Support and Sustainability: Explaining our approach to School Fees for 2023.
As we approach the end of one school year, and approach the beginning of a new one, I felt it timely to communicate some advice regarding our school fees for 2023 – and hopefully allow many parents and families to breathe a sigh of relief regarding the household budget for 2023.
0% Increase to Tuition Fees
Every time we turn on a television we are greeted with news of increases to the cost of living. mortgages, insurance, fuel and food have all taken a hit, and in most cases, school fees too.
This issue has been discussed at length at leadership and Board level at Investigator, and through very careful management, we are one of the few schools able to offer a 0% fee increase for the 2023 school year.
Standard practice for most schools is to align increases each year with the Consumer Price index (CPI). Raising fees in line with the current CPI rate, which sits above 7%, would have meant an increase of approximately $495 (per student). This is a substantial cost, and one which we did not want any family to endure. Bearing the needs of our College Community in mind, it is my hope that our decision not to increase our fees helps the cost of the high-quality, Anglican education that we offer here at Investigator remain affordable for all of our existing families, and provides some assurance and certainty for any prospective families commencing with us in 2023.
While we have done our best to avoid any substantial increase in the cost of education, Investigator, like many businesses and organisations over the past twelve months, has experienced sharp rises in the cost of our operations – particularly those provided by suppliers external to the College.
A few years ago (before we had even heard of COVID), Investigator introduced a complimentary bus service to enable students who cannot easily get to Victor Harbor to have the opportunity to access a top-class Anglican education, akin to the offerings of our high fee cousins in the city.
Unfortunately, amid the rising cost of fuel, insurance for our service operators, and greater usage, the cost of operating our bus services has increased significantly. In light of this, we have regrettably been forced to pass on a small fee for each student using the bus service.
The bus co-contribution, which will take effect from the beginning of the 2023 school year, will be $100 per term – which equates to approximately $2 per day (or $1 each way).
This contribution directly supports the operating cost of our bus service, and serves to ensure our buses continue to operate reliably and sustainably into the future.
Investigator is continuing to cover the majority of bus costs, and every effort has been made to ensure that our bus service remains both affordable, and cheaper than any other South Coast bus service, without compromising on our commitment to transporting your children safely and reliably each school day.
I would like to take an opportunity to thank all of our existing families for your understanding as we continue to balance the provision of our service with rising costs, and endeavour to keep any further increases to a minimum.
Amendments to the Sibling Discount Schedule
One area of our fee schedule I have received some correspondence about is the prospect of families with four children now having their sibling discount reduced.
Please note that the reduction in discount only applies to students enrolling in the future. Families with four or more children currently attending Investigator will continue to have their existing level of discount honored.
We are aware that, unfortunately, there may be some current families with a fourth child due to commence with us in 2023, and that the reduction in discount may have been unforeseen. If you are in this situation, please reach out to either our Business Director, Mark McLaren, or myself and we will do our best to assist.
Growth, Improvement and Sustainability
Lastly, I would like to finish by reassuring each of our families that the College makes every effort to ensure that any fees or levies received are reinvested into the continuous improvement of the educational service we provide, the extension of the range of opportunities we are able to offer to our students, and the teaching and learning environments that make our campus an excellent place for each child to learn and grow.
I can only reflect on changes and improvements that have been made since beginning here in 2020, but as a summary, please find below a short list of positions and programs that we have introduced during this period:
- College Counsellors (2)
- Junior School Literacy and Curriculum Coordinator
- Learning Strategies Coordinator and additional Learning Strategies staff
- Head of Junior School
- Head of Middle School
- Assistant Head of Middle School
- Assistant Head of Senior School
- Head of Sport
- Innovation programs
- More widespread use of our Currency Creek EcoCentre (and a new jetty scheduled to be built)
- Positive Education/WAVE programs
- Talk for Writing Literacy programs
- da Vinci Decathlon
- Great new Music opportunities
- The inclusion of 3-year-olds at Little Investigators
- A brilliant new OSHC program extending to Before School and Vacation Care
- Cyberbullying education
This list is by no means exhaustive, and the opportunities we are able to offer to students continue to improve and expand each year.
With this in mind, should you be struggling financially, I emphasise the importance of making a time to meet with our Business Director, Mark McLaren.
All such discussions remain completely confidential, and we will always do our very best to assist our families, where possible.
We truly value our partnership with you and look forward to a very special year in 2023.
Thank you for continuing to be a part of our College community, and for your support as we continuously work to make Investigator College an exceptional place to learn for all students.