Independent Schools at a Glance 2019

Independent Schools at a Glance 2019

Schools: 1,123

Independent schools in Australia.

Fees: $5,330

The median fee of an Australian Independent school.

Government Support:

Average Australian Government recurrent funding per school student:

  • Independent school: $9,350
  • Catholic school: $11,180
  • Government school: $17,530.

Students with Disability: 115,862**

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

Indigenous Students: 13,483

The number of Indigenous students enrolled in 887 Independent schools.

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

Students: 617,008*

Attending Independent schools in Australia.

Savings to Govt: $4.5 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 91,000 staff, annually contributing:

  • Salaries and wages of $6.7 billion
  • PAYG tax of $1.5 billion
  • Superannuation contributions of $675 million.

Capital Funding: 90%

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


Statistics are from 2018 and derived from ABS, DET, and Productivity Commission data. Funding figures use the latest available data which is for financial year 2016-17 or calendar year 2017.
* The total student figure of 617,008 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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