School fees exceed £17,000

Private school fees rise 3.4%, reaching over £5,700 per term

Average fees in UK private schools have risen 3.4% in one year to total £5,744 per term, according to figures from the Independent Schools Council’s (ISC’s) latest annual census.

The census, cited by BT, is based on a study of 1,326 independent schools carried out in January. It notes how the hike in fees is the lowest recorded since 1994; still, it outstrips the current rate of inflation, which stands at 2.5% (CPI).

There are differences in costs depending on the type of school, shows the survey. Boarding schools, for example, incur the highest average term fees, totalling £11,228 – up 4.3% on last year’s figures. Meanwhile, day fees for boarding schools now total £6,250, representing an increase of 2.9%.

Parents who plan to send their child to a private day school will be charged fees of £4,618 per term on average, 3.4% more than last year.

The survey covers sixth-form, senior and junior schools, with the hike in fees based on ISC schools that were included in the survey this year and in 2017.

It also reveals that one third of pupils receive financial support with their fees, namely via bursaries, scholarships and other initiatives provided by the schools.

Almost £1bn was spent on offering financial assistance of all types, with each child receiving an average of £5,658.

General secretary at ISC, Julie Robinson, commented: “Affordability is of course a concern for schools and they work hard to remain competitive whilst facing pressures on salaries, pensions and maintenance and utility costs.

“Many schools have extended bursary provision and this year almost £400 million was provided in means-tested fee assistance for pupils at ISC schools. Currently a third of pupils at our schools benefit from reduced fees.”

The census revealed a slight increase in the number of students attending co-education schools, up 75.7% from 75% last year.

Generally speaking, private school numbers have peaked to their highest levels, noted the ISC, rising to 529,164 pupils from 522,879. Overseas children make up 5.4% of students, up from 5.3% last year.

Ms Robinson continued: “Parents choose independent schooling for their children because they value the broad all-round education on offer, including academic excellence, learning opportunities outside the classroom and outstanding pastoral care.”

Do you think the hike in fees is justified?



The eTeach news team have their finger on the pulse of teaching all day every day, picking out and sharing the stories in education that make a difference to you. Why not follow us on TwitterLinkedInor Facebook too?


COULD YOU BE A FEATURE BLOGGER FOR ETEACH?  We are always looking for authentic and informative content for our readers.  If you have an idea for an article or subject-specific advice, we’d love to hear from you. Click here to find out more.


Follow us on our social channels:



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>