The West

WA schools among the cheapest
Valerie Gould.

WA is one of the most affordable States for parents to educate a child, according to a survey by the Australian Scholarships Group.

The survey of nearly 7000 parents found that for a child born this year, the predicted cost of 12 years of private education in WA is about $90,000 less than the national city average of $458,995.

Even though sending a child to an independent school in Perth can set parents back up to $24,000 a year, the research found WA schools were $173,000 more affordable over 12 years when compared with the nation's most expensive city, Sydney.

The ASG also estimated the cost of a public school education in Perth at $54,600 from pre-primary to Year 12 - about $8600 less than the national public school average of $63,251.

The ASG, which sells funding plans to help parents save for their children's education, included a range of costs in its survey, including school fees, transport, uniforms, computers and excursions. It estimates the average cost of a public high school in Perth this year at $4000 a child, compared with about $12,000 for a Catholic school and more than $18,000 for an independent school.

ASG chief executive John Velegrinis said the cost of education in Australia had risen by more than double the rate of inflation for the past decade. "Some parents will spend more than half a million dollars," he said.

Association of Independent Schools of WA executive director Valerie Gould said there were a range of fee structures in the independent sector, with some schools setting fees about $2000 a year for primary school.

"All schools try to keep their fee increases to a minimum," she said.

"But at the same time they are aware they must provide good educational outcomes."

Catholic Education Office director Tim McDonald said fees at Catholic primary and secondary schools would increase this year between 2 and 10 per cent.

The West Australian

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