Top UK boarding schools increase fees by twice the rate of inflation

Sums charged by some of Britain’s most prestigious education institutions approach $62,000

Eton College is one of several UK boarding school to increase fees due to pandemic pressures. Alamy
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Parents wishing to send their children to British boarding schools may have to double-check their finances after being told fees will rise by twice the rate of inflation.

The hikes will take bills at some schools to almost £45,000 ($62,320) a year for the first time, as they try to mitigate the economic effects of the pandemic.

UK inflation stands at 2.4 per cent on the consumer prices index. But parents at Tonbridge School, near London, have been informed fees will leap by 6.5 per cent.

The school charged £42,105 in 2020-21 but this will rise to £44,835 for the next academic year.

At Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate in York, the 5 per cent rise means parents wishing to send their children there will have to shell out £42,036 in 2021-22.

Eton College will increase fees to £44,094, a 3 per cent rise. The best-known of all the UK’s boarding schools, it is alma mater to scores of royalty and politicians, including one Boris Johnson

The upwards curve in the cost of private education is nothing new. Fees have risen by about 5 per cent each year since 2000, Weatherbys Private Bank told The Sunday Times.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson attended Eton College.

Higher fees have not proved a barrier to attendance, with record enrolment last year. The UK has more than 2,500 private schools, educating about 625,000 pupils.

“Despite the financial strain brought about by the pandemic, many schools have extended their bursary provision,” she told The Sunday Times.

“This year, £455 million was provided in means-tested fee assistance and almost 180,000 pupils benefit from reduced fees, representing over a third of pupils at our schools.”

Updated: August 16, 2021, 5:09 PM