Inflation pushes private school education above £500k

·2 min read
school - Ben Birchall/PA Wire
school - Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Families wanting to give their children an elite boarding school education face paying over half a million pounds as fees soar.

The Independent Schools Council, which represents over 1,300 private schools in the UK, said its members were now charging parents an average of £37,032 a year for boarding students and £20,832 a year for day pupils.

It means parents will pay £505,955 for the education of a child who starts school this year and boards before the age of seven, assuming fees continue to rise by at least 2pc each year.

Schools typically increase fees annually by 3-5pc but some raised fees by as much as 7pc last year, research by private bank Weatherbys found.

Weatherbys estimated costs could run as high as £654,919 if fees increased by 5pc every year, The Sunday Times reported.

Some of the most expensive schools in the country are warning parents fees could jump by a further 7pc for the 2022-23 school year. Brighton College already now charges £46,936 a year for boarders, while Charterhouse bumped its annual fees up 6pc to £44,100.

Average fees mean parents would have to earn a combined salary of over £100,000 to put just one child through boarding school. The true cost is likely to be even higher once the added costs of school trips or music lessons are taken into account.

Julie Robinson, of the ICS, said half a million pounds was still “considerably higher than the typical amount” needed to take a child through independent school.

“Every parent wants to give their child the best start in life, and many families choose to invest in an independent education for some of all of their child’s schooling,” she said.

Ms Robinson said independent schools have continued to broaden access through bursary schemes, in addition to providing £480m in means-tested fee assistance.