Chanel College Principal Dr Susan Bunkum.
Chanel College Principal Dr Susan Bunkum.

Gladstone’s richest and most expensive schools revealed

GLADSTONE'S richest school rakes in more than $58.4 million in three years and parents wanting to send their children to the region's most expensive school have to fork out $4207, tightly held school statistics reveal.

An independent analysis of school financial records from the MySchool website have shown the massive amount of money some schools make every year, and how little some schools are forced to scrape by on.

The figures revealed Gladstone State High School had a higher gross income than any school in the region, at $58.4 million, according to financial records from the three most recently available years.

The region's second richest school was Tannum Sands State High School, in Tannum Sands, which had a gross income of $41.4 million.

Within the top 10 was Chanel College which also had the highest cost to parents where the average amount parents forked out in fees, charges and contributions in 2017 was $4207.

Catholic Education Diocesan director Leesa Jeffcoat said the school abided by strict governance procedures to ensure funding was appropriately used.

"A rigorous process sits around the allocation of government capital funding to ensure it is appropriately used," Miss Jeffcoat said.

She said school fees for Catholic schools were determined by each Catholic School Authority and depended on the circumstances of families.

"Income from school fees goes towards capital expenditure, resourcing and improving facilities for students," she said.

"Chanel College has recently been migrated to high speed internet connection using the Australian Academic and Research Network to take advantage of state-of-the-art network technologies and to provide capacity to enable new teaching and learning opportunities.

"We strive to keep fees as low as possible to ensure a Catholic education is an affordable choice for families."

 

Builyan State School had the lowest gross income of any school in the Gladstone region. It made $1.1 million over the three-year period.

After Chanel College, Discovery Christian College, in Agnes Water, had the region's second highest average parental contributions with $3517.

The figures include all fees, charges and parental contributions as well as State and Federal government funding and any other private sources over the 2015, 2016 and 2017 years.

It does not include any deductions for capital works or debt servicing. The analysis does not include special schools or schools that did not have complete financial data in MySchool for one or more of 2015, 2016 or 2017.

Education Minister Grace Grace said comparing school funds was like "comparing apples and oranges".

"Schools reflect their community and the total funding provided to individual schools reflects a range of factors including the location/remoteness and any additional learning supports required by the student attending that school, such as support for students with a disability, or students from low socio-economic backgrounds," Mrs Grace said.

"Schools with higher needs such as special schools, specific purpose facilities like hospital schools and detention centre units, and small or remote schools typically receive higher per student funding.

"Smaller schools will also tend to show a higher per student cost than larger schools due to the economies of scale in larger schools."