A private boys’ school in Perth that charges up to $ 27,000 a year in tuition fees received more than $ 7 million in grants for job babysitters in 2020 while reporting an operating surplus of more than $ 8 million.
Alumni of Hale School in Perth are Minister Christian Porter and Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith.
According to the school’s annual report, she received $ 7.45 million in job retention payments last year. At the same time, the school declared an operating surplus in 2020 of $ 8.31 million and also offered discounts to parents.
Jobkeeper’s grants were the second source of income for the private school in 2020, contributing more than Commonwealth funding, state funding, and boarding fees.
Losses reported under “cuts” also increased during 2020. The school spent $ 1.93 million on rebates, the 2020 annual report says, up $ 1.2 million from 714. $ 332 reported in 2019. The total tuition fees collected by the school also increased from $ 46.1 million in 2019 to $ 46.8 million. m in 2020.
The Hale School is a member of the Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia, which requires schools to “demonstrate efficient use of public funds”.
Hale declined to answer when asked what made the school eligible for Jobkeeper or what the $ 7.4 million in government funding had been spent on.
Electronics firm Harvey Norman received $ 22 million from jobkeeper in 2020, even as its profits more than doubled during the pandemic, with billionaire owner Gerry Harvey refusing to repay the funds.
Wesley College, a private Melbourne school that charges more than $ 34,000 for 12th-grade students, received nearly $ 20 million in employment assistance grants last year despite reporting a surplus . The college offered parents a 20% reduction on second-term tuition fees.
The Hale School did not respond to questions about whether it would reimburse job retention funds to the federal government.
Valerie Gould, executive director of AISWA, said member schools make their own decisions about whether to apply for Jobkeeper.
“Schools followed federal government guidelines when applying for a jobkeeper, as have many other organizations,” she told Guardian Australia.
“Schools made their own decisions about whether they were eligible to apply to Jobkeeper when they met the criteria, and then their applications went through government processes, as did applications from a wide range of organizations. “
The Hale School Foundation – a segregated fund that provides scholarships and pays for large construction projects – had assets of more than $ 24 million at the end of 2020, according to financial documents filed with the Australian Commission for charitable and non-profit organizations.
The school charges fees of $ 26,910 per year for students in grades 9 to 12, $ 26,790 for grades 7 to 8, and between $ 16,290 and $ 23,160 for students from kindergarten to the 6th year. She charges $ 24,750 per year for internship.
Labor MP Andrew Leigh said the number of jobkeepers awarded to private schools showed the federal government was “wasting” money.
“He had no trouble finding $ 7.5 million in jobkeeper for Hale School in one year, they increased their income,” he said.
“In 2020, the government could have purchased enough Pfizer vaccine for every Australian adult for around $ 1 billion. Instead, he wasted more than $ 10 billion on job guards at companies with rising incomes. “