When considering whether or not to educate your child through independent schooling, school fees are the biggest expense to plan for. The Independent Schools Council 2019 census reported average fees of £4,763 per pupil, per term for day school pupils, with costs varying widely between schools. However, it’s important to remember that there are other expenses to budget for to support your child’s education.
School fees increase year-on-year above the general rate of inflation. Over the past 10 years, the average increase has been 4.5% per annum – outstripping the Consumer Price Index of 2.3% over the same period.
Most schools charge a non-refundable registration fee to apply for a place at the school, and some require the fee to be paid even to arrange a visit. Costs range from £100-£300 on average, and as it is common to apply to three or four schools before making a choice, several of these fees will be forfeited. Once your child has been offered a place at a school and you’ve accepted, you will normally be expected to pay a deposit and/or their first term’s tuition fees in advance.
Independent school pupils get the opportunity to go on some exciting school trips and academic exchanges throughout their career, most of which require additional funding by their parents. The same applies for after-school clubs, in which you will be expected to pay for the sports equipment or musical instruments used by your child.
Parents at both independent and state schools are expected to pay for their child’s school uniform. These are often more expensive for independent schools and may need to be replaced each year. Additionally, you will need to purchase a PE kit for the various sports activities your child will engage in. This can be more extensive and varied than for state school pupils.
Unless your child attends a boarding school, you will face the ongoing sundry expenses of school lunches, stationery, and transport costs.
We recommend parents budget an additional 10% to cover expenses outside of school fees. For expert advice on school fees and various ways of spreading your payments, get in touch with one of our independent advisers today.
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