Top 100 “Richest” Schools in Australia

This is meant to be a fun one, so please do not take it too seriously. I processed the school financial data for 2017 just recently. Looking at the data, I thought I may as well do an entry for this.

A few things to note first regarding this, smaller schools require higher funding to run and this applies to the more remote schools as well. So Oak Valley Aboriginal School in a remote region with 4 students received funding of $280,387 per student. However, these schools are not typical ones in Australia and do not represent the average.

To get a meaningful and more representative look, I have chosen a rather arbitrary enrolment number of 400. I did run the lower enrolment number as well and the main difference being that there are more schools in the remote and regional area as well. The list actually does not look that different.

RankingSchool NameStateSchool SectorGeolocationsTotal EnrolmentsIncome Per Student
1Melbourne Grammar SchoolVICIndependentMajor Cities1794$51,645
2Sydney Distance Education High SchoolNSWGovernmentMajor Cities483$48,109
3Sydney Grammar SchoolNSWIndependentMajor Cities1876$45,891
4St Joseph's CollegeNSWIndependentMajor Cities1094$41,397
5SCEGGS DarlinghurstNSWIndependentMajor Cities920$41,147
6Christ Church Grammar SchoolWAIndependentMajor Cities1651$40,749
7Ascham SchoolNSWIndependentMajor Cities1146$40,591
8Farrer Memorial Agricultural High SchoolNSWGovernmentInner Regional594$40,361
9Cranbrook SchoolNSWIndependentMajor Cities1410$40,348
10The King's SchoolNSWIndependentMajor Cities1676$40,022
11SHORE - Sydney Church of England Grammar SchoolNSWIndependentMajor Cities1615$38,584
12SCECGS RedlandsNSWIndependentMajor Cities1549$37,501
13Wesley CollegeVICIndependentMajor Cities3031$37,208
14Ivanhoe Grammar SchoolVICIndependentMajor Cities1913$36,761
15Melbourne Girls GrammarVICIndependentMajor Cities946$36,684
16St Catherine's SchoolNSWIndependentMajor Cities1039$36,145
17KambalaNSWIndependentMajor Cities944$36,095
18MLC SchoolNSWIndependentMajor Cities1154$36,092
19Barker CollegeNSWIndependentMajor Cities2103$36,029
20Ruyton Girls' SchoolVICIndependentMajor Cities839$35,995
21Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Thamarrurr Catholic C...NTCatholicVery Remote627$35,885
22AbbotsleighNSWIndependentMajor Cities1420$35,711
23St Catherine's SchoolVICIndependentMajor Cities689$35,378
24Presbyterian Ladies' College SydneyNSWIndependentMajor Cities1258$35,347
25Newcastle Grammar SchoolNSWIndependentMajor Cities786$35,135
26Queenwood School for GirlsNSWIndependentMajor Cities873$35,106
27Dubbo School of Distance EducationNSWGovernmentInner Regional436$35,035
28Xavier CollegeVICCatholicMajor Cities1961$35,016
29Wenona SchoolNSWIndependentMajor Cities1081$35,000
30Lauriston Girls' SchoolVICIndependentMajor Cities897$34,486
31The Scots CollegeNSWIndependentMajor Cities1904$34,168
32Methodist Ladies' CollegeVICIndependentMajor Cities2034$34,136
33St Ignatius' CollegeNSWIndependentMajor Cities1576$33,968
34Caulfield Grammar SchoolVICIndependentMajor Cities3082$33,779
35Scotch CollegeVICIndependentMajor Cities1883$33,707
36Ravenswood School for GirlsNSWIndependentMajor Cities1119$33,636
37Scotch CollegeWAIndependentMajor Cities1478$33,582
38Trinity Grammar School KewVICIndependentMajor Cities1381$33,499
39Carey Baptist Grammar SchoolVICIndependentMajor Cities2248$33,494
40Knox Grammar SchoolNSWIndependentMajor Cities2890$33,456
41Brisbane Grammar SchoolQLDIndependentMajor Cities1698$33,345
42Presbyterian Ladies' CollegeVICIndependentMajor Cities1412$33,327
