The cost of a free education: cost as a barrier to Australian public education

Sharon Bond and Michael Horn

Concerned about financial barriers to participation, Brotherhood researchers canvassed the cost burden to parents of education in a government school.

Applying a social inclusion lens, they allowed for not only subject fees, uniforms and textbooks but also related expenses such as transport, sport or music costs and (a share of) home computer and internet access.

Comparing these School Education Expenses (SEE) with the incomes and educational assistance available to three hypothetical disadvantaged households showed that they would struggle to afford the education taken for granted by most Australians.

Clearly, to achieve 90 per cent Year 12 attainment will require educational policy reform.

Last updated on 28 April 2020