Fees and Financially Assisted Places


Have you considered private education for your child but wondered if you can really afford it? With any private school in the world one would expect to see a significant difference in fees between day and boarding schools (boarding fees are typically two and a half times that of day fees in the UK).

The average cost of private school fees in the UK is £4,980* for day schools, whilst boarding school fees average at £11,760* per term. Whilst you will want to ensure you select the right private school for your child, have you ever considered that geographical area may have an impact on fees charged? On average fees for day schools range from £3,700* per term in the North West to £6,000* per term in London. Whilst Yorkshire has the lowest termly fees for boarding schools at around £7,900* per term to London being the highest at £13,400* per term for boarding – These prices reflect the diverse offering of private schools in the UK.

Independent private schools in the UK offer financial assisted places through Scholarship and Bursaries for pupils who are either exceptionally talented or can demonstrate a need for monetary support. These financially assisted places can make all the difference between a parent/guardian being able to afford to send their child to an independent school or not.

Scholarships are generally awarded to a pupil with exceptional intelligence and/or talent in a particular area, usually; academic, music, drama, art or sports. Scholarships are highly competitive and tend not to be more than 20% of fees. Scholars often receive special privileges such as extra tuition and mentoring in their chosen discipline and additional trips. As part of the awarded scholarship, these pupils will be expected to participate fully and represent their school in their area of talent for the entirety of their school life. A scholarship can be awarded to any pupil based entirely on their outstanding merits and irrespective of background, class or financial stability.

Bursaries tend to be more common in independent schools as they enable children of less well-off families to attend private schools. Unlike scholarships, bursaries tend to be means-tested on application and each year of the child’s school life. Means-testing will firstly look at the child’s ability and then the family’s financial circumstances. Whilst some schools will simply look at the family income, other schools may well look at the value of your assets, assess your outgoing such as holidays, and take into consideration other financial commitments such as the number of dependents within the family. The financial contribution of a bursary can vary depending on individual circumstances, however for the brightest of the bright 100% fee bursaries are awarded – in some cases they will also cover trips, uniform and sundries.

Both scholarships and bursaries can be awarded to children at the same time. Parents or guardians should contact the individual school they are interested in as each private school will have their own fee assistance programmes.

*All figures have been taken from the Independent School Council 2020 census.


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