No such thing as a free school lunch: RACQ

Queensland families sending their child to a State high school will spend at least $1100 a year on their education, new RACQ finance research has found.

RACQ’s Renee Smith said the average cost for sending a child to public high school in Queensland for a year was $1160, while a private secondary school costed an average $9890.

“School sport, excursions, uniforms and digital technology are just some of the items parents have had to budget for in 2017,” Ms Smith said.

“One big ticket item is the spend on digital learning tools like laptops and iPads, at an average cost of $405 a year.

“More than 62 percent of schools now require a mix of both traditional textbooks and digital technology, while almost 10 percent of schools have completely converted to digital education.

“Extracurricular activities like sport, school excursions, dance and music are another large expense for Queensland families; 80 percent of students are likely to participate in at least one of these in 2017, at an average of $600 per child.

“And school uniforms are yet another item families must budget for, coming in at an average $210 for each student.”

Ms Smith said many parents surveyed used strategies like buying supplies during sales periods, or purchased uniforms and textbooks second-hand to keep costs down.

“We also found some schools offered rental systems for textbooks and digital equipment which can be another way for families to save some money,” she said.

“Be sure to label absolutely everything with your child’s class details and your phone number – there is nothing more aggravating than replacing perfectly good items which somehow fail to make it home in the school bag at the end of the day.”