Fee-ling the Pinch With fees rocketing, how much is it going to cost to send little Johnny or Jemima to school?
Fee-ling the Pinch
With fees rocketing, how much is it going to cost to send little Johnny or Jemima to school?
The only things inflating faster than grades are fees. Over the past ten years, the average boarding school has rocketed 77 per cent to £25,152 a year and it’s even more astronomic at day schools, up 87 per cent to £10,569 a year. That means that privately educating your child from pre-prep to boarding school to university now costs £275,000, and that’s before you’ve even thought about school trips or tax.
The rise is explicable, schools say, because students are getting more for their money, with facilities expenditure up 50 per cent since 2001. What’s more, if UK pupils won’t pay their way then others will. There’s been a huge increase in demand from abroad and, with 36 per cent of foreign students coming from China, schools feel that they’re entitled to charge fees commensurate with the international wealthy. Doing so, they reason, helps the less fortunate back home. Some 33 per cent of independent school pupils receive financial aid, equating to a £528 million outlay.
But that’s only half the story. Margins are healthy, and even second rank institutions charge excessive rates, as they feel that asking any less would signal to parents that they were providing an inferior experience.
The bottom line: it’s a crazy world, but schools know that when it comes to children, parents are willing to do crazy things. And of course this isn’t all bad for the wealthy: pricing others out of the market simply increases the chances of your children getting in.
Freddy Barker is head of the Spear’s research unit