Private School Costs Outstrip Inflation And Wage Rises

Expats are paying more for private schooling as the cost of education outstrips rises in inflation and average earnings, according to a new study.

The average cost of sending a child to private day school is £12,864 a year – and much more for boarding and elite schools.

In real terms, the cost is around 38% of an average annual salary.

The research, by Lloyds Private Banking reveals private school fees have soared by a fifth in the past five years, when the average annual cost was a £10,686.

In the same period, the retail price index has increased by 17% and average wages have only risen by 5%.

London pupils pay more

In the past 12 months, school fees have carried on rising by 3% while wages and inflation have almost stood still at around 1%.

Expat parents also pay more depending on the location of their private school.

Those in London have paid an average £82,350 since 2010, while parents in the north have forked out £56,400 over the same period.

The average amount for private schooling over the period for all regions was £70,359.

The study also disclosed that many professionals opting to send their children to a private school pay around a third of their annual income for the privilege.

This has resulted in well-paid professionals earning the average for their occupation being unable to private schooling for their children.

Well-off families

According to the bank, these professionals include pharmacists, vets, civil engineers and opticians.

“The cost of sending a child to private day school is now so expensive for many well-off families that planning to finance a non-state education needs careful planning and to start as early as possible,” said Lloyds Bank private banking director Sarah Deaves.

While school fees have continued to rise, the number of pupils in private education has remained static over the past five years.

Schools have around 450,000 registered pupils, while the numbers within different age groups have risen and fallen slightly against each other.

The largest increase has been seen in nursery schools, where the number of children enrolled has jumped by 13% since 2010.

The Independent Schools Council has also issued figures that show around a third of pupils at independent schools receive help with funding fees, a rise of around 4% over the past five years.

The average financial help received per pupil is £4,913.

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