Independent Schools at a Glance 2020

Independent Schools at a Glance 2020

Schools: 1,148

Independent schools in Australia.

Fees: $5,439

The median fee of an Australian Independent school.

Government Support:

Average government recurrent funding per school student:

  • Independent school: $9,890
  • Catholic school: $11,720
  • Government school: $18,390.

Students with Disability: 120,534**

The enrolment share of students with a disability in Independent schools is greater than the overall enrolment share of Independent schools.

Indigenous Students: 14,340

The number of Indigenous students enrolled in 897 Independent schools.

  • 40 Independent schools have an Indigenous enrolment of more than 50%
  • Independent schools are Australia’s largest provider of boarding schools for Indigenous students.

Students: 631,762*

Attending Independent schools in Australia.

Savings to Govt: $4.8 billion

The additional recurrent funding cost to governments if every Independent school student moved to the government school system.

Contribution to the Economy:

Australian Independent schools employ 96,862 staff, annually contributing:

  • Salaries and wages of $7.4 billion
  • PAYG tax of $1.6 billion
  • Superannuation contributions of $736 million.

Capital Funding: 89%

The average percentage of capital funding for Independent schools that comes from parents and communities.


Statistics are from 2019 and derived from ABS, DET, and Productivity Commission data. Funding figures use the latest available data which is for financial year 2017-18 or calendar year 2018.
* The total student figure of 631,762 includes independent Catholic schools.
** The methodology used to calculate students with disability changed in 2018 and has resulted in significant changes in numbers.
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