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The below communication was sent to the College community via app on 9 December 2022:

Dear St Augustine’s College Community


The decision regarding determining school fees each year is a very considered process, taking into account external, school and community factors. The goal of fee determination is to balance the sustainability of the school’s current operations and staffing talent; enable the ability for aspirational future developments and ensure limited impact to families within our community.

As we move into the 2023 financial year, St Augustine’s College will have additional financial pressures as a result of significant changes to government funding. Based on Direct Measure of Income (DMI), a measurement used by government to calculate parents’ capacity to contribute to the cost of education, there will be a 4% reduction in Government funding in 2023, equating to $750,000. We anticipate continued reduction in Government funding will progress yearly until 2029 and have been proactively planning for this impact.

We are not alone. Most schools, with mid-range fee bases like St. Augustine’s College, are also feeling significant financial pressure from the reduction of government funding and increased overhead from teacher wages, utilities, repairs, and improvements. In this context, early indications suggest most private schools will increase fees in 2023 by 4% to 10%.


We believe the College Board has an obligation to manage cost pressures, infrastructure needs and upgrades responsibly, over the long term. In determining an income base for 2023, the Finance and Risk Committee has recommended to the College Board that school fees be increased by 5%. This increase will ensure the sustainability of the school’s current operating measures and will additionally enable the College to continue ongoing minor capital works, service debt, and acquire available properties adjacent to the College site in the coming year.

Our intent is to keep an increase in St. Augustine’s College school fees towards the bottom of the independent school increase band, at 5%.

The support of families meeting their fee obligation is an incredibly important way we are supported. A significant part of our ability to keep the increase in the lower % band has been the commitment families have made to paying their fees on time throughout the year.


Your fees and levies, charged by the College, go to bridging the gap between the College’s operating costs and Government funding. More importantly, the fees and levies paid ensure that the College is in a position to provide the highest quality Catholic education for your son.

Specifically, school fees are applied towards operating costs, such as teachers and staff salaries, purchase of general resources, consumables for the school and classrooms, purchase of library resources, and other infrastructure maintenance costs including, but not limited to: IT, electricity, telephone, insurance, cleaning, security, maintenance and rent.

Our biggest investment goes towards our staffing, comprising 69% of our total expenditure. Comparative to other schools, the College over-indexes on its staffing, as we believe the quality of staff and services available, directly translates to the quality of your son’s educational experience. Therefore, we have significantly higher teacher-student ratios and employ more non-teaching staff (such as psychologists and a physiotherapist) to ensure our students can holistically access the richest learning and well-being experience. In addition, we invest in our staff to ensure their continued training and education, so they are enabled to further enhance the College academic and non-academic environments. We have created high-quality support staff pathways, developed a staff internship program, provide extensive professional learning and invest in staff acquiring additional post-graduate tertiary qualifications. This investment is critical to the College’s ability to attract top staffing talent, limit attrition, and provide the best quality education to your son. Our exceptional staff have been critical to the College’s ability to continue to operate smoothly and with minimal disruption through ongoing teacher shortages, unlike many other schools that have needed to collapse classes, increase class sizes, and remove electives.

Whilst we continue to improve our efficiencies, it is imperative to set fees for long-term sustainability and enable us to provide high-quality education and services.


The College does not receive any Government funding, nor does it receive capital grants from the State or Federal government for capital expenditures. In the past, the College has been fortunate to finance large capital projects by using its reserves, fundraising, and borrowing. With the continued reduction in Government funding for school operating costs, the College is unable to generate an adequate surplus to enable major capital investment in buildings or land, specifically a site that could be developed into a sporting precinct.

The College community is aware that the land available within the College campus for sporting activities is limited. Securing an appropriately sized sporting precinct will be of great benefit to current and future students attending the College. Any acquisition of suitable land on the Northern Beaches to develop a sports precinct will require substantial capital and the current school fees are inadequate to fund a large capital expenditure on an active precinct. To be able to do this without limiting our capacity to continue campus improvements, we have decided to introduce a compulsory Capital Fund Levy (CFL), separate to school fees.

Next year, the Capital Fund Levy has been set at $500 per family. This will generate approximately $600,000 of income that will be sequestered and accounted for separately. It has been considered a more manageable approach for families with siblings in the College, rather than a higher percentage increase in fees. The College will run a temperature graph that will allow families to see this fund grow in coming years, improving our capacity to execute the purchase of land suitable for the development of a sporting precinct or further campus development.


“The Future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope.”

– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Voluntary contributions accelerate our ability to acquire and develop facilities that are clear priorities for many families.

For those families in a position to make a voluntary contribution of more than $1,000 to the Capital Fund, the College will credit $500 towards your school fees account and you will be eligible for a tax receipt.

Please contact the Finance Office via email at if you would like assistance with making a donation to make you eligible for a credit to your fees account. In the new year, we are hoping to streamline this process with a donation link in Saints Online.


We understand many families within our community are experiencing financial pressures. We are here to support and work with you. If you wish to discuss payment options or any other financial concerns, please contact the Finance Office via email at

We value your role within our community and the contributions you make towards the success and future development of St Augustine's College and your son.

Jonathan Byrne, Principal
Andrew Wilson, Board Chair

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