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School Fees & Your Budget

Private education is getting increasingly expensive in the UK. Indeed over the last ten years school fees have risen faster than the rate of UK inflation every year. Fees do vary dramatically between schools. Day prep fees can range from £7,000 to £20,000 or more in London. Day fees for senior schools range from £12,000 to £25,000 per annum. The average senior boarding fees are around £35,000 but some senior boarding schools are now nearing £40,000 per annum. Indeed if you do want to board your child you can easily be looking at a total cost exceeding £300,000, making your children’s education probably the second most expensive expenditure in your life after your own home.

(Note – we only show fees at post age 16 level for comparison purposes of UK schools on this website, as it is far too much to keep up to date with all school fees)

School fees are obviously linked to factors like a) Location (and the demand in your area), b) Academic track record (being near the top of the league tables creates more demand and increased prices) and c) Facilities. Fees increase by age in a child’s life stage of education. So, you should ensure you can afford the anticipated fee rises. Having to withdraw a child on cost grounds just as they are approaching a key exam stage can be a disaster.

One thing is certain –  everyone wants to minimise their school fees, whether they can afford them or not. For some years, we have been writing an eGuide “How to reduce your school fees”. This eGuide will be given without further charge to our bespoke school advice clients who pay consultancy fees. It is not for sale on its own.

eGuide on How to save money on school fees

This eGuide will be given without further charge to our bespoke school advice clients where we are finding the best schools for their children. It is not for sale on its own.

The themes of this eGuide are:

1. Means-tested bursaries 

2. Scholarships based on merit

3. Grants from Education Trusts, LEAs, philanthropists

4. Paying several years in advance (composition fee)

5. Reductions for certain professions

6. Sibling discounts

7. Financial and tax planning

8. Contributions from other family members such as grandparents

9. Help from employers

10. ASK and NEGOTIATE!        

Appendix A . List of Trusts which may be prepared to help with school fees

Appendix B . Sample of bursary questionnaire

Affordability of education is something we discuss with bespoke advice clients. If you would like to find out about becoming a bespoke client, phone us on +44 (0) 1622 813870 or complete an Enquiry Form

Most schools have a bursarial fund to help lower income families, for which you should read this section.

For those UK parents considering an outlay totalling more than £100,000 over their child’s lifetime attendance at private schools, we suggest a detailed analysis by Independent Financial Advisers using tax planning techniques which can sometimes save up to 50% of school fee liabilities – see this section

If you would like to speak to one of our advisers please complete an Enquiry Form or call us on +44 (0) 1622 813 870 between 8:30 am to 6:00 pm (UK time) Monday to Friday.

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