43St Andrew's Cathedral SchoolNSWIndependentMajor Cities1205$33,251
44Hale SchoolWAIndependentMajor Cities1489$33,222
45St Peter's CollegeSAIndependentMajor Cities1396$33,140
46Pymble Ladies' CollegeNSWIndependentMajor Cities2118$33,121
47Camberwell Grammar SchoolVICIndependentMajor Cities1301$32,829
48Guildford Grammar SchoolWAIndependentMajor Cities1058$32,660
49Southern Cross SchoolNSWGovernmentInner Regional994$32,636
50Brighton Grammar SchoolVICIndependentMajor Cities1218$32,539
51Trinity Grammar SchoolNSWIndependentMajor Cities2084$32,470
52Newington CollegeNSWIndependentMajor Cities2036$32,464
53Kincoppal - Rose Bay School of the Sacred HeartNSWIndependentMajor Cities884$32,317
54Monte Sant' Angelo Mercy CollegeNSWIndependentMajor Cities1160$32,235
55St Leonard's CollegeVICIndependentMajor Cities1426$31,941
56The Geelong CollegeVICIndependentMajor Cities1247$31,892
57Eltham CollegeVICIndependentMajor Cities597$31,867
58Brisbane Girls' Grammar SchoolQLDIndependentMajor Cities1369$31,721
59Loreto Mandeville HallVICCatholicMajor Cities1167$31,633
60Loreto NormanhurstNSWIndependentMajor Cities1083$31,458
61Wesley CollegeWAIndependentMajor Cities1309$31,354
62Toorak CollegeVICIndependentMajor Cities737$31,109
63Presbyterian Ladies' CollegeWAIndependentMajor Cities1072$31,102
64Reddam HouseNSWIndependentMajor Cities1112$31,048
65St Michael's Grammar SchoolVICIndependentMajor Cities1203$31,003
66Tintern GrammarVICIndependentMajor Cities804$30,993
67Haileybury CollegeVICIndependentMajor Cities3754$30,993
68Glenvale SchoolVICIndependentMajor Cities579$30,815
69Mentone Grammar SchoolVICIndependentMajor Cities1435$30,621
70Korowa Anglican Girls' SchoolVICIndependentMajor Cities620$30,386
71Mentone Girls' Grammar SchoolVICIndependentMajor Cities739$30,160
72Fintona Girls' SchoolVICIndependentMajor Cities456$30,125
73Penrhos CollegeWAIndependentMajor Cities1115$29,896
74Methodist Ladies' CollegeWAIndependentMajor Cities1151$29,866
75Roseville CollegeNSWIndependentMajor Cities935$29,864
76Strathcona Baptist Girls' GrammarVICIndependentMajor Cities733$29,669
77The Kilmore International SchoolVICIndependentInner Regional437$29,655
78Yarra Valley GrammarVICIndependentMajor Cities1214$29,638
79Firbank Grammar SchoolVICIndependentMajor Cities1107$29,525
80Genazzano FCJ CollegeVICCatholicMajor Cities1026$29,432
81Seymour CollegeSAIndependentMajor Cities758$29,378
82Loreto KirribilliNSWIndependentMajor Cities1096$29,254
83Ivanhoe Girls' Grammar SchoolVICIndependentMajor Cities920$29,225
84Perth CollegeWAIndependentMajor Cities1105$29,005
85Tara Anglican School for GirlsNSWIndependentMajor Cities718$28,822
86Somerville HouseQLDIndependentMajor Cities1370$28,705
87St Vincent's CollegeNSWIndependentMajor Cities676$28,678
88Anglican Church Grammar SchoolQLDIndependentMajor Cities1792$28,647
89The King David SchoolVICIndependentMajor Cities595$28,596
90Kilvington Grammar SchoolVICIndependentMajor Cities723$28,504
91Pembroke SchoolSAIndependentMajor Cities1529$28,372
92St Aloysius' CollegeNSWIndependentMajor Cities1242$28,270
93Peninsula GrammarVICIndependentMajor Cities1282$28,242
94St Hilda's Anglican School for GirlsWAIndependentMajor Cities1157$28,211
95Santa Sabina CollegeNSWIndependentMajor Cities1185$28,178
96St Margaret's Anglican Girls SchoolQLDIndependentMajor Cities883$28,139
97St Margaret's SchoolVICIndependentMajor Cities824$28,125
98St Luke's Grammar SchoolNSWIndependentMajor Cities1106$28,124
99Woodleigh SchoolVICIndependentMajor Cities945$28,080
100Prince Alfred CollegeSAIndependentMajor Cities1098$28,068

