School fees up 41%

Monday, 30 July 2007 12:00

In the last five years fees for private schools have risen 41 per cent – twice as fast as the average increase in the cost of living.

And in the last year alone the cost of having a child educated privately has risen six per cent, research from Halifax Financial Services shows.

“Private school fees have risen by significantly more than average earnings over the past five years, making it increasingly difficult for many parents to send their children to private schools,” said Halifax chief economist Martin Ellis.

“The average earner in a number of occupations, including engineers, journalists and teachers, can no longer afford private education for their offspring.

“With school fees continuing to rise by more than inflation and private education proving increasingly popular, parents need to plan their finances as early as possible if they want to afford private schooling for their children.”

The average yearly cost of sending a child to private school is now £9,627 compared with £6,820 in 2002. Boarding schools now charge an average of £20,970.

Five years ago the average worker in 23 different jobs could afford to send their child to private school, now only 13 occupations pay their workers enough to afford private education.

Scientists, police officers, tax experts, engineers, journalists, clothes designers, teachers and lecturers, writers, trading standards officers and computer programmers are the professions that have seen school fees become unaffordable since 2002.

But despite the high cost the number of children attending private school has risen six per cent over the same period from 631,800 in the school year 2001/2 to 669,300 in 2006/7.

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