Sharp increase in school fees

Tuesday, 30 August 2005 12:00

Private school fees have risen more than three times faster than inflation, according to Halifax Financial Services.

While the cost of sending a child to a private day school in 1985 stood at £1,806 a year – this has now risen to an average of £8,388.

School fees for borders have risen even more sharply. Twenty years ago it cost £4,045 to send a child to a boarding school, whereas now the average price of a year for borders is £18,828.

“An increasing number of parents are sending their children to private schools and the level of fees has risen sharply in recent years,” said Ray Milne, managing director at Halifax Financial Services.

Compared with 20 years ago, there are now more than 45,000 more pupils in private schools. This has been driven by an increase in the number of girls attending, with a 14 per cent rise in the number of female students. Girls now make up 49 per cent of all private schoolchildren.

However, the increase in pupils and fees has made private education less affordable.

While the cost of fees for day pupils has increased 129 per cent since 1985 in real terms, average earnings have risen just 48 per cent.

However, there are ways to save money on fees, Halifax reveals that the cost varies significantly depending on where in the country the school is based.

In the south-east the average fee for a day-school is £9,573 a year, while in the north the average annual school fees for a day pupil are £7,068.

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