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CEO | Principal's Report

Last week the State Government announced the imposition of a payroll tax, and mental health and wellbeing surcharge on 110 private schools. This will have a significant impact on many independent and Catholic schools, including Haileybury.

The new tax imposition is a 4.85% payroll tax and, because Haileybury as the largest school in Australia has a payroll of over $100 million, a 1% mental health and wellbeing surcharge. The total amount of this tax will be $7.2 million when implemented across a full school year (based on our current payroll).

We recognise that the School must support families in facing the burden of the additional $7.2 million in taxes imposed upon the school community. We will be doing a thorough analysis of our operations to find further efficiencies and savings so that we do not have to directly pass on the full impost of the Government taxes.

We will also continue to expand our other revenue streams, such as our successful international education transnational programs delivered in four countries, which bring significant revenue into the School. They are also of great benefit to the Victorian economy through providing a pathway for school students in those countries to end up attending Victorian universities.

In justifying the imposition of the new taxes Premier Andrews referred to the 110 schools impacted as being “businesses” who make a “profit”.

Haileybury is an efficiently run charitable not-for-profit business which produces a surplus each year. As a not-for-profit it cannot produce a profit, only a surplus, and there are no dividends or distributions to shareholders. In fact, we have no shareholders. Every cent of Haileybury’s surplus each year is invested back into the education of the students at Haileybury. If Haileybury didn’t produce a surplus it would not be sustainable as a school. The State government is now, of course, asking around 30% or more of our surplus which leaves less to invest in the School and the education of your children.

Haileybury has an outstanding skills-based board to support the management team in running an efficient school delivering great education outcomes for just under 5000 students. Not one of Haileybury’s Council Members has ever received a cent for the thousands of hours they have put into contributing to ensuring the great education outcomes for students and the sustainability of the School. To see the families of Haileybury targeted by the government for sending their children to a school that has excellent operating practices and great student outcomes and is overseen by a volunteer board is disappointing.

The imposition of the mental health and wellbeing surcharge on a school also just does not make policy sense. Schools are on the frontline every day in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of students. Haileybury will now pay $1.2 million per year to the government as a mental health and wellbeing surcharge instead of having that money available to support the wellbeing of our students.

Haileybury is a focused, well-run, entrepreneurial school delivering wonderful education outcomes for students. It is a great honour to have families choose to send their children to us for their education. We will continue to look to support you, the families, as we work through the imposition of this poorly designed public policy on our community.

Derek Scott

CEO | Principal