Private schools are enticing a growing number of parents with discounted fees as the competition for students heats up.
Last minute booking website School Places offers discounts of up to 50 per cent at 30 Victorian private schools; up from 11 schools when the site was launched a year ago.
However, some say the discounting is creating tensions between families who have reduced fees and those who pay full fees.
Independent Schools Victoria chief executive Michelle Green said while parents supported fee discounts for needy students, discounting fees for others could create some concern.
Here I was thinking that fees for all private schools were supposed to be ‘affordable’ for all families. That was the promise made by Howard and Kemp when they changed the funding formula 10+ YEARS AGO.
Parents who use the site to snap up a year 9 spot at Shelford Girls' Grammar in Caulfield will save 30 per cent over three years, or $21,702, while Oakleigh Grammar is offering a 25 per cent discount over three years for families who enrol their children in year 9.
Oakleigh Grammar marketing officer (Interesting title!)Amy Coleman said the school used the site to reach out to new audiences.
The school rebranded itself in 2011, changing its name from Oakleigh Greek Orthodox College and becoming a grammar school.
Recent figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the shift from state schools to non-government schools has halted for the first time in almost four decades.
Glenn Savage, a researcher and lecturer in education policy at Melbourne University, said Australian schooling was increasingly marketised and competitive.
"Parents are very savvy in choosing schools these days and adopt a range of strategies to secure the best deal," Dr Savage said.