Public vs Private schools. Why are private schools winning?
ANNUAL cost to send your child to Trinity Catholic College has been amended:
Trinity Catholic College: $3193
Metropolitan NSW average:
State school - $5069
Private school - $8585
Systemic school - $13,977
Regional NSW average:
State school - $3787
Private school - $19,007
Systemic school - $9630
SOURCE: Australian Scholarships Group 2016
MORE Northern Rivers families are favouring independent or Catholic schools over government schools, research has found.
Similar findings occur across regional Australia, however the Northern Rivers has one of the highest independent school market share growths in the country.
Research by Australian Development Strategies demographer John Black shows the independent schools market share climbed 2.09%, Catholic grew 0.93% and the government school share declined by 3.03% in the region from 2008 to 2015.
The opposite is occurring in inner cities.
"If you look at figures for schools in that region (Tweed to Richmond Valley), most of the growth has been amongst the lower fee independent schools," Mr Black said.
Mr Black said in inner cities parents were finding the most value sending their kids to state schools and in regional areas more parents were finding value in private and Catholic schools.
"People are favouring what they see is the best deal," he said.
"It's also a sign for the State Government to have a look at what they are offering in the area and come up with explanations."
Trinity Catholic College Lismore principal Brother John Hilet said there were a number of factors that could be influencing trends.
"For some families, they are after a particular education, specialties, such as a Catholic education or a specialty in creative performing arts," he said.
"Also in regional areas there tends to be more family connection, so the father or mother went there, for example.
"I would say parents searching for more value is possibly part of these trends, but what is interesting is the number of parents I talk to, and the students are making the decisions these days.
"While parents get more clued up, I'm often finding the decision making is growing among kids."
Secondary Principals' Council deputy president Craig Petersen said the onus was on the State Government.
"There needs to be a greater focus on schools in regional areas," Mr Petersen said.
"New South Wales is already starting to address this with the release of Rural & Remote Education: A Blueprint for Action, November 2013.
"However, more needs to be done in order to reposition public secondary schools so that they are recognised as being equally capable of providing excellent educational opportunities for all students.
"We really need the Federal Government to honour the commitment to fully implement and fund the Gonski model of needs-based funding to help to really close the equity gap and strengthen the ability of regional schools to compete against well-funded private and independent school."