Scotch Oakburn College will reduce its fees by up to 29 per cent on its junior grade levels.
The school will reduce fees for all grade cohorts except for grade 11 and 12, which remain unchanged.
The new fee structure will apply for 2019 enrolments.
Scotch Oakburn College principal Andy Müller said the decision was made primarily from feedback received from parents.
“We had families who were involved in our early learning program who we received feedback from,” he said.
“They indicated they would like to stay with the school, they loved the programs, the teachers and the culture, but the fees were not something they could manage at the time.”
The school will bear the brunt of the funding fee decrease, which will eat into the private school’s budget surplus.
“We will be operating on a tight ship over the next few years,” Mr Müller said.
“But we expect that we will get an increase in enrolments, which will increase our budget into the future.”
The longer we began looking into it, the further realised that it was the right thing to do for our community.Scotch Oakburn principal Andy Müller
The decision will not impact at all on Scotch’s programs or staffing arrangements, he said.
Staff at the school were told of the decision on Thursday, while parent representatives from each grade were told on Friday.
Mr Müller said the feedback from parents so far had been positive.
Economic surveys and viability testing was conducted over a six-month period to ensure the school could weather the hit to its budget.
“It was a matter of not only looking inward at our own finances, but also bench-marking us against other similar schools across the country.”
What they found, from that testing, was that fees for Scotch Oakburn’s grade 11 and 12 cohorts met national standards for similar fees.
However, there was a discrepancy in the junior school fees.
Scotch Oakburn has 180 early learning and 950 prep to grade 12 students enrolled across its campuses.
The school anticipates no more than eight to 10 additional students at each year level.
Levies remain unchanged.