More than half of Australian parents intend on sending their children to private school even though only one in 10 of them actually plan for this when their children are young, new ANZ research reveals.
ANZ commissioned the research as part of the launch of ANZ School Ready, Australia's first free online tool to help parents forecast the true cost of sending children to various schools around the country.
ANZ Managing Director Products and Marketing, Matt Boss, said: 'While not everybody wants to send their children to private schools, the site allows parents to forecast the true cost of those schools and helps them better plan for one of the most important investments they will make."
'We know this is a top priority for many families and our research showed that saving for a child's education is the second biggest financial concern behind ensuring quality healthy food is on the table.
'We're not advocating private over public, rather we are giving Australian parents the information to better decide and plan for their children's education," Mr Boss said.
Other findings in the ANZ research showed:
22 per cent of parents surveyed agreed that 'saving for my children's education" broadly is the most important thing to save for, followed by a family home (14 per cent)
59 per cent listed their biggest reason for not considering private schooling was not being able to afford it.
Despite 24 per cent of parents believing that planning for children's private schooling should occur between the ages one to three, only 10 per cent actually do so.
46 per cent identified a savings account as the key form for funding private schooling, followed by additional income (17 per cent).
Parents can visit anz.com/schoolready and use the interactive map to easily find schools in their area and then filter the search by year level, gender, type (Catholic, Anglican) and price range.
Question: What challenges do parents face when preparing for their children's private school education?
Matt Boss: Parents who would like to send their children to private school generally know the type of school they would like their child to attend, but quite often leave it too late to properly plan and save.
ANZ research shows that only 10 per cent of parents plan for education costs when their children are young. We designed the ANZ School Ready tool to help them access more information so they can eliminate or reduce the challenges and stresses placed on families when it comes to private school education.
Question: How early do parents need to start preparing for their children's private school education?
Matt Boss: It's basically never too early to start planning. ANZ research found 24% of parents believe planning for their children's private schooling should occur between the ages of one to three. The reality is that the earlier a family plans for a child's education, the better they'll be in when the time comes to decide what they'll because they've prepared for it and will know what to expect.
Question: What are the statistics on parents who are saving for their children's private school education?
Matt Boss: A savings account is the main way people fund private schooling according to our research which showed 46% of respondents choose this, followed by 17 per cent who nominated additional income.
Our research also showed that 'saving for my children's education" was broadly the most important thing to save for with 22% selecting this, followed by a 14 per cent who nominated the family home as the most important thing to save for.
The research clearly shows that children's education is a key life and savings consideration for families, so it's important for parents to have tools like ANZ School Ready at their disposal to help simplify the process.
Question: What is the ANZ's School Ready tool?
Matt Boss: It's an online tool designed to help Australian parents plan and save for their children's private school education. We realise that for some parents, their children's education will be one of the biggest investments they make, along with owning a home or starting a business so we want to help them plan for it.
Question: Can you talk us through the features of the ANZ's School Ready tool?
Matt Boss: Parents can use an interactive map to easily find private schools located in their area, and filter by year level, gender, price range and type – for example, Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran.. A free personalised ANZ School Ready® Report is then emailed to the user, which includes year-by-year fee information based on the schools selected for each child and a savings plan with tips to be financially prepared.
Question: How does the ANZ's School Ready tool help parents prepare?
Matt Boss: It includes useful insights on private school education, tips for saving and planning and recommended solutions to help parents through the different stages of the education planning journey. Once parents go through the process of the tool, they're provided with a free report that clearly outlines how they can meet their financial goals to ensure they're well equipped to send their kids to private school.
Question: Can all ANZ customers use the School Ready tool?
Matt Boss: ANZ School Ready is open for anybody to use for free by visiting anz.com/schoolready and you don't have to be an ANZ customer to use it.
Interview by Brooke Hunter