11th September 2015
School fees are rising ahead of inflation and four times rasher than average earnings growth.
The latest research by Lloyds Private Banking shows school fees have increased by an average of 20% in the past five years, a rate of growth that is faster than the retail price index (against which inflation is measured), which has risen 17%.
Since 2010 the average annual private school fee for day pupils have leapt from £10,686 to £12,864 in 2015.
While the costs have outpaced the RPI by three percentage points, it has increased four times faster than the 5% rise in full-time gross annual earnings since 2010.
In the past year, the average fee has growth 3% while both inflation and earnings rose by 1%.
Parents who have sent a child to private school since 2010 would have paid an average £70,359 in fees over the period and those in London would have shelled out an average £82,350 – the highest amount in the country.
The £12,864 cost is equivalent to 38% of annual average gross full-time earnings of £34,015, whereas the comparable figure was 33% in 2010.
This means that there are now several relatively well-paid occupations such as pharmacists, vets, civil engineers and opticians, where someone on average earnings for that occupation would now be paying over a third of the gross annual earnings in school fees.
Sarah Deaves, private banking director at Lloyds Bank, said: ‘With the average cost of sending a child to private school now almost £13,000 annually, it is more important than ever that parents start to think about their finances and plan ahead.
‘This will help to ensure that they can provide the education they desire for their children over the course of their school lives.’