Private Schools Remain Popular Despite Rising Fees

In the world of education, private schools have always been sought after for their exclusivity and quality. Despite rising fees, new insights from Premium Credit, a school fee finance provider, reveal that private schooling remains a popular choice for many parents.

Key Points:

  • Despite the costs, private schools retain popularity among parents.
  • The primary reason for choosing private schools is the perceived higher quality of education.
  • Some parents feel private institutions better cater to special educational needs.
  • Premium Credit’s School Fee Plan helps parents finance their children’s education, with a 13% rise in lending recently.

The Appeal of Private Schools

A significant 39% of parents with children under five years old aspire to send them to private schools. In a surprising twist, 19% of those whose children are currently in state schools are contemplating a shift to the private sector.

However, economic challenges remain a concern. Only 25% of parents with aspirations of private education for their under-fives would make that choice as soon as school starts. A whopping 90% admit that potential costs deter them from this path.

The main reasons why parents are considering sending their children to private school are listed in this table:

ReasonPercentage of Parents
Perceived better quality of education51%
Concerns about children falling behind academically34%
Special educational needs27%
Children’s unhappiness in current school18%

For over half the parents contemplating the move, the motivation is clear: they believe private schools offer superior education. A significant portion feels their children are lagging academically in state schools.

For children with special educational needs, 27% of parents believe private institutions might offer better support. Notably, the emotional well-being of children also plays a role, with 18% considering the move because their kids are unhappy in their current schools.

man and woman looking at papers on a desk with calculator and laptop

The Real Cost of Private Education

Delving deeper into the financials, Premium Credit’s analysis offers an insight into the cumulative expenses parents face when sending their child to a private school.

Education TypeAverage Cost
Day school (reception to A levels)£355,516
Day school till 11, followed by boarding£514,594

These figures underscore the significant financial commitment parents are considering when opting for private schooling.

Financing School Fees with Careful budgeting

With some of the top private schools charging £50,000 per year to their boarding students, it is clearly a challenge for many parents to fund their children’s private education.

Commenting on this, Stewart Ward, Director Education Sector & Head of School Fee Plan, Premium Credit said: “The cost of funding a child through private school requires careful budgeting and parents considering sending their children from reception or through senior school need to plan carefully.

Their options for paying fees should include looking at the possibility of paying a small annual charge in order to spread the cost and they should ask schools if they offer such plans when considering where to send their child.”

There are innovative school fee finance options available. Premium Credit, for example, offers an innovative School Fee Plan that provides a solution for many parents, enabling them to distribute the burden of school fees over time. There was a notable 13% surge in lending via this plan last year. On average, parents have received funding for their school fees of £7,695.

Despite the high school fees, there are many benefits of receiving of private education, some of which are listed here. Parents considering sending their children to a private school should also note that there are some disadvantages to consider too.

A pupil studying in a library

Pros of Private School Education

High Academic Standards

Private schools in the UK are renowned for their academic excellence. They often offer a rigorous curriculum, helping students achieve top grades and secure places at prestigious universities and apprenticeships.

Smaller Class Sizes

One of the standout features of private schools is their relatively smaller class sizes. This allows for more individualised attention, ensuring that each student’s needs are catered to.

Rich Extracurricular Activities

Private schools typically offer a vast array of extracurricular activities. From sports to arts, these schools offer diverse opportunities, ensuring a wide range of interests and personal development.

Advanced Facilities

Many private schools in the UK are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. Whether it’s modern laboratories, libraries, or sports complexes, students have access to the best resources.

Strong Alumni Networks

Attending a private school can provide students with lifelong networking opportunities. Alumni networks from such schools are often influential, aiding in career advancement and connections.

Cons of Private School Education

High Costs

Private education in the UK comes with a hefty price tag. Tuition fees, coupled with additional costs like uniforms and trips, can strain family finances.

Potential Lack of Diversity

Given the high fees, private schools might lack socio-economic diversity. This can limit students’ exposure to varied perspectives and real-world experiences.

Pressure and Competition

The high academic standards of private schools can sometimes translate into intense pressure. Students might face stress from the competitive environment.

Perceived Elitism

Private schools can sometimes be viewed as elitist. This perception might lead to stereotypes and misconceptions about students from such institutions.

Limited Exposure to Real-world Challenges

Due to the often sheltered environments of private schools, students might miss out on facing real-world challenges. This could potentially impact their adaptability in diverse situations later in life.

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