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School fee increases leave more parents priced out

Parents need to save almost £1,000 a month to keep pace with rising school fees, according to Wesleyan

Posted by Stephanie Broad | September 09, 2016 | Law, finance, HR

Parents planning to put their children through private education will need to save an average of almost £1,000 a month from when their child is born, according to new figures from financial services specialist Wesleyan.  

Data from the Independent Schools Council show the average cost of private school fees for non-boarding day students is £13,418 a year, up 65% over the past ten years. If prices continue to rise at the same rate as over the past year, the total amount will be an average of £218,928 over the course of their education for children starting school at five this year and finishing at 18.  

Wesleyan has calculated if parents save £11,778 per year from when their child is born until they leave school – equivalent to £982 a month – in the leading easy access savings account paying interest at a rate of 1.05% per annum, they would build up enough money to cover the cost of day school private education. The interest accumulated over those 18 years (£6,920) would save more than a term’s school fees.

If parents want their child to board, they would need to save more than double, £27,975 a year, or £2,331 per month.  

Research by Wesleyan revealed only one in five (19%) doctors, dentists and lawyers are currently saving towards private school fees, as more families are priced out of independent education. 

Vicki Wentworth, Wesleyan’s Chief Customer and Strategy Officer, said: “We know parents want to give their children the best start in life, and for many of our customers this means investing in private education. However, this can be a very big financial commitment for families, even those with higher incomes, especially as some parents have to pay for fees out of their post-tax income. That’s why saving early can make a huge difference.” 

How do you make your school affordable and value for money? We want to hear your thoughts on fees and budgeting – send your articles to the editor here.

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