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When deciding where to send your children to school, you may find it difficult to settle on what's the right choice for your children and the family as a whole. In Australia, we have different types of school choices including public schools, catholic schools and private schools.

When considering which type of school to send your children to, cost could be a factor in your decision making. There are some significant differences in terms of school fees in NSW among the different school types. To help make your decisions a little easier, we’ve prepared this rundown on the difference in school fees across the different school sectors in NSW.


Cost of school fees in NSW


The recently released Futurity Investment Group Cost of Education Index, shows that Sydney will be the most expensive city in Australia for a private (also known as independent) education at an estimated $357,931 over 13 years of education. This is 19% over the national average. A government education in Sydney sits at 2% above the national average.


This index has been designed to consider tuition fees as well as ancillary costs such as textbooks, uniforms, technology and books. This means you are provided with a figure reflecting the true cost of education. The Index compares Public (or Government), Private (or Independent) and Catholic school fees and ancillary costs in NSW. While the costs over thirteen years of education can add up, planning ahead for this cost can help you feel more in control and help you to understand the options available to you to help cover NSW school fee costs.


Total estimated cost of education for a child starting school in New South Wales in 2023**




(regional & remote)


As you can see, this exclusive research estimates the total cost of a Public education in Sydney will be $86,500 over 13-years for a child starting school in 2023.


Public school fees in Sydney and New South Wales


Public school students in NSW can attend school without paying tuition fees, although voluntary contributions are requested at public schools in NSW. But while tuition fees are voluntary, parents, caregivers and guardians still need to cover the cost of school uniforms, sports equipment, electronic devices, stationery and other ancillary costs. Keep an eye out for where you can purchase some of these items second-hand to help cut down on costs. Public schools may charge some fees to help cover expenses for things such as the school library and textbooks used in the classroom.

Throughout the school year, there may be additional costs for school trips, special activities and camps.


The table below shows an indication of what the school fees in NSW look like for public school students.


It’s estimated the total cost of a Public education in Sydney will be $89,500 over 13-years for a child starting school in 2023, with the Harbour City second only to Melbourne ($102,807) as the nation’s most expensive city for a Government education.

Total estimated cost of education for a child starting public school in 2023**


LocationPublic School


(regional & remote)


School fees are forecast to make up a fraction of the total cost of a Public education in Sydney, with outside tuition ($2,082), school camps and school excersions ($538), electronic devices ($671) and uniforms and textbooks ($451) all costing more this year.


Private school fees in Sydney and New South Wales


Private schools, also known as Independent schools, in NSW are up there with some of the most expensive schools in Australia, With Sydney being the most expensive city in the country for private school.


In NSW private school fees vary significantly from $1,500 to $40,000 per student annually.


The cost of private school fees in NSW varies due to several factors including location, school size, extent of curriculum and extra curricula activities, facilities and more.


Make sure you also keep in mind, private school fees in NSW change over time, in fact they have risen at twice the rate of inflation over the past decade.

Total estimated cost of education for a child starting private school in 2023**

LocationIndependent/Private School


(regional & remote)


Sydney parents who send a child to an Independent school will spend 31% or $109,832 more than the national average ($349,404).

Catholic school fees in Sydney and New South Wales

For a child starting Catholic secondary school in 2023, parents will be spending $4,144 on tuition fees, but can expect the total cost to be $11,938 for the year.


Regardless of which school sector you choose for your children, you will need to plan for education costs that are not associated with tuition. These fees are for extracurricular activities like school trips and camps as well as uniforms, stationery, electronic devices and textbooks.


Total estimated cost of education for a child starting Catholic school in 2023**




(regional & remote)


Prepare and plan for your children’s education

Every family is unique and has different requirements when selecting the right school for their children.


Real solutions for education costs
As one of the biggest investments you are likely to make, it should be possible to educate your children at the school of your choice.
Therefore, understanding and preparing for the cost of education in Australia can make a world of difference in terms of the opportunities you can offer your children.
Start saving today with EdSaver - designed to help you save and tax-effectively accumulate the money you need for education expenses.

Contact us to better understand solutions available to help you confidently navigate the changing landscape of education in Australia and be financially prepared to give your children the best options.
How we can help
If you have questions about how we can help you, speak with your Financial Adviser about Futurity’s Education Bond range or get in touch with us.

* 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.