Aussie Educator

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Fees & Payments at Government Primary Schools

  • All Primary schools have some form of fee structure - whatever this is called. It may be known as Fees, Annual School Charge, a Levy, Voluntary Contribution or a School Contribution Scheme.
  • In some states it is a compulsory part of the educational system. In others, while encouraged, it is still voluntary.
  • Details of which states/territories have voluntary and which have compulsory fees, and in one case exactly what these are for, can be found on the Enrolment Information pages.
  • However, this does not indicate the exact amount of fees established at each school. Within some state/territory systems there can be variation among the level of fees.
  • In NSW there is an upper limit and a limited range of movement in the fee level from year to year. Fees are also affected by the school’s surrounding population and its capacity and willingness to contribute.
  • In Victoria, there are three separate forms of payments covering essential education items, optional extras and voluntary contributions, which are governed by quite specific policy guidelines.
  • While in a number of states/territories fees or contributions are voluntary, all parents are encouraged to contribute. Most schools provide an indication of where these funds are used to benefit the education of students. In many cases, they assist in providing not only essential learning items but also many additional learning resources which enhance the learning process. Schools often nominate targeted areas when seeking these.
  • In virtually every instance, there is provision for people who find difficulty in contributing to discuss the matter privately with the principal and come to some suitable arrangement, or be excused from payment. Some states provide funds which assist in this.
  • Every state and territory ensures that each child is provided with all aspects of the core curriculum and education, no matter what the situation.
  • Most parent organisations support a reasonable level of contribution on the part of parents, with many having significant input into the level of the contribution being requested.
  • The only guaranteed way to know the exact cost structure is to make contact with the specific school and gain these details.
  • To check if the school has a web site, visit the School pages, follow the Government links for your state/territory, the school group and finally the specific school. You can also contact the school in person, by email or by telephone.
  • Parents should ensure they are aware of other payments which may be incurred. These include expenses for sporting activities, excursions & performances, extra-curricular programs, lease or hire of equipment [e.g. musical instruments], additional instructional material [in addition to standard curriculum program provision], transport costs, …
  • There are fees for International Students studying at this level in Australia. A sample level of fees for International Students is found at
    New South Wales [DEC International]. Also check the Temporary Residents Program for fees in this area.
    Other states and territories have similar fees.
    Examples include Program Fees at Education Queensland. For Western Australia, check Study at school.

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