Cost of study (domestic student)

Do domestic students need to pay school fees?

It depends on the kind of school.

  • State and state-integrated schools must provide free education to domestic students. This means they may not charge school fees.
  • The only exception is that proprietors of state-integrated schools may charge a compulsory fee called ‘attendance dues’. The proprietor provides land and buildings for these schools, and this fee is to cover their property costs.
  • Private schools receive limited government funding, so they do charge a set fee each term, or for the year. The fees should be clearly set out in their enrolment information or prospectus.

Other costs

You should be prepared to pay for:

  • stationery such as exercise books, pens, pencils
  • school uniforms
  • before-school and after-school care if you need it.

If you can’t afford a school uniform or stationery or care outside of school hours, this should not hold back your child’s education. In the first instance talk to your school. You might be able to get financial assistance.

You might also be asked to pay for voluntary activities or events such as weekend or after-school sports.The school can charge for voluntary activities or events only if they have told the parents beforehand, and the parents have agreed to pay them. If an activity or item is a part of the school’s curriculum (like seeing a play students will be assessed on, a camp or trip, or a school report), then your child has a right to be included whether or not you pay any voluntary donations.

If the activity or event isn’t part of the school’s curriculum (like a sports event, or a school social event) your child can not take part if you do not pay.

School donations

Schools may ask parents or caregivers for donations, which are voluntary contributions to help with running the school. It is not compulsory to pay donations. You can pay them in part, in full or not at all.

Donations can be for general purposes, or tagged for a specific item such as a camp, a classroom subject, or a trip.

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