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A fifth of parents rely on grandparents to pay private school fees

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A fifth of parents rely, or plan to rely on, grandparents to help pay for private school fees for their children, according to research by Investec Wealth & Investment.

Latest figures show private school fees rose by 3.6% between 2014 and 2015 and now average £15,675 a year.

The Investec study found grandparents, on average, pay a third (33%) towards the cost of their grandchildren’s education and 19% of parents have the older generation pay more than half the fees.

It said grandparents account for the third largest source of capital for parents looking to finance school fees behind their salary (63%) and savings/ investments (47%).

The research also found that 13% of parents whose children have gone to university or plan to go have done so with financial help from the grandparents towards fees and living costs.

As with school fees, grandparents rank third in sources of finance for university, after parents’ salaries (53%) and their savings/ investments (50%).

Chris Aitken, head of financial planning at Investec Wealth & Investment said: “For many families educating kids privately is only an option if they receive a financial leg-up from the grandparents.  And it doesn’t stop there; grandparents are increasingly paying towards university and even home deposits for their grandchildren too.

“While many grandparents prefer to see their money being put towards helping the younger generation get on in life, they need to ensure they have enough for themselves, particularly if they end up having to pay for long term care.  Likewise, parents shouldn’t become overly reliant on their grandparents’ generosity as circumstances can quickly change.”

For more on this topic: Ten top tips for coping with private school fees

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