School Fees and Your Budget

Jump straight to:

Scholarships and Bursaries
Most schools have a bursarial fund to help lower income families, and merit-based scholarships for high-achieving students.  

Financial and Tax Planning
For those UK parents considering an outlay totalling more than £100,000 over their child’s lifetime attendance at private schools, we suggest a detailed analysis by Independent Financial Advisers using tax planning techniques which can sometimes save up to 50% of school fee liabilities

Your Budget and Minimising School Fees

Private education is getting increasingly expensive in the UK. Indeed over the last 10 years school fees have risen faster than the rate of UK inflation in every year.  

Day prep fees can range from £10,000 to £20,000 or more in London and day fees for senior schools can range from £12,000 to £25,000 per annum. The average senior boarding fees are around £35,000 p.a. but some senior boarding schools are now exceeding £45,000 per annum. Indeed if you do want to board your child from age 7 or 8, you can easily be looking at a total cost exceeding £300,000, making your children’s education probably the second most expensive expenditure in your life.

Fees can vary dramatically between schools. School fees are linked to factors like a) Location (and the demand in that area), b) Academic track record (being near the top of the league tables creates more demand and increased prices) and c) Facilities.

Fees increase by age in a child’s life stage of education, so you should ensure you can afford the anticipated fee rises. Having to withdraw a child on cost grounds just as they are approaching a key exam stage can be a disaster.

One thing is certain – everyone wants to minimise their school fees, whether they can afford them or not. We have written a unique eGuide for our bespoke advice clients “How to reduce your school fees”. 

eGuide on How to save money on school fees

This eGuide is given exclusively to our bespoke school advice clients where we are finding the best schools for their children. It is not for sale on its own.

The themes of this eGuide are:

1. Means-tested bursaries 

2. Scholarships based on merit

3. Grants from Education Trusts, LEAs, philanthropists

4. Paying several years in advance (composition fee)

5. Reductions for certain professions

6. Sibling discounts

7. Financial and tax planning

8. Contributions from other family members such as grandparents

9. Help from employers

10. How to negotiate        

Appendix A . List of Trusts which may be prepared to help with school fees

Appendix B . Sample of bursary questionnaire


Affordability of education is advice we offer to our bespoke clients. If you would like to find out about becoming a bespoke client, complete an enquiry form or contact us

+44 (0) 1622 813870

Follow Us