 1,800 members on ancillary costs conducted by Futurity Investment Group and public information on school fees, including the My School website.
For an explanation of all methodology and assumptions, please refer to the Futurity Investment Group website.
Estimates of future long-term education costs projected over a 13-year period are provided as a guide only. Being estimates, Futurity cannot guarantee they will represent the actual cost of education for a particular child or school sector or particular period.