You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

Private school fee increases outstrip inflation and wage growth

Written by:
The cost of private education has increased by more than a fifth in the past five years, with Greater London topping the table, according to research by Lloyds Private Banking.

The rise far outstrips the rise in UK earnings over the period, making private school increasingly unaffordable for many parents. The average annual private school fee in 2017 is now equivalent to over a third (39%) of the average UK annual gross full-time earnings of £35,148, up from 30% in 2004.

Over the past five years, the average annual fee for day pupils has increased from £11,448 in 2012 to £13,830 – a rise of 21%. This is nine percentage points higher than the increase in the Retail Price Index (12%) and three and a half times more than the 6% rise in full time gross annual earnings over the same period.

The situation is worse in London, which has seen fees rise 25% since 2012 to £15,560. Over 13 years, the costs have risen by 87%. This leaves parents facing a bill from reception to 18 of £176,301. London is followed by the South East (£171,042) and the South West (£156,120). Parents in the North pay the least at £123,447 – around £53,000 less than in London.

Another issue facing private school parents may be political change. In the Labour party’s last election campaign, they committed to charge VAT on school fees, which would hike prices by 20%.

Around one-third of private school pupils receive some kind of financial assistance. An estimated 168,025 pupils currently receive help totalling £900m, an increase of 4.9% on last year. A significant majority (85%) of total fee assistance is provided directly from the schools themselves.

Pupil numbers remain largely unchanged compared to five years ago. While the number of senior school pupils (11 to 16) has fallen slightly (by 1%), pupils in the other age groups have increased. The number of sixth formers in private education (17 to 19) has grown by 8%, the number of children in private junior schools (4 to 10) has risen by 6% and those in nursery schools (0 to 3) by 4%. While some have suggested that the private school population is increasingly supplemented by international students, research from the Independent Schools Council suggests this is not the case – there are 27,281 non-British pupils whose parents live overseas, 5.2% of the total ISC pupil population in 2017. This has not changed significantly in 30 years.

Sarah Deaves, private banking director at Lloyds Bank, commented: “The choice of whether to send your child to a private school is an important one for many parents, but increasing fees means that even those on higher salaries may struggle to afford it. It’s ever more important for parents, and sometimes grandparents, to plan their finances as early as possible if they want a private school education for their children.”


There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Are you a first-time buyer looking for a mortgage?

Look no further, get the help you need by searching for your perfect mortgage

A guide to switching energy provider

All you need to know about switching from one energy supplier to another.

Which ISA is right for you? A round up of the six products available in 2017

From cash to innovative finance to lifetime, here's our guide to the ISA products available to savers this yea...

Guide to buy-to-let tax changes

In late 2015, former Chancellor George Osborne announced a range of  tax measures aimed at landlords, which t...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

Five fund tips for a 0.25% interest rate environment

With interest rates stuck at a record low 0.25% and expectations rates could fall to close to zero, here are ...

Protecting family wealth: 10 tips for cutting inheritance tax

Inheritance tax - sometimes known as 'death tax' - can cause even more heartache for bereaved families. But th...

Travel insurance: Five tips to ensure a successful claim

Ahead of your summer holiday, it’s important to make sure you have the right level of travel cover or you co...

Investing your money

Alliance Trust Plc gives you smart insight into how to invest your money

Money Tips of the Week

  • RT @j_g_henderson: It's been an interesting couple of weeks for stock markets, and on @YourMoneyUK Nick Dixon sets out his six golden rules…
  • RT @j_g_henderson: It's been an interesting couple of weeks for stock markets, and on @YourMoneyUK Nick Dixon sets out his six golden rules…
  • RT @j_g_henderson: It's been an interesting couple of weeks for stock markets, and on @YourMoneyUK Nick Dixon sets out his six golden rules…
Read previous post:
How to pay for private school fees

News that private school fees have risen by more than a fifth in five years while wages have remained stagnant...