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Parents fork out for ‘top-up’ tuition for their kids

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One in eight parents who send their children to state school supplement their education by paying for extra private tuition, a report has found.

With the average amount for private school fees currently over £14,000 a year, and fees increasing around 4% per annum, many families are being priced out of private education.

However, research by wealth adviser Towry found that 12% of adults who send their children to state schools pay for additional tuition support outside of school hours, with the these fees averaging from a minimum of £16 per hour for Key Stage Two children up to a maximum of £30 per hour for those at college.

The report found that if a parent chooses to get extra private tuition for their child in two subjects, one hour a week per subject for the 39 weeks of the school year at an average cost of £20 an hour; this would cost £1,560 annually, or £7,800 throughout the course of their compulsory secondary school education (11-17 years old as of September 2013).

These costs may rise further over the period due to inflation.

Andy James, advice policy manager at Towry, said: “With private school fees approaching the £15,000 a year barrier before additional costs such as uniform and equipment, school trips, possible boarding fees, and university tuition fees to come, it is no wonder that some parents are taking up the option of home tuition.”

Towry also highlighted that in order to fund the £7,800 (allowing for likely inflation increases) shown in the above example to provide a child with private tuition throughout their secondary school education, parents need to start saving early.

Assuming an annual growth rate of 3.5% after investment charges have been taken into account, you would need to save £56 per month from the child’s birth to age 11 to have the full savings in place.

This example includes inflation of 2.5% of the costs of private tuition themselves per year.

James added: “It is important to seek advice as to the right savings and investment platforms available that can help with providing for your child’s education before the age of 18, as soon as you are financially able to. Options such as Junior ISAs and Child Trust Funds are not useful for this particular purpose, as these do not allow access to the finances until the child is aged 18.”

Nearly a third of people surveyed indicated that they would have sent their children to a private school but were not in a position where they could afford to do so. A quarter wanted their child to attend a grammar school, with the additional support being provided to prepare them for their entrance exams.

Read Your Money’s guide on how to get cheaper tuition for your child.

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