How to send your children to private school (without breaking the bank) (2023)

With the cost of a private education rising, it is important to give some serious thought to how to save for school fees.

While you may be keen to do the best for your child, you need to find a balance between providing for their education, and managing your other financial objectives.

How much are fees?

The amount you can expect to pay in fees will vary according to a number of factors, such as whether you are looking at primary or secondary, a day school or boarding. You can also expect to pay more depending on the region, and how prestigious the school is.

The majority of pupils attend day schools where typical fees are £5,218 per term or £15,655 per year. This is according to the Independent Schools Council (ISC), which also reports the most recent average rise in fees was a jump of 3.1 per cent in 2022.

Jason Hollands of the investment service Bestinvest, said: “While this was well below inflation last year, we are likely to see school fee inflation accelerate from here as schools face increased cost pressures.”

Further findings from the ISC show day school fees vary by region, with average termly fees of just under £4,500 in the north west, rising to just below £6,250 for day schools in London.

As a guide, the majority of day schools charge between £3,000 and £5,500 per term.

Mr Hollands added: “But for the leading public schools, you could be looking at £35,000 a year for day pupils, and £46,000 for boarding fees.”

And do not forget there will be additional costs on top for things such as uniforms, sports kit, extra-curricular activities and overseas trips.

How much money do you need?

If you have two children, you could easily expect to pay more than £30,000 a year for school fees.

Based on this, for a 40 per cent higher rate taxpayer, that equates to around £50,000 of pre-tax earnings.

Given living costs are on the up and with high inflation and interest-rate rises putting even more pressure on our finances, footing the bill for private school is no mean feat.

Mr Hollands said: “Even families with two high incomes can find it a struggle to meet the costs out of taxed income on a pay-as-you-go basis, and especially if you have more than one child in private education.”

Is it worth it?

With such big sums at stake, you may be questioning first, whether it’s actually achievable, and second, whether it’s a price worth paying.

The key is to think carefully about what that kind of sum means for your finances and long-term plans.

A lot boils down to how much value you place on a private education.

What about bursaries and scholarships?

One way to make the cost of fees more manageable is with a bursary or scholarship. According to the ISC, around a third of pupils get some kind of help with fees.

If your child qualifies for a means-tested bursary, they could expect to get more than half of their fees remitted; some will get a free place.

Another way to get a discount is by getting a scholarship. These are non-means-tested, but require your child to display a particular talent in an area such as academia, sport, music, drama or design.

Getting a scholarship can be a very competitive process, but can often mean a fee reduction of between 10 and 15 per cent.

Given the amount of financial help on offer, it is well worth looking into your child’s eligibility for support. To find out more, contact the schools’ admissions team.

Check for other fee reductions

It’s also worth seeing whether other discounts are available – and whether you qualify.

This might include reductions for children of parents who teach at the school, and sibling discounts.

Some professions, such as the armed forces or clergy, can also get an allowance to cover the cost.

Further, you may be able to shave a little off the total, if you are able to pay some or all of the fees in a lump sum in advance.

But note that with a sibling policy, for example, the discount may be just 10 per cent, meaning you still need to stump up thousands of pounds a year.

How to fund school fees

Unless you are very lucky, you are unlikely to have tens of thousands of pounds kicking around. This means you are going to have to find the money as you go along.

Sarah Coles, an analyst at investment service Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “This tends to result in parents using monthly payment schemes set up by the schools. But these charge interest which can make the whole process even more expensive, so it’s vital to understand the alternatives.”

Is there an investment strategy you can use?

Without doubt, the best way to save for school fees is to start early. Ms Coles said: “Anything you can save or invest in advance will help, and especially if you can persuade grandparents to chip in. Isas are a sensible place to start, so your school fees fund grows free of tax.”

Say, for example, you start saving an annual lump sum of £7,500 from the day your child is born, using a 5 per cent annual compound growth rate, you will have built up a nest egg of around £140,000 by the time he or she turns 13, according to Bestinvest.

A longer time-frame means you can afford to take some investment risk as you have the time to ride out any stock market volatility.

Mr Hollands said: “Higher-risk investments, such as equity funds, can be used for costs that are many years away, and cash, or less volatile assets, for earlier years.”

