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Planning for school fees
There are so many upsides to a private school education - but the fees are a large, lengthy financial commitment which needs careful planning.

Where to start?

A private education has been described as the single most important investment parents can make for their child. We asked wealth managers LGT Vestra to give us their advice on the steps families should take to plan for their children’s school fees. When and how should you start planning for this financial commitment? If your child is already in education, are you too late to start saving? And how can you ensure that your savings will cover unpredictable fee increases?  Simon Allister answers all your questions.

Planning for school fees

Our video covers the key points:

  • How early do you need to start saving - if your child has already started school, are you too late?
  • The power of compounding
  • How to plan for potentially volatile fee increases 
  • Whether independent education is the best use of your savings 
  • The best way for grandparents and other relatives to help with school fees
  • Advance fee funds and school fee insurance schemes
  • Points for international families to bear in mind 
  • Scholarships, bursaries and discounts
  • The worst-case scenario: what happens if you can’t keep up fee payments

What do school fees cost?

The Independent School Council’s census from 2020 shows that the average termly fee for a day school was £4,980; for boarding schools, this termly average was £11,763.

Source: ISC Census 2020

The ISC’s Census also examined trends in school fee increases, showing how volatile these increases can be:

Source: ISC Census 2020

Schools are under pressure to keep fees as low as possible, whilst also having to keep up with the arms race to build ever newer, shinier facilities, to keep up with their competitors and meet parental expectations. The increased costs of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and the additional cost implications of the Covid pandemic also have to be taken into account.

How Talk Education can help

Fees vary from school to school, so it’s vital to do your research, make comparisons and understand exactly what’s included - and what isn’t.  

We’ve designed our school pages to give you a clear picture of each school, with our editorial review and the latest data on everything from the subjects they offer at A-level to academic results and leavers’ destinations. In the Fees and Bursaries section on each school’s page, you’ll find the termly fees for each year group, and detailed information on that school’s bursary programme.  

You can save your favourite schools to your parent dashboard, and compare data - including fee information - across a range of schools.    

You’ll find more information on our financial aid page. If you have more questions or need bespoke advice for your family, our parent advisory team will be able to help.

To summarise:

  • The earlier you’re able to start planning and saving, the better.
  • Do your research on Talk Education so you know exactly what each school’s fees include - and what’s not included.
  • Whatever your circumstances or the stage of your child’s educational journey, communication with the schools is key.
And finally...

What is compounding and how can it work for you over the long term? LGT Vestra's Head of International Equities, Russell Harrop, provides an introduction to compounding and why it is so important.