Valuing Independent Schools, Australia

The problem

In the Australian State of New South Wales, the state government was considering cutting its funding to independent schools. This would have pushed up the school fees for children attending those schools and would have led to transfer of some children to public schools, increasing the fiscal burden on the public education system.

How we helped

Castalia made the case for maintaining state funding of independent schools at existing levels. To do this, we developed a methodology that ensured like-for-like comparison of the total cost to government of educating a child in an independent school against the cost in a state school. This confirmed that the fiscal cost per child educated was lower in independent schools. We did a cost-benefit analysis which showed that by being able to respond to a wide range of cultural and religious needs, independent schools created net economic benefits of AU$1 billion per annum, compared to a situation in which there were only state schools. Our analysis showed that by reducing government contributions to independent schools, the government risked making attendance at those schools unaffordable for some families, which could put at risk the fiscal and economic benefits the schools were delivering.


Our advice helped the Association of Independent Schools of New South Wales develop an argument to maintain the level of government funding. AISNSW published our work, and the positive reception ensured that independent school funding levels were maintained in the next budget.

Our team

Alex Sundakov

Alex Sundakov

Executive Director

How can we help you?

How can we help you?