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Private school fees jump 21% in five years

Cherry Reynard
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Cherry Reynard

Private school fees for day pupils have increased by an average of 21 per cent in the past five years, just 1 per cent higher than the increase in the Retail Price Index (RPI) over the same period

However, it is four times more that the rise in average earnings (5 per cent), according to latest research by Lloyds Bank. Since 2009 the average annual private school fee for day pupils has increased from £10,176 to £12,345 in 2014 with the largest increases seen in the South East, London and Wales. Greater London fees have risen 26 per cent, with the South East and Wales at 24 per cent.

The average annual day fee is now over £14,000 in London, and £13,920 in the South East. The lowest average fees are in the North2 (£9,984) – over £4,500 lower than in the capital – and Scotland (£10,431). In 2009 the only regions where the average annual fee exceeded £11,000 were Greater London and the South East; in 2014, average annual fees exceeded £11,000 in every region except the North, Scotland and the West Midlands.

The average annual private school fee in 2014 of £12,345 is equivalent to 37 per cent of annual average gross full-time earnings of £33,693; a rise since 2009 when the ratio was 32 per cent. With school fees rising more than earnings, it is becoming more difficult for some to send their children to private school.

One third of private school pupils3 receive financial help with their fees. In 2014 the number of pupils receiving a financial contribution towards the payment of their school fee reached 166,268 (33.4 per cent of all pupils in Independent Schools Council (ISC) member schools, up slightly from 33 per cent in 2009). The average value of school funded fees is £4,867 in 2014.