Schools fees planning vital to controlling costs, study shows



Although it is not always possible for parents to prepare for the unexpected, there are plenty of costs that can be anticipated ahead of time, and school fees are one of the most significant.

Those wishing to put their children through private education often face a number of challenges, from securing the place at a school, to finding one in the right area, and that is before the subject of paying for schooling is even considered.

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Although it is not always possible for parents to prepare for the unexpected, there are plenty of costs that can be anticipated ahead of time, and school fees are one of the most significant.

Those wishing to put their children through private education often face a number of challenges, from securing the place at a school, to finding one in the right area, and that is before the subject of paying for schooling is even considered.

It appears that the issue of cost is now more important than ever, however, with recent research showing that private school fees have risen by an average of 21 per cent over the past five years.

The increase is even faster than the rate at which the Retail Prices Index has expanded over the same period, and four times more than the rate of average earnings, which has risen by just five per cent over that time.

Between 2009 and 2014, the average annual private school fee for day pupils increased from £10,176 to £12,345, placing additional strain on some parents.

Strain on earnings

The average annual private school fee is now equivalent to 37 per cent of annual average gross full‐time earnings of £33,693, compared to 2009, when the ratio stood at 32 per cent, and some parents are finding the rise too much to handle.

In fact, the total number of day pupils attending private secondary schools has declined by three per cent over the past five years, though the number of children in fee paying primary schools has grown slightly, by one per cent.

Parents in some areas are being impacted far greater than others, with the biggest rises in school fees in the past five years being seen in Greater London (26 per cent), the South East and Wales (both 24 per cent).

The South West and the North have both seen increases of 22 per cent, while the lowest rises in annual fees were seen in the West Midlands, East Midlands and East Anglia, though these were still around 21 per cent.

For some parents, it is impossible to put their children through private education without school fees help; currently, one third of private school pupils receive financial assistance with their fees, with the average annual value of help standing at £4,687.

The total number of pupils receiving a financial contribution towards the payment of their school fees stands at 166,268, or 33.4 per cent of all pupils in Independent Schools Council (ISC) member schools.

Planning ahead

Though rising costs are to be expected, scholarships and bursaries are not always possible, and so the best way to manage them is often to plan ahead.

Taking onboard school fees advice from experts can not only help to make the financial burden more manageable, but also guarantee continued education.

According to Sarah Deaves, a Private Banking Director, planning is key for any parents wanting the best education possible for their children.

She adds: “Private school fees have increased to almost £12,500 a year, which is four times more than the rise in average earnings over the past five years. It is, therefore, becoming increasingly vital that parents plan ahead as early as possible, to ensure that they secure the future they desire for their children.”

Although planning ahead is clearly desirable, affordability is also a major issue for some parents; as such, managing finances efficiently and spreading the cost of fees can prove extremely effective.

Those using SFIA’s services can not only make fees more affordable, but also maximise their own wealth, as the average family using our services saves £80,000 on the cost of paying for a day pupil’s education.

With a child’s future at stake, effective school fees planning cannot only help to secure their education, but also lower the amount that is paid to ensure this.

Categories: All, Financial Advice

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