Position Statement: Economic Contribution of Independent Schools

18 August 2022

Independent schools make a major contribution to the Australian economy.

Key points

The costs of Independent schooling are shared between governments and school communities

Overall, governments meet only part of the costs for students enrolled in Independent schools.

Independent schools rely primarily on parents for funding, with around half of recurrent income coming from private sources, although the proportions vary between schools.

Because Independent schools receive less government funding on average than government schools, they represent significant savings to taxpayers.

Independent schools also make a significant contribution to the Australian economy by saving government $5.5 billion annually.

The facts

  • Parents whose children attend Independent schools contribute $7.65 billion annually through school fees.
  • Nearly 90 per cent of all capital development in Independent schools is funded by parents.
  • More than ten thousand people are employed in Independent schools, earning $8.8 billion in salaries and wages, and contributing PAYG tax of $1.6 billion and a further $882 million in superannuation.