The cost of putting a child through a British private education has soared by close to 85% in recent years and is unaffordable for ordinary families, according to a new report.
Parents would have had to pay £156,653 in day fees for a child who entered reception class at primary school in 2003 who has now recently left school.
The average day fee for a private school is £13,341 – or 39% of average gross full time earnings for an ordinary family.
The figures come from a detailed survey of private education costs by Lloyds Bank.
The research found school fees grew at quadruple the rate of average earnings and almost 10% faster than inflation during the past five years.
London in a class of its own
Annual day fees are even higher in London, where parents have forked out £179,145 for a child’s schooling.
The cost of a private education is more expensive in London as the schools are nearer airports for foreign students and ex pat children.
The lowest average day fees are a third lower in the North (£10,722) than London. No region has average annual fees priced less than £10,000 a year.
Sarah Deaves, Private Banking Director at Lloyds Bank, said: “All parents want the best for their children, and a good education is no exception. A place at a private school is a huge financial commitment, almost an eye-watering £157,000 for just one child, from reception to finishing the sixth-form as a day pupil.
Help with fees for a third of pupils
“With average annual fees at £13,341 per child and the compulsory school leaving age now 18 years old, many families may well feel some strain. It has, therefore, become increasingly important that parents, and sometimes grandparents, plan their finances as early as possible if they want a private school education for their children.”
A third of Britain’s privately educated children receive fee assistance through scholarships, grants and other schemes.
Despite the surge in day fees, the number of children at private schools has stayed the same for the past five years. The number of sixth formers (17 to 19) has grown by 10%, children in nursery schools (0 to 3) and those in junior school (4 to 10) have both risen by 6%.