Fee hike facing some schools

FEES for private schools on the Northern Rivers are tipped to rise this year, with reports independent schools are struggling because of the increase in teachers' salaries.

But one Ballina school said it was the exception to the rule.

Richmond Christian College principal Geoff Brisby said their fees would increase 'by a small amount' this year, but not by the average seven to eight per cent rise some other schools in the State have planned.

“We will determine our fee structure within the next few weeks,” he said.

“Teachers are getting four per cent pay rises each year, so salaries do take up a fair chunk of the budget.

“The easy answer for most schools is to add a few extra dollars on to fees, but we're a low-fee school and our families are already struggling.

“They were doing it tough long before this current economic meltdown, but we'll get through this.”

Mr Brisby said the college's enrolment numbers were looking good.

“Last year our school grew 30 per cent in student numbers, and this year we're up another 20 per cent,” he said.

“We're full except for a couple of places here and there. We're really one of the only schools in such a good position.”

In Lismore, Summerland Christian School and College said its fees would probably increase 'very slightly'.

Emmanuel Anglican College at Ballina refused to comment on whether its prices would go up for the coming school year.

Other private schools in the region, including Trinity College and Blue Hills College at Goonellabah, could not be contacted for comment.


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