However, a Junior Isa is not a good option for school fees, as these savings cannot be accessed until the child is 18. Instead, these accounts are a good way of investing for further education, or for a deposit for a house.

Bare trusts

If your Isa allowance has already been used, you can invest through a bare trust.

Ms Coles said: “This is where an adult invests on behalf of a child. The child receives the assets at the age of 18, but the trustees can move or withdraw money before then – as long as it is used for the benefit of the child – including for school fees.”

Bare trusts are easy to set up. Most investment companies have a form you can fill in.

The advantage of these trusts is that income and gains are usually treated as belonging to the child, so they’re taxed as the child’s. This means that in most cases, they are tax free, within allowances.

Ms Coles added: “The exception to this is where money is paid into the trust by a parent, and income is £100 or more, in which case it is taxed at the parent’s marginal rate. It’s therefore most suitable for investments which don’t produce an income, or for contributions from grandparents.”

Educational trusts

Grandparents may want to set up an educational trust to cover school fees, with their grandchildren as beneficiaries.

Ms Coles said: “They can transfer investments up to their inheritance tax (IHT) threshold, which is £325,000 per person, into a discretionary trust. This is counted as a ‘potentially exempt transfer’ so will usually be considered to be out of their estate for IHT purposes after seven years.”

Note though, that a trust is a complex situation, with many potential tax aspects, so it is important to seek professional advice.


Another route you may want to explore is using an asset, such as the family home.

This could involve you remortgaging to an offset mortgage. Ms Coles said: “With this option, you can keep the fee money in the linked account, so you don’t pay interest on it until you need to pay the school. You can also top up the account again if you get any windfalls, in order to bring interest payments down again.”

Taking out a loan

Alternatively, you could take out a loan secured on your property.

Mr Hollands said: “But you need to think very carefully about doing this without a clear plan in place to repay it. You also need to consider the impact of the financing costs over the term of the loan, as this will now reflect a world of higher interest rates than the recent past.

“Risking the family home to cover school fees is not a decision to be taken lightly.”

If you are thinking about this, it would be wise to take out insurance in case of a change of circumstances, such as early death, critical illness or loss of employment.

You need to tread very carefully with this – or any of the approaches listed above. The key is to weigh up all the pros and cons, and if you need further clarity, get professional help.

Making the right choice

If you are set on a private education for your children, the route you take to fund it will depend on your personal circumstances and long-term objectives.

Mr Hollands added: “Families often make big financial sacrifices to send their children to private schools. For some, it can mean downsizing to a smaller home, going without holidays, rarely dining out, and so on. The pressure can be huge.”

Giving your child a private education is a significant financial commitment. You want to make the right decision financially for all concerned.


How to send your children to private school (without breaking the bank)? ›

General Parent Statements

One paragraph should review how your child is "smart," but don't discuss grades or test scores here. Instead, focus on how your child is academically engaged and intellectually curious. Use stories and anecdotes to add depth. Another paragraph, describe your child's character and personality.

How do you write a parent statement for private school? ›

General Parent Statements

One paragraph should review how your child is "smart," but don't discuss grades or test scores here. Instead, focus on how your child is academically engaged and intellectually curious. Use stories and anecdotes to add depth. Another paragraph, describe your child's character and personality.

What are the cons of sending kids to private school? ›

Cons of Private School

The cost can be prohibitive and put a financial strain on the family. The student body will often be less diverse, especially when looking at a religion-based school. There will likely be fewer students with special needs in a private school.

Is sending your kid to private school worth the financial burden? ›

The Bottom Line

Whether or not a private school education is worth it is going to depend on your unique situation and the type of student your child is. For some people, private education will be a way to flourish academically and get into a top-notch college. For others, it can be a waste of time.

How do you negotiate with a private school? ›

  1. Ask for a Lower Price.
  2. Negotiate the Payment Schedule.
  3. Pay Upfront for a Discounted Rate.
  4. Apply for Financial Aid and Scholarships.
  5. Look for Sibling Discounts.
  6. Barter a Work-Trade Agreement.
  7. Be an Active Member of the School Community.
  8. The Bottom Line.
Feb 26, 2023

How do I write a parent declaration letter? ›

I am herewith giving my consent to allow my child physically to attend the class work at your college. I hereby declare that my child and I are fully aware of the guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures of COVID-19 before and after resuming of class work in the college.

