Position Statement: Independent Schools Matter

14 March 2022

Independent schools are a key part of the education landscape in Australia and sit alongside government and Catholic schools in contributing to Australian society and the safety, learning and wellbeing of Australian children.

Independent schools represent a significant number of families who demonstrate great confidence in the sector.

  • 667,259 students attend an Independent school – that is one in six Australian school students and more than one in five secondary students.
  • Independent school enrolments have grown by 20 percent, or more than 105,000 students, in the last ten years – the highest growth rate of any school sector.
  • In 2021, Independent school enrolments increased by 3.1% (19,888 students).
  • An overwhelming 82% of Independent school parents said their school had adjusted well to the pandemic.

 The Independent sector represents families at all income levels.

  • Almost half of Independent schools charge fees of $5,000 or less.
  • Only 10 percent of Independent schools charge fees above $20,000.
  • Growth in the Independent sector is greatest in low-fee schools.

 The independent sector makes a significant financial contribution to the Australian economy.

  • Parents contribute $7.65 billion annually through school fees.
  • Nearly 90 percent of all capital development in Independent schools is funded by parents.