When your child goes to a Tasmanian government school you will find that there are costs that you will need to pay.
- school uniforms
- other costs associated with your child’s educational program.
If you are eligible, there are a number of financial assistance schemes that can help you to cover costs.
What do levies pay for?
The levy you pay contributes to the cost of your child’s education program, and includes:
- items your child uses during the school year, like learning materials and stationery.
- services, like school excursions, performances and school camps that are part of your child’s educational program.
Levies when transferring to a new school
If your child is transferring to a new school during the school year, find out from both schools what their policies for refunds and levies on transfer are.
In some subjects there may be an option of extending a project or task at an additional cost. You will only need to pay this contribution if your child chooses to take up the opportunity.
Other charges for students may apply to optional activities. Examples are school social events, extra music tuition, and recreational or holiday trips.
Further answers about levies and charges
Why do schools have different levy amounts?
Under the Education Act 2016, principals develop their own school policy for levies and charges. They do this in consultation with the school community, through the School Association Committee. Because of this, levy amounts can vary between schools. Levies must be set at the minimum amount possible.
What is the difference between a levy and a charge?
Levies and charges are payments made by parents to their child’s school. Levies incorporate required costs, and charges are for optional costs. Schools work hard to minimise the costs of levies.
Levies include costs for items and services that are required to complete the normal educational instruction at the school. Levies include the cost of:
Any items which are essential to completing the student’s core curriculum, such as:
- essential stationery
- cooking ingredients
- gardening supplies.
Any services like excursions, performances and activities that are part of the curriculum, such as:
- out of school excursions taken as part of a subject
- in-school performances
- guest speakers
- class, year-level, and subject-specific camps.
Levies are not payable by families of students eligible for STAS.
Charges are payments made to the school for items or services that are optional. Charges may apply for:
- optional activities (e.g. school band program)
- optional items (e.g. yearbook, school photos)
- more expensive items/materials than the standard materials provided (e.g. hardwood instead of pine in woodwork)
Are textbooks and equipment for years 11 and 12 included in the levy?
Textbooks, graphics calculators, and wearable items are not required to be included in the levy for students in Years 11 and 12 however work is underway to reduce costs to families for future years.
What about interstate and international school trips?
These are not included in the school levy, even if these are part of a student’s curriculum (e.g. language trips). These costs are charged separately and are not waived for families supported by STAS.
How can I provide feedback on the levies and charges at my school?
As a parent of a child at a Tasmanian government school, you are a member of your School Association. You can provide feedback on levies and charges:
- through the School Association Committee
- by contacting your school business manager.
What should I do if I am having difficulty paying my child’s levy?
If you have one of the following, your family is eligible for STAS, and you do not need to pay levies:
- Centrelink Health Care Card
- Centrelink Low Income Health Care Card
- Pensioner Concession Card
- Department of Veteran’s Affairs Concession Card.
More information can be found in the Student Financial Assistance Guidelines.
You can pay school levies through a payment plan, which can extend throughout the school year. Please contact your child’s school if you would prefer to pay levies on a payment plan.
If your family is experiencing financial difficulty or hardship, you can contact your child’s school to find out what support options are available. If you have any further questions, you can contact the Financial Services unit at email@example.com or on 1800 827 055.
Will my child be prevented from participating in any learning activities if their levies have not been paid?
No. Students will not be prevented from participating in learning activities that are part of the curriculum if their levies have not been paid.
What happens if I do not/cannot pay my child’s levies and charges, and don’t qualify for STAS?
If your family has not paid their levies by the due date and has not organised to pay by instalments, the school will be in contact to remind you that payment is due and will check to see if your family requires support.
If your levies remain unpaid after the school has sent two follow-up letters, the matter will be forwarded to Finance and Budget Services within the Department of Education to be followed up.
How do I pay levies and charges?
Levies can be paid:
- At the school (by EFTPOS, cash or cheque)
- At Service Tasmania (by EFTPOS, cash or cheque)
- Through BPAY (using the Biller Code and Reference on your invoice)
- By mail, forward your cheque, money order or credit card details to the school, with the payment slip
from your invoice attached (payable to DECYP).
Payment plans can also be set up through your school, including payment plans extending throughout the school year.
Who can I speak to if I have questions or feedback on levies and charges at my school?
You can contact either your school or your School Association Committee if you would like to talk about levies at your school. Alternatively, you can contact our Financial Services Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1800 827 055.