How do you write a parent input statement? ›

Tips for Writing a Parental Input Statement
  1. Keep it short. This letter isn't a legal document, so there is no special format you need to follow. ...
  2. Make your language polite and professional. ...
  3. Use facts as much as possible. ...
  4. Discuss what strategies are working. ...
  5. Clearly state your concerns. ...
  6. Give recommendations.
Aug 23, 2020

What is the best age to send a child to private school? ›

"If there are no big concerns about academic ability, learning issues or motivation, I'd say wait until your child is a little older and they have begun to discover their own interests, which usually comes at about age 10," Ehrlich says. "A good time is around middle school.

Are private school kids more successful? ›

Regardless of research, the opinion that private school is better than public school still prevails. In fact, data published by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and Gallup show that private school graduates have better long-term outcomes.

What are the benefits of sending your child to a private school? ›

Top Benefits of Private School vs. Public School
  • Parental Involvement. ...
  • Safe Learning Environment. ...
  • Strong Sense of Community. ...
  • Individualized Attention From Teachers. ...
  • Increased Access to Co-curricular Opportunities. ...
  • Tuition Assistance and Grants. ...
  • Higher Academic Standards. ...
  • Learn More About the Benefits of Private Education.

How do parents afford to send their kids to private school? ›

Get Family Assistance

Choose Carefully. Apply for Private Scholarships. Apply for State Voucher Programs. Take Advantage of State Tax Credit Programs.

Are private school students happier? ›

State school pupils just as happy with their lives as private school counterparts, national study finds. A private education doesn't lead to better mental health than state schooling. Nor does it bring with it greater life satisfaction, a new study of thousands of young people reveals.

Should children be given pocket money to school? ›

It is a valuable way to teach responsibility. Pocket money can help children feel that they are important members of the family because they are given part of the family's spending money. It helps children to make choices. They learn that sometimes people have to wait and save up to get what they really want.

How do I ask my school for more money? ›

If it's a needs-based appeal, contact the financial aid office to ask for more aid. If it's a merit-based appeal, contact the enrollment or admissions office. Explain that you want to initiate a Professional Judgement Review (or Special Circumstances Review, as some schools call it).

How do I argue for more financial aid? ›

How to Appeal for More Financial Aid
  1. Call the college financial aid office to ask about the financial aid appeals process. ...
  2. Identify the special circumstances that affect your ability to pay for college. ...
  3. Write a financial aid appeal letter. ...
  4. Don't ask for a specific amount of money.
Apr 3, 2023

How do you negotiate tuition reimbursement? ›

How to ask for tuition reimbursement
  1. Make sure it's the right time. We mean this in two ways. ...
  2. Talk to other employees. ...
  3. Come up with a plan. ...
  4. Set aside time. ...
  5. Be professional. ...
  6. Ask questions. ...
  7. Develop a specific narrative. ...
  8. Show them that you are dedicated.

How should a parent write a letter to the principal? ›

A letter to the school principal from the parent is a type of formal letter which can be written following the format given below.
  1. From address.
  2. Date.
  3. To address.
  4. Subject.
  5. Salutation.
  6. Body explaining the reason behind the letter.
  7. Letter ending with a complimentary close.

What is a parent consent letter? ›

Simply put, a parental consent form is a legal document that requests authorization for your child to participate in one activity or the other.

How do I write a self declaration form? ›

I solemnly declare the information mentioned herein is true and correct to the best of my beliefs. All the details provided above are genuine to the best of my belief and knowledge. I hereby declare that the above particulars of facts and information stated are correct to the best of my belief and knowledge.

What are examples of I statements in parenting? ›

“I statements” provide a clear message with a simple solution. “When I'm not allowed to (blank), I feel (negative emotion).” This statement prompts parents to think, “When I do this my child feels (blank), I can fix this by (blank).

How long should a parent statement be? ›

Each school will have its own requirements but typically, parent statements are 500 – 1500 characters long. It is important to keep to the maximum requirement because admissions officers will not be interested to read very long paragraphs especially if the first sentences are not interesting enough.

What is an example of an input statement? ›

Standard input (cin)

For example: int age; cin >> age; The first statement declares a variable of type int called age, and the second extracts from cin a value to be stored in it.

