How much is spent on your kids?

THE revamped My School website was launched yesterday, giving Ipswich parents the ability to compare for the first time how much on average is spent on each child at a chosen school.

The release of the financial information, based on 2009 statistics, has been criticised by some, and the state’s Education Minister Cameron Dick said it should be used with caution.

Mr Dick said he was concerned about the potential for unfair comparisons, given the complexity of the information.

Ipswich Grammar School headmaster Robert Henderson, whose school has one of the higher averages of how much is spent per student, said at first glance the details for his school were correct.

Mr Henderson said he supported the transparency of the website and the information it provided, but said it should not be the only thing parents of prospective students based their school decisions on.

“As long as it is used as one source of evidence to make informed decisions, I’m for it,” Mr Henderson said.

“But I think nothing beats making contact with a school directly.”

For Ipswich Grammar School students, when government funding, school fees and other factors are considered, the average spent per student is $13,740.

Ipswich State High School was close behind with about $11,626 per student, the vast majority of which came from the State Government.

In between was St Edmund’s College, where the average spent per student was $12,290.

Redbank Plains State High School students were at the lower end of the scale in 2009 with $10,783 per student, along with Bremer State High School ($10,181 per student).

But Mr Dick and The Queensland Council of Parents and Citizens’ Associations said parents needed to look at what services the schools offered and not just the bottom line.

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