Heights College principal Darren Lawson.   Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Heights College principal Darren Lawson. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison ROK151015ccollege1

School freezes fees to help CQ parents in tough times

ROCKHAMPTON residents are doing it tough economically with more than one-in-five in the region sitting below the national poverty income line.

School fees are just another financial stress on parents, but local school Heights College have made the decision to freeze their school fees for a second year in a row.

Heights College principal Darren Lawson said the decision to freeze school fees this year, as well as last year, is due to the strain of the economy on Central Queensland families.

"Similar to last year, we know Central Queensland and Rockhampton are not out of the woods yet and parents are doing it tough," Mr Lawson said yesterday.

"It's something parents are reluctant to discuss or bring up, but there are certain cases where we do know there's people losing jobs or moving from the region to find jobs.

"We know it's a sacrifice to send children to private schools and we want it to be an affordable option."

The school has been working on its internal efficiency, a step Mr Lawson said is helping keep school fees where they are without affecting student's education.

"There are small cost savings you can find without dropping your standards in any area," he said.

Mr Lawson said current school fees are around $4900 for year 12 students and $3500 for primary students.

When Heights College's fees do begin increasing again, Mr Lawson said they won't be making up for the freeze.

"This is the second year we've done it, so we've certainly got no promises next year at all," he said.

"In some cases wages go up by 2-3% every year so at some stage we've got to resume increasing.

"We're not going to have a catch up, it'll be back at a normal rate or a fairly mild rate."