How many independent schools offer boarding facilities in UK? ›

A boarding school is a residential school where pupils live and study during the school year. There are approximately 500 boarding schools across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

What percentage of American students go to private school? ›

One Percent for the Kids

The approximately 27,000 elementary and secondary private schools in the United States enroll about 6 million students–some 12 percent of American school children. Private schools constitute 25 percent of all elementary and secondary schools.

What percentage of Ivy League students went to private school? ›

Although private school students made up only 8.5% of American students in 9-12th grades in 2019, they accounted for almost 40% of the incoming freshmen classes of 2025 at Harvard and Yale, and over 40% of the class of 2026 at Dartmouth.

Why children should be sent to school? ›

Not only will you learn subjects but you will also learn new skills, including social skills. The skills and knowledge that you learn at school will help you now and in later life as you start work. Good attendance shows potential employers that you are reliable.

Can a divorced parent be forced to pay for private school in Ohio? ›

Courts are granted authority and discretion to increase child support and require noncustodial parents to pay for private school tuition. However, this mandate may be for a portion of tuition. If that is the case, the custodial parent may be required to foot the bill for the difference.

What is the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship? ›

The law provides for state tax credits for contributions to nonprofit scholarship funding organizations, (SFOs). The SFOs then award scholarships to eligible children. The tax credit cap amount for the 2022-2023 fiscal year is $1,091,957,093.

Do colleges like private schools better? ›

There is an advantage in college admissions for students who attend elite private schools. The amount of resources these schools have to invest in educating and preparing students for college is immense, and this in turn greatly increases these students' chances of admission.

Do happier students do better in school? ›

Feeling happy at school is related to doing better at school. Feeling connected with teachers and other kids at school and getting good grades are important for the happiness level of children and teens at school.

What percentage of children are in private education in the UK? ›

There are around 2,600 private schools in the UK, which educate around 615,000 children, some 7 per cent of all British children and 18 per cent of pupils over the age of 16. In addition to charging tuition fees, they may also benefit from gifts, charitable endowments and charitable status.

What are disadvantages of pocket money? ›

Firstly, it can encourage them to spend unnecessarily. Secondly, it may be difficult to fit into your household budget. Finally, it can lead to arguments if children are not given the same amount of money as their siblings.

How much money should a 10 year old have? ›

Giving a Raise: Age 10 or 11

Levine recommends 50 cents to a dollar for every year of age, on a weekly basis. For example, a 10 year old would receive $5 to $10 per week. As your child grows, so should his responsibility for his own discretionary spending. Keep track of what you spend on him for a couple of weeks.

What age do you stop pocket money? ›

One in ten parents plan to stop giving pocket money to kids at age 15. More than half of eight to 15-year-olds expect to receive an allowance until their first job. A third of parents claim they worked much harder for their pocket money than their children.

Who decides how much money goes to a particular school? ›

The school principal is typically given a small pool of funds for supplies and other consumable materials to make decisions on throughout the year. It's commonly believed that the central office is best positioned to make the determination of what resources each school needs in a given school year.

What do you say when asking for financial assistance? ›

In your message asking for financial assistance, clearly explain what has led you to your current position. In addition to explaining the financial impact of your situation, remember to explain how this rough patch is affecting your emotional well-being.

What to do if you maxed out financial aid? ›

4 solutions for when you've reached the aggregate student loan limit
  1. Plan educational expenses with loan limits in mind.
  2. Visit your college's financial aid office.
  3. Consider borrowing PLUS loans.
  4. Shop around for private student loans.
Oct 31, 2022

What's the most attractive form of financial aid? ›

Grants are the most attractive type of financial aid because they do not need to be repaid. Pell Grants, the main federal grants for college, are intended for students with "exceptional financial need." They are primarily awarded to undergraduates, but some teacher certification programs are also eligible.

Should you accept full amount of financial aid? ›

That said, if you do decide to take on federal loans, it's generally wise to accept subsidized loans first because they offer more benefits in the form of government interest payments. Unsubsidized loans, on the other hand, put you on the hook for all of the interest that accrues on the loan.

