Parents spending more on education since first lockdown

A survey, commissioned by a prep school association, found that 68% of parents were also considering further educational spending over the next year

Almost half (44%) of UK parents and more than a third (35%) of grandparents have spent more on their children or grandchildren’s education over the last 12 months, compared to the previous year, according to a new survey.

The survey* of parents and grandparents of schoolchildren aged 3–13 was commissioned by the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS) and conducted by Censuswide.

Amid lingering concerns about the long-lasting impact of the pandemic, more than two thirds (68%) of parents and more than half (56%) of grandparents are considering further educational investment in the coming year. Twenty per cent of parents said that they were considering investing in private education in the year ahead.

To date, the areas on which money has been spent include:

  • Educational books (56%)
  • Online resources (50%)
  • IT equipment (48%)
  • Professional tutoring (23%)
  • Private education (17%)
  • Informal paid tutoring from a family member or friend (13%)


The majority (52%) of respondents said that one of their children or grandchildren had fallen behind in their education since lockdown began, but 90% believed that their investment had made a difference. Furthermore, 70% are confident that their children/grandchildren will be able catch up over the next year.

Christopher King, chief executive officer of IAPS, said: “We believe that with the right support, every child can catch up, and reach their potential.

“IAPS schools opened their doors to children of key workers, stayed open during school holidays, offered summer catch up courses and classes to local children, and are now looking to open sports facilities to local communities to support wellbeing.

We believe that with the right support, every child can catch up, and reach their potential – Christopher King, IAPS

“The education community needs to pull together and increase its efforts now to ensure that this generation is not hindered by the impact of lockdowns in the long-term.”

An additional survey of 75 IAPS schools in March 2021 found more than half (58%) have experienced an increase in enrolment enquiries from parents over the last 12 months, compared to the previous year, and around half (49%) have experienced an increase in enrolments.

Of these, more than nine in ten experienced enquiries (91%) and enrolments (91%) from parents and pupils from the state school sector.

*1,037 parents or grandparents of school-attending children, aged 3-13 years old, were surveyed between 25 March 2021 and 29 March 2021. The breakdown of the types of schools attended is as follows: state 81%; grammar 11%; private 10%; specialist 8%. 

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