Private school fees have more than trebled since the 1990s when many of us were at school. There are numerous alternative methods of paying for the fees, which method is appropriate depends on the parents’ objective and financial circumstances.” Despite the expense, some 522,879 children are at private school in the UK according to the ISC (up from 522,432 a year in 2016). Upping the cost Where the fees are substantially raised, making some parents switch away from the private-school sector and opt for state schools. The Trust is developing a pilot in a number of London schools which will offer private tuition in mathematics to 100-150 academically able Year 11 … Is it possible in Britain over the next 10 or 20 years to build a sufficiently widespread consensus for reform?Or, at the very least, to begin to have a serious, sustained, non-name-calling, non-guilt-ridden national conversation on the subject of private education? I went to watch Middlesex play cricket at Merchant Taylor’s school in Northwood a couple of weeks ago. While many agree that private education is at the root of inequality in Britain, open discussion about the issue remains puzzlingly absent. Some are relatively small in scope, including a proposal from the Independent Schools Council that would involve no more than 2% of the private-school population. Consider these three fundamental facts: one in every 16 pupils goes to a private school; one in every seven teachers works at a private school; one pound in every six of all school expenditure in England is for the benefit of private-school pupils. A 2016 study by Durham University found that independent school pupils receive a boost equivalent to two years of extra schooling over state school pupils by the age of 16. For secondary school, and even more so sixth forms, the fees are appreciably higher. Crossing the tracksThere are several proposed schemes for enabling children from low-income families to attend private schools. A day school will cost on average £13,000 a year while a boarding school will be more than £32,000, she says. ‘They think that everyone else at the school will be “posh” and that their children will only mix with wealthy families. Some call for the “abolition” of private schools – whatever that might mean. Four areas stand out. Given the very unequal distribution of academic resources entailed by the British private school system, it is unarguable that a more egalitarian distribution of the same resources would enhance the total educational achievement. Private education is not fair, he famously declared in June 2014 during a sermon at King’s College Chapel, Cambridge. Only about 6% of the UK’s school population attend such schools, and the families accessing private education are highly concentrated among the affluent. What particularly defines British private education is its extreme social exclusivity. At the 99th rung – families with incomes upwards of £300,000 – six out of every 10 children are at private school. The debate about private school vs. public school causes headaches. Not all private schools get better grades because not all teachers in them are outstanding. Private schools belonging to the Independent Schools Council provide some £780 million worth of fee deduction, benefiting 166,000 out of the total 500,000 pupils. In DD's seven years at her prep, which was a safe nurturing environment, there was only one incident of a child behaving really badly. The existence in Britain of a flourishing private-school sector not only limits the life chances of those who attend state schools but also damages society at large, and it should be possible to have a sustained and fully inclusive national conversation about the subject. Perhaps inevitably, by far the highest-profile stats concern Oxbridge, where between 2010 and 2015 an average of 43% of offers from Oxford and 37% from Cambridge were made to privately educated students, and there has been no sign since of any significant opening up. If you make at least 5X the private grade school tuition per child, I think private grade school is worth it. More than 140,000 pupils at private schools don’t pay all – or any – of their fees. In the US there is a very small sector of non-sectarian private schools with high fees, but most private schools are, again, religious, with much lower fees than here. All rights reserved. For many families, knowing whether private schools are better for your family is … A day school costs on average £13,000 a year, while a boarding school will be more than £30,000. Take first the cohort born in 1958: in terms of those with comparable social backgrounds, demographic characteristics and early tested skills, and different only in what type of school they attended when they were 11, by the time they were in their early 30s (around 1990) the privately educated were earning 7% more than the state-educated. But being reminded of quite how expensive is a shock. But smart people will do well anywhere. W ell, not all parents who send their children to private schools think only of grades. Overwhelmingly, pupils at private schools are rubbing shoulders with those from similarly well-off backgrounds. This is tax free for the children because so long as the children don’t have any other earnings or income, they can use their personal tax allowance. The term “the establishment” can be a tiresome one, too often loosely and inaccurately used, but in the sense of complementary networks of people at or close to the centres of power and wealth, it actually does mean something. Any study must take account of where the children are coming from. If private schooling in Britain remains fundamentally unreconstructed, it will remain predominantly intended and destined for the advantage of the already privileged children who attend. The Wire’s Jimmy McNulty (Eton) sorts out Baltimore. There are broadly two types of option: those that handicap private schools, making them less attractive to parents, and those that envisage “crossing the tracks” – some form of integration with the state-school sector. But paying for a private education from finger painting to Freshers’ Week is not an option for most families anyway. Those with enough money are free to purchase and enjoy expensive holidays, cars, houses and meals. In Germany, for instance, it is also low, but unlike in Britain is generously state-funded, more strongly regulated and comes with modest fees. Don't send your kids to prep (private junior) school; it's completely pointless unless you've got money to burn and value any perceived 'prestige' of doing so. In another type of partial integration, schools would select a proportion of state-funded pupils according to the Schools Admissions Code, meaning that the government or local government would set the principles for selection and the extra places would become an extension to the state system. They deploy very substantial resources; respect the need for a disciplined environment for learning; and give copious attention to generating a positive and therefore motivating experience. Indeed, the small number of income-poor families going private can only do so through other sources: typically, grandparents’ assets and/or endowment-supported bursaries from some of the richest schools. Underpinning all these areas of advantage are the high revenues from fees: Britain’s private schools can deploy resources whose order of magnitude for each child is approximately three times what is available at the average state school. I go to a private Catholic university and find it very worth it to pay the tuition. ‘If you have a good local state school, why pay? Meet your Cheshire champions and our Keep Life Local award winners, 5 great dog-friendly pub walks in Cheshire, Introducing the four-legged walking companions of Cheshire, Farmbuildings transformed into luxurious family homes on Styal Country Estate. Further inefficiency arises from education’s “positional” aspect. £1,000 a month from birth would give you a pot of £70,000 by the time your child reaches … Yet in a name-calling culture, ever ready with the charge of hypocrisy, this reality is all too often ignored. OP asked if private schooling could prevent her daughter having a bad time, and this can't be guaranteed, but any decent private school will deal with incidents of bad behaviour very swiftly. Education is different. In France, private schools are mainly Catholic schools permitted to teach religion: the state pays the teachers and the fees are very low. Opportunities outside the