DUE DATES AND PAYMENT OPTIONS
Joining the Shearwater school community is a commitment to the wellbeing and good of our school. Reliable income from fees is an essential part of this. Fees, levies and charges are invoiced at the beginning of each year or upon enrolment, and statements are issued at the end of each term.
There are 2 payment options:
- Quarterly: Pay fees each term in full by the first Friday of each Term
- Fortnightly: Total amount paid in 24 equal installments
PayWay forms are available at our office.
For online bank transfers, the School Bank Account details are:
BSB # 032573
Acct # 175875
Acct Name: Shearwater the Mullumbimby Steiner School
Please make sure you use a reference that will correctly identify the source of the payment.
COLLECTIONS POLICY FOR OUTSTANDING FEES
While every attempt will be made to come to a suitable payment plan, on-going arrears will lead to formal recovery proceedings.
The School further reserves the right to reverse fee discounts, as well as withdraw the enrolment of students should the account remain unpaid.
Where the school incurs costs related to bank transactions the cost will be passed on to parents at the existing bank rates.
This policy provides guidelines for charging and collection of fees at Shearwater, The Mullumbimby Steiner School Limited.
- All matters relating to school fees will be managed fairly and in accordance with school policy.
- All financial matters will be treated confidentially between the parties concerned.
- Shearwater recognises that not every family has the financial resources to afford an independent school education.
- Shearwater believes that it is not assisting any family by allowing a family to amass a large debt that is beyond the reasonable ability of that family to repay.
- Shearwater will consider applications for fee relief on the grounds of financial hardship from families it considers to be in genuine financial need. In considering applications for fee relief, the School must take into account its own financial position and its moral obligation to members of the wider community who were disadvantaged by the financial reconstruction that occurred in mid 2010. Hardship fee relief will generally be provided only to families of existing students who fall into unexpected financial difficulties.
The School determines the structure of classes and staffing based on both current and accepted/projected enrolments. A non-refundable enrolment fee must be paid upon acceptance of an application for enrolment.
In general terms, this fee enables the school to make a financial commitment to the staffing levels required. The fee also helps contribute to reducing the school’s financial burden if a student does not actually enrol after accepting a position and class/staff structure has been determined and financed.
Annual School Fees
Annual school fees are set by the School Board. In normal circumstances, the Board sets the fees for each year at the beginning of Term 4 in the previous year.
Annual school fees are determined by a number of factors, such as cost of providing quality education, government assistance and community socio-economic indicators.
Primary school fees include most stationery requirements. The School will provide secondary school families with a list of the essential stationery items which they must provide at their own cost.
The fees for Years 11 and 12 are calculated over 8 terms, which includes Term 4 for Year 12, when students sit their HSC exams.
Fees are payable in advance by the first Friday of each term. Alternatively, fees are payable by fortnightly instalments. Parents wishing to pay by fortnightly instalments must complete and provide a direct debit authority, or make other payment arrangements acceptable to the School by the first Friday of Term 1.
Fee invoices will be itemised to allow families to take advantage of any government tax benefits.
Building Maintenance Levy
A compulsory levy is charged per family to assist with the cost of maintenance of school buildings. For 2018 the levy is $250. The Board may vary this levy each year.
Accident Insurance Cover
A compulsory insurance levy is charged per student to cover the cost of accident insurance. For 2018, the levy is $20. The Board may vary this levy to reflect the actual insurance premiums charged to the School. Details of the insurance cover are available from the School Office.
Click here to download a copy of the Student Accident Insurance Policy
Click here to download a copy of the Accident Report and Claim Form
Leave of absence
The conditions of enrolment provide that:
Fees are levied for a term, or part thereof. If a student is temporarily absent from school for any reason, fees are payable in full.
Where parents remove children to travel on an extended holiday during term time, fees are still collected.
Notification of Extended Leave, or an application for Exemption From Attendance must be made one month prior to any planned absence.