The four government school in the list are all remote education or regional boarding school serving remote and regional areas. All the rest of the private schools are located in the major cities. Also looking at the list the per-student income drop rapidly from the top place of Melbourne Grammar School in Victoria which has per student total gross income of $51,645 to the 100th place Prince Alfred College in South Australia with a per-student total gross income of $28,068

If you have any further questions please feel free to contact me at the About Us page or leave a comment.

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Australian school funding inequality further exacerbates the difference between rich and poor schools

I came across this well-researched article Rich school, poor school: Australia’s great education divide done by ABC a few days ago. The basic conclusion is that private schools outspend the government schools by a very large margin.

Anyone visited many of the top tier private schools in Australia will have some first-hand evidence of this, massive Olympic size pools, auditorium, pristine sports ground etc. On the other hand when visiting government schools often the only new build from within the last few decades happened during the 2008 global financial crisis. No matter what people say about Kevin Rudd, his spending during the period on the schools are sorely needed and very much welcomed.

I did a series of blogs on the Australian school fundings and did a detailed analysis of both government and private schools operation and capital expenditure in 2016. You can find the articles as following

Part 1 explains the funding model of Australian schools and where it is derived.

Part 2 goes over the spending of both government and private school’s spending on the operational side of things in 2016.

Part 3 goes over the capital expenditure of both government and private schools in 2016.

To summerise, per-student spending on the operational side between government and private schools are roughly the same. However, on a per-student basis, catholic schools outspend the government schools to the tune of 250% when it comes to capital expenditure in 2016. Independent schools outspend government schools by 464% when calculating on a per-student basis. This is a consistent trend year to year, so if you look at this over a longer period of time, private schools completely smash government schools on capital expenditure.

Also quoting the above-mentioned article 15% of the catholic schools and 8% of the independent schools capital expenditure comes from both state and federal governments. This pretty much agrees with my analysis of the data for 2016. In 10.6% of Catholic and 10.1% of independent schools, their capital expenditure comes from either state or federal governments.

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Australian School Funding and Finance Capital Expenidture (Part 3)

We have gone over on how generally how Australian education funding coming from and composition of the recurrent income as well. If you missed those, you can find them at (Part 1) and (Part 2).

Capital expenditure is not part of the recurrent income of the schools and they are also very important as well when considering education funding. This is particularly true with government schools as their recurrent income only really only fund the day to day operations where by far the majority of their capital projects are funded by federal and state governments out of their education budgets. Majority of the Catholic and independent school’s capital expenditure is funded by themselves but also funded in part by federal and state governments.

With further delay following tables list the capital expenditure of Australia schools and break them down into government, Catholic and independent as well. This data is obtained from the Australian Curriculum, Assessments and Reporting Authorities (ACARA).

All Australian School Capital Expenditure For The Year 2016 ($000s)

 New South WhalesVictoriaQueenslandSouth AustraliaWestern AustraliaTasmaniaNorthern TerritoryAustralian Capital TerritoryAustralia
Australian government capital expenditure53,888137,88955,62613,60032,2073,70730,4416,037333,395
State/territory government capital expenditure391,934217,965287,25522,256317,43253,55646,02131,3111,367,729
Capital expenditure from new school loans138,380222,939152,71161,609150,57818,9804,3498,827758,372
Income allocated to current capital projects279,786338,170184,96036,47785,98920,98882017,079964,270
Capital expenditure from other private sources337,805306,615160,10577,47390,3499,60614,2169,8821,006,052
Total capital expenditure1,201,7941,223,578840,657211,416676,554106,83795,84773,1364,429,819

For the year 2016, there are 3,818,362 full-time equivalent students in all
Australian schools for funding purpose, per student that is $1160 per student spend on capital expenditure.

