Australian families could soon spend more than half a million dollars on one child’s education, according to a national costs forecast.
The 2016 Planning for Education Index, released on January 19, estimates how much parents of children born this year will need to save for public, private and religious schooling.
The index, based on a survey of 12,500 families from across the country, calculates costs based on location, school fees, transport, uniforms, computers, school excursions and sports, from preschool through to year 12.
It shows that for children born in 2016 the estimated cost for a private education in Sydney is about $552,351, 18 per cent above the national metropolitan average ($468,397) and significantly more expensive than Melbourne ($512,283), Canberra ($431,538) and Hobart ($421,309).
Brisbane is the most affordable city, with a projected average cost of $360,044.
Sydney is also shown to be the most expensive city in Australia for a systemic (religious) education, with a forecast of $240,768, about $10,000 more than the national average.
A government school education in Melbourne comes with an estimated price tag of $75,193, the most expensive in the country and 12 per cent above the national metropolitan average of $66,862.
The Planning for Education Index, created by the Australian Scholarships Group, shows the cost of education has risen at more than double the rate of inflation over the past 10 years and that for a family with two or three children, the cost of a private education could be higher than the purchase price of the family home.
Independent statistician and Managing Director of foreseechange Charlie Nelson says school fees are increasing faster than incomes.