Please contact the Office for the form to make an application.
Private tuition fees
Fees for private tuition (eg: music and curative eurythmy) are billed separately.
Study through external providers:
TVET Course Levy
A 50% subsidy (to a maximum $1,500) is provided. The cost difference of the TVET course is payable by parents upon enrolment in the course. These specific details are to be determined with the Senior School Coordinator prior to course enrolment - as per the Senior School Handbook.
Distance Education fees
Fees for distance education courses are set by the course providers. As at February 2017, the course fees were $800 per year for Year 11 and 12 courses. The parents must pay 50% of the applicable fee(s) before the School enrols the student in a distance education course.
If the student withdraws from, or fails to complete, a course, the parents are liable for the full cost and the balance will be added to the next fee invoice issued following withdrawal from or the end of the course.
Shearwater will subsidise one course taken through external providers. Conditions apply, and students need to consult with the Secondary Studies Coordinator.
Termination of Enrolment
Parents must give written notice of a minimum one term’s notice or pay the equivalent amount of the tuition component in lieu. If a student is expelled, fees are payable up to the end of the term in which expulsion occurs.
Shearwater will return unexpired fees paid in advance, if no other money is owed to the school.
Building Fund Donations: School families are invited to make tax deductible donations to the Building Fund to help maintain the buildings, cover the cost of the new building (Stage 6) and develop future school resources.
Receipts will be issued to assist you in claiming the deduction.
Parents and Friends’ Fund Raising
Like all private schools, Shearwater requires considerable help to raise funds. Each year we hold a number of events such as the Bush Dance and Spring Fair. Funds raised at these are vital to the school. School families are encouraged to support these events generously.
Committing to Paying Fees
Enrolling a child at Shearwater involves a commitment to paying fees for the education provided. Please give serious thought to your ability to maintain this contract for your child’s education before proceeding with an enrolment.
In order for the School to pay staff and cover other running costs, it is essential that families pay fees as they fall due. It is an unpleasant task to chase parents for unpaid fees. Unpaid fees also create a serious cash flow problem and additional direct costs in the form of bank interest charges on working capital loans. The School cannot provide free credit to families and has the right to charge both interest and accounting charges on unpaid fees.
The school provides the following options to assist parents with payment of school fees:
- Quarterly – payment by the first Friday each Term.
- Fortnightly – 24 equal instalments.
The following payment methods are offered:
- Cash / Cheque
- Direct Debit
- Direct Deposit
Fee Discounts *
For concurrent enrolments, if the same person[s] is/are liable for the fees of more than one child at the school, the tuition component of the total school fees will be calculated on the basis that:
100% is payable for the first child
- 15% discount applies for the second child.
- 30% discount applies for the third child.
- 75% discount applies for the fourth and subsequent children.
People of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Descent
- 50% discount per term for all students of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent against tuition fees only (sibling discount does not apply)
Please check with the School office if you would like to use another payment method, such as CentrePay.
Please do not send cash to school with your child.
No cash payment is effective until a receipt is issued by the School Office.
Overdue Fee Collection Procedures
If families fall behind in the payment of school fees, Shearwater will usually take the following steps:
- Step 1 Telephone call made as soon as practicable after a payment has been missed or dishonoured. If required a follow up letter will be issued.
- Step 2 If a satisfactory result is not achieved within 14 days, the Business Manager or delegate will arrange a meeting with both parents, if possible. At this meeting the possibility of exclusion from attendance may be raised. A letter stating agreed outcomes will then be sent immediately to parents.
- Step 3 If the parents refuse or fail to attend a meeting with the Business Manager or delegate, or an agreement reached at the meeting is not honoured, the Head of School may request a meeting with the family to discuss the issues and viability of continued enrolment.
- Step 4 Head of School and Business Manager determine next course of action.
- Step 5 Termination of enrolment and/or debt collection and/or other.