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Chair John Humphrey of Brisbane Grammar School reported that the school’s main source of revenue, school fees, were under pressure due to high inflation rates and increasing costs, including insurance premiums. Despite limiting fee increases to 4.5 per cent in 2023, fees rose by 8 per cent in 2024, bringing the high school annual fee to $32,760. Humphrey noted that competitors had announced fee increases of 7.5 to 10 per cent in 2024. The school received $8 million in federal funding and $4 million in state funding, and posted an operating surplus of $1.16 million.

Senior deputy headmaster David Carroll highlighted the school’s investments in technology, infrastructure, and academic programs, including the opening of the $80 million six-storey STEAM Precinct in February. He emphasized the school’s focus on sporting, cultural, and student wellbeing programs in addition to academic achievements. Brisbane Girls Grammar School, the sister school of Brisbane Grammar, also reported strong waiting list numbers. Enrolments in Queensland private schools have been steadily increasing, with the independent school sector growing by 4.1 per cent in the past year and marking the fifth consecutive year of higher growth rates compared to state and Catholic schools.

According to Australian Bureau of Statistics data, about 16 per cent of all Queensland students are enrolled in independent schools. The independent school sector experienced a higher growth rate than state and Catholic schools for the fifth consecutive year, with an additional 5802 students enrolling in the past 12 months. While enrolments in state schools decreased by 0.22 per cent, Catholic school enrolments increased by 1.47 per cent. Brisbane Grammar School, like many private schools, charges application fees that are not deducted from tuition fees. However, the school’s books are particularly transparent as it is subject to the Grammar Schools Act and required to publicly table its annual report in Parliament.

Despite facing financial pressures and fee increases, Brisbane Grammar School continues to invest in technology, infrastructure, academic, sporting, cultural, and student wellbeing programs. The school’s operating surplus and investments in the STEAM Precinct showcase its commitment to providing a high-quality education to its students. The growth of enrolments in Queensland private schools, particularly in the independent sector, highlights the ongoing demand for alternative educational options. With transparent reporting practices mandated by the Grammar Schools Act, Brisbane Grammar sets an example for other private schools in terms of financial accountability and public disclosure of its operations.

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