Australian School Capital Expenditure For Government Schools 2016 ($000s)

 New South WhalesVictoriaQueenslandSouth AustraliaWestern AustraliaTasmaniaNorthern TerritoryAustralian Capital TerritoryAustralia
Australian government capital expenditure9,73497,13926,4163,77813,3501,03225,1702,726179,345
State/territory government capital expenditure381,582215,452241,41822,234314,30852,70641,17431,1361,300,010
Capital expenditure from new school loans000000000
Income allocated to current capital projects49,0712390076600050,076
Capital expenditure from other private sources1,47614,1543,5037,24800920027,300
Total capital expenditure441,863326,98427133733,260328,42453,73867,26433,8621,556,732

For the year 2016, there are 2,488,900 full-time equivalent students in all
Australian government schools for funding purpose. Total capital expenditure on all government schools Australia wide is 1.56 Billion and per student that is $625 per student spend on capital expenditure. Also to note less than 2 per cent of capital expenditure by the Government/Public school sector in 2016 is from private sources.

Australian School Capital Expenditure For Government Schools 2016 ($000s)

 New South WhalesVictoriaQueenslandSouth AustraliaWestern AustraliaTasmaniaNorthern TerritoryAustralian Capital TerritoryAustralia
Australian government capital expenditure22,00423,85117,3075,6869,0681,4511,7352,14883,249
State/territory government capital expenditure7,4461,05319,11941,6017872,032932,052
Capital expenditure from new school loans47,94393,84261,21324,61286,7949,8262,036290326,556
Income allocated to current capital projects30,707166,50052,6798,98324,94810,8645908,103303,373
Capital expenditure from other private sources150,92458,50681,08639,44137,6772,94510,1980380,778
Total capital expenditure259,025343,752231,40378,726160,08925,87316,59010,5501,126,008

For the year 2016, there are 725,817 full-time equivalent students in all
Australian schools within the Catholic sector for funding purpose. Total capital expenditure on all catholic schools Australia wide is 1.13 Billion and per student that is $1551 per student spend on capital expenditure. Also to note 10.2 per cent of capital expenditure by the Catholic school sector in 2016 is sourced from Federal and State government funding.

Australian School Capital Expenditure For Independent Schools 2016 ($000s)

 New South WhalesVictoriaQueenslandSouth AustraliaWestern AustraliaTasmaniaNorthern TerritoryAustralian Capital TerritoryAustralia
Australian government capital expenditure22,15016,89911,9034,1379,7881,2243,5371,16370,801
State/territory government capital expenditure2,9061,46026,717181,523622,81516635,668
Capital expenditure from new school loans90,437129,09791,49836,99863,7839,1542,3138,537431,816
Income allocated to current capital projects200,008171,431132,28127,49460,27410,1252318,976610,821
Capital expenditure from other private sources185,405233,95575,51730,78452,6726,6613,0979,882597,973
Total capital expenditure500,906552,842337,91699,430188,04127,22611,99328,7251,747,079

For the year 2016, there are 603,046 full-time equivalent students in all Independent Australian schools for funding purpose. Total capital expenditure on all government schools Australia wide is 1.75 Billion and per student that is $2897 per student spend on capital expenditure. Also to note 6.1 per cent of capital expenditure by the Independent school sector in 2016 is sourced from Federal and State government funding.

As you can see from the above capital expenditure is one area where government and public schools tend to suffer in terms of funding. Government and public schools play host to 65.2 per cent of total students but only accounts for 35 per cent of total capital expenditure. Catholic school sector spends 248 per cent per student on capital expenditure compared to government and public schools. When you look at the independent schools this is even in more stark contrast, the independent school sector spends in 2016 is 464 per cent per student compare to government and public school sector.