Can I negotiate my financial aid offer? ›

Yes, financial aid is negotiable. “There is very little downside to asking, so you might as well make the request,” says Shannon Vasconcelos, a college finance educator at College Coach. She estimates that negotiations are successful in about half of the cases she's seen, so it's worthwhile to put the effort in.

What are the cons of tuition reimbursement? ›

Here are the cons of providing company tuition reimbursement to your employees: Burnout in some employees: Balancing work and courses can be challenging for some employees to manage successfully. Make sure you're checking in on your employees to ensure their college courses aren't affecting their productivity or focus.

How much can you negotiate tuition? ›

The amount of money you could negotiate from the tuition bill ultimately depends on the school. But you may be able to lower the cost by anywhere from 5% to 15% through negotiations. Assuming you're paying $15,000 a year for tuition, that's a savings of $750 to $2250.

How do I avoid paying back tuition reimbursement? ›

Set up a payment schedule so you don't get stuck with a large bill all at once. Put a specific date in the clause that ends it; for example, if you stay longer than three years after completing your education, you won't need to pay the tuition back.

How important is parent statement for private school? ›

Parent statements are important because admissions officers need to know about your child's personality and determine if they are a good fit for the school. They would also want to know about the dynamics of your family.

What is an example sentence for private school? ›

A private school charges the same tuition for all types of students attending the school. Almost all of the rich, able students attend the elite private school.

How do you write a personal statement for a specific school? ›

Just write honestly, simply, and clearly about yourself and your aspirations. Understand your motivations for applying and include them. Attending grad school is a huge commitment of not only money but several years of your life. You should know why you want to attend a certain school.

Do private school kids do better in life? ›

Regardless of research, the opinion that private school is better than public school still prevails. In fact, data published by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and Gallup show that private school graduates have better long-term outcomes.

What do schools look in personal statements? ›

A statement of purpose will touch on your academic and career goals, as well as your past credentials. While those should also be discussed in your personal statement, it's more about your life experiences and how they've shaped you and your journey to graduate school.

What is the best opening sentence for a personal statement? ›

Start with a short sentence that captures the reason why you're interested in studying the area you're applying for and that communicates your enthusiasm for it. Don't waffle or say you want to study something just because it's interesting. Explain what you find interesting about it. '

How do you write a powerful personal statement? ›

10 Tips for Writing a Strong Personal Statement
  1. Read the instructions carefully. ...
  2. Focus on yourself. ...
  3. Demonstrate your genuine interest and enthusiasm. ...
  4. Start early. ...
  5. Explain any discrepancies in your application in your personal statement. ...
  6. Review good sentence and paragraph structure. ...
  7. Use the active voice.

How do you start a strong personal statement? ›

Start with why you chose it, then try and summarise this in one or two sentences. Be original and refer to personal experiences as a way to draw attention. Avoid overused opening sentences, quotes and clichés like 'when I was young…' They want to know about you now, not your childhood or Shakespeare!

What is most common sentence used in school? ›

Daily Use English Conversation Sentences at School or Classroom
  • There is no homework for tomorrow.
  • Note down the homework for tomorrow. ...
  • Go to Chapter 1. ...
  • Those who have not completed the homework, Standup.
  • Come on to the Dias and write on the blackboard.
  • Is everyone able to see the Blackboard?

What is an example of a simple sentence about school? ›

[M] [T] I took the children to school. [M] [T] I usually go to school by bus. [M] [T] Our school is fifty years old. [M] [T] This school has many students.

How do you write a short personal statement example? ›

How to create a CV personal statement
  • State who you are. Start with a statement detailing where you are in your career. ...
  • Communicate your value. The second part of your statement should communicate your suitability for the position and your value to the organization. ...
  • State your career objectives.
Mar 10, 2023

How do you write a simple personal statement? ›

How to write a personal statement
  1. Write a personal introduction. Write an introduction that reflects you and your personality. ...
  2. Expand on relevant skills, interests and experiences. ...
  3. Write a strong conclusion. ...
  4. Proofread and edit.
Mar 10, 2023

What is an example of a professional statement? ›

I have consistently proven my ability to meet deadlines and achieve project objectives, solve mission-critical problems and prioritize crucial tasks while maintaining the high standards expected of my role. I am currently seeking a position in an established data science firm to further my career goals.”


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