Wednesday, 4 July 2012

School Fees Inflation 2012

School fees inflation appears to be holding steady just under the 5% the latest Independent School Council annual census reveals.

School fees inflation is the bane of many parents, especially those who fail to plan. In an article I posted back in 2010 I showed how school fees had doubled in the 10 years since 2000. With such significant increases year on year it is folly not to think very seriously before embarked on the cost of private education.

As the economic climate has frozen since 2008 inflation in the private education sector has slowed but not by much.

This year the overall cost has increased by around 4.5% however the 2012 census shows an increasing disparity in the inflation between Boarding fees and Day fees at boarding schools.

Boarding school certainly remains predominantly for the financial elite at an eye watering average of £26,340 per child per year. Remember of course that these fees are increasing at a gallop. In 2011 the average annual boarding fee was £25,152, an increase of 4.7% and back in 2000 they were just £13,341 per child per year.

That said, the actual cost of education at these institutions is actually increasing at a much slower rate these days. In the 10 years to 2010 day fees at boarding schools increased by far the most, 104% over the period. It would appear that this particular part of the system has hit a temporary ceiling as inflation this year is a mere 3.1%, much less than the 4.5% average.

Day fees at day school on the other hand are increasing more than any other area at 4.9%. The difference between average day fees at a boarding school and a day school is a little over  34% (£1,200 per term). Back in 2010 this difference was over 38% however in 2000 it was a shade under 30%. Hopefully it will return to under 30% over the coming years...

In any case both sets of fees are going up in line with or higher than inflation.

If you are considering private school then you must take account of the fact the fees will increase, probably by more than your wage increase and in addition there is often a sizeable jump in fees from prep school to senior school which is only compounded over time by inflation.

There are many ways in which financial planning can make the burden of school fees less onerous; many involve simple planning ahead however many more include tax planning, pensions & mortgages all of which can make paying school fees massively more efficient than simply waiting for the bill to hit the doormat. If you have a question, please get in touch.


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