School fees are expected to rise at record levels this year with the current high inflation rate. With families facing tighter budgets especially after the extra holiday spend, education payment provider Edstart answers some questions about what to expect and how parents can prepare for the upcoming school year.
Despite minimising fee increases over the past 2 years, the expectation is that the majority of schools will be increasing their fees of between 4% to 10% due to inflation and higher costs. This is higher than the average 2-3% rises we’ve seen in previous years. Large school fee increases are due to rising inflation which has led to increases in the operating costs for schools where they’re facing a larger bill for energy, school equipment, wages, building and maintenance. To meet these financial demands, many schools have no choice but to pass these costs on to parents.
There is expected to be a wider range of fee increases in 2023 driven by a number of factors. Changes to how Government funding is calculated are affecting schools differently, with some schools seeing significant reductions to funding and are left with little alternative but to top up that gap with additional parent contributions to ensure the school is in a stable position.
High levels of inflation have a wide ranging impact on a school’s operation and how they can continue to build and maintain important student facilities. This extends to increases in staffing costs which account for 79% of expenses in schools. The majority of schools Edstart has spoken to have said that fee increases won’t fully cover the
additional costs incurred by the school.
The best thing for families is to be aware of the upcoming increases, prepare early and have flexible options to allow them to align school fees with their budget. Schools are also responding by providing more flexible payment options to their families and there has been an uplift in schools partnering with Edstart to offer this.
Many schools can offer families fee assistance such as bursaries and discounts, or work with you on an arrangement for your school fees.
The option to pay your fees upfront can be a good idea if you have room in your budget and your school offers a significant discount for upfront payments. Otherwise paying your fees throughout the year means you’re able to spread the cost and align payments with when you get paid. Check if your school offers the option to pay by instalments. Alternatively education payment plans like Edstart let you pay weekly, fortnightly or monthly depending on your needs, and you also have the ability to reduce your annual payments by spreading them over a longer period.
Edstart can help you get ahead of your school fees with tailored payment plans for all of your education costs.
To help you prepare for the new school year, Edstart is also offering you a chance to win a $200 gift card for your back-to-school items when you sign up using offer code PERTHKIDS23*. Find out more at edstart.com.au/backtoschool