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The Futurity Investment Group Cost of Education Index has revealed that Sydney remains the most expensive city for Independent schooling in Australia, with a staggering $357,931 estimated cost over the course of a child’s education at an Independent school.

The research has revealed the total cost of an Independent education in Sydney is 19% or $57,698 above the national average. The Futurity Investment Group Cost of Education Index also revealed Sydney is Australia’s second most expensive city for Government education.


It’s estimated the total cost of a Government education in Sydney will be $89,500 over 13-years for a child starting school in 2023, 2% above the national average. When you look at Government schooling, there is no such things as ‘free’ education. Extra costs such as levies, uniforms, technology, textbooks, excursions, and camps and transport need to be considered.


One of the most prevalent barrier to parents’ choice of high schools for their child is cost. Once enrolled, the cost of schooling represents a substantial household expense.


With the right financial strategies and plan in place, reaching your goals may not be as hard as you may think.

Total estimated cost of education over 13 years of schooling in New South Wales for a child starting school in 2023.

The hidden cost of education

Contrary to belief that Government schools are free, parents are expected to pay a voluntary financial contribution. The reasoning is that while administration of the standard curriculum program is free, schools can charge parents for ‘essential education items’ and ‘optional extras’.
Regardless of school type, the cost of education in New South Wales includes more than just fees and parent contributions. In fact, for parents sending their children to Government schools, these fees may constitute a relatively small portion with other ancillary costs such as textbooks, uniforms, technology and excursions really adding up. Many times, this comes as a “cost shock” for families entering the public schooling system for the first time.
For instance, our research shows that for a child starting Government primary school this year will cost parents the following:


  • School fees: $208

  • Ancillary costs such as uniforms, outside tuition and electronic devices: $6,548


For families sending a child to an Independent primary school in Sydney this year will be paying a total of $17,168 in tuition and ancillary fees. The ancillary fees alone can constitute of 48% of the total cost paid in a year.


For families with children in the Sydney Catholic primary system, our research shows families are likely to pay a total of $11,423 including tuition fees and ancillary costs. The ancillary costs alone account for 79% of the total cost of education over the year.

The annual cost of schooling changes over the course of a13-year school period. Secondary school fees are generally higher than for primary. Spending on older children for school camps and items such as sports equipment and musical instruments tends to increase for many.

Having a fuller picture of the cost of education and planning ahead can help to avoid, or at least cushion against, nasty surprises.
Confidence starts with preparation


The best way to take control of your child’s future is to plan and save to meet future education costs.


Parents who have planned and saved for education will be in a better position in the long run and will be able to explore and afford choice when it comes to their children’s education.


Dedicated education savings and investment products, like Futurity Investment Group’s Education Bonds, can help address the great education funding challenge.

Futurity’s range of Education Bonds allow parents and grandparents to tax-effectively save and invest to accumulate the funding to support their family’s life-long education objectives.

About the research quoted


Data collection for the Futurity Investment Group Cost of Education Index was undertaken by McCrindle.


The Index is a collection of quantitative data collected in an online survey. The survey was sent to 1,525 Australian parents with children in school and had quotas set for a proportionate sample of across the states and territories and school stage (primary or secondary).

*Estimates of future long-term education costs projected over a 13-year period are provided as a guide only and are population weighted. Being estimates the actual cost of education for a particular child or school sector or particular period cannot be guaranteed.

Further information about the research methodology, assumptions, and results can be accessed here.