This number for 2016 is very typical from year to year. There was a large bump during the year during and immediately post 2008 financial crisis years. This actually is one of the best things happened to the government and public schools in decades. I have personally visited a very large number of public schools in and near my area. It is very obvious that many schools had no significant capital expenditure for decades and only new buildings they had are from that surge. My view is that government schools need more capital investment, I will try to do another follow up this blog if time permits in the near future.

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Australian School Funding and Finance (Part 2)

Now that we have gone over who is responsible for the Australian schools and how they are funded. If you missed that blog you can visit Australian School Funding and Finance (Part 1) again.

Next, we will go over this in some numbers at a high level, so we will have a better understanding of funding amount and source. I have compiled the recurrent income for all Australian schools for the year of 2016, then further broken it down to government and non-government schools. I have broken down basically alone the line of major funding sources for the school, also added the capital spending coming out of the recurrent income as well. One thing to note is that state and territories also spend additional funds on capital projects for both public and private schools, these are things like complete new school, additional classrooms and other capital improvements.

 Number of SchoolsNumber Of StudentsTotal Gross IncomeFederal GovState GovFee ChargedOther Private SourceIncome allocated for capital project from 2014 to 2016
All Schools94803818362$57.8 Billion$16.3 Billion$29.5 Billion$10.1 Billion$1.8 Billion$2.8 Billion
Per School403$15131$4275$7728$2657$471$734
Government School66842488900$34.2 Billion$6.1 Billion$26.3 Billion$1 Billion$772 Million$140 Million
Per School (Government)371$13744$2452$10566$414$310$56
Non-Government School27961329463$23.6 Billion$10.2 Billion$3.2 Billion$9.1 Billion$1.03 Billion$2.66 Billion
Per School (Non-Government)475$17729$7685$2416$6855$772$2003

There are some very interesting data for government school average $13,744 per student with 18 per cent of that coming from the federal government, 77 per cent from state governments and 5 per cent from private sources. The private schools average $17,729 per student with 43 per cent of the income from the federal government, 14 per cent from state governments and 43 per cent from private sources. As you can see 57 per cent of private schools recurrent funding coming from public sources, the majority of the private schools would not be able to operate at all without public funds.

I will also do another follow up to analyse the additional capital funding various of state and territory governments are spending on the capital projects where it is possible to break down on how much of it is spent on public or private schools. Once the additional capital spending is taken into account there is not likely big difference in terms of per-student spending between private and public schools. However, there is a large difference in what each school receives, for example, an inner-city primary school in the Sydney north shore area may get less than ten thousand per student, but another school in remote area NSW can receive five or six times that amount. This is also something I am interested to further exploit to found out how the funding is distributed and where they go to as well.

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Australian School Funding and Finance (Part 1)

As someone who has a great interest in education, particularly public education. School funding and finance is one topic you cannot avoid to be involved with. How the funding is distributed also reflects how the Australian political landscape move and shifts as well. It also gives the public an insight into the priority of funding and underlying political philosophy as well. How the funding works is also a practical maze as well with different formulas and multiple sources as well.

To start with this topic first I need to go over the composition and makeup of the Australia schooling system. Australian primary and secondary schools are run by either the public or private sector. Public schools in Australia is run and operated by each State and territories, not the federal government. The private schools are divided into two categories, independent and Catholic schools. School funding also derives from different sources that being federal government and state government grant, plus private sources. Within the private sources, there is also a difference in the type of private funding sources, it is made up fee, charges, parental contribution and other private sources.

On top of the what listed already, state and territories also fund capital project outside the school’s recurrent income, this includes both public and private schools. Public school’s capital projects are pretty much exclusively funded by this. Private school’s capital projects are funded in a mix of private and public funds.

As you can see already there are a lot of complexities in how the Australian schools are funded and where those funds are coming from. Typically the public schools derive most of their funding from federal and state government and with the private schools it is as straightforward, some get most of their funding from private sources where the others actually mostly funded by the public.

I will try to go into more detail and provide more data on this topic in the follow-up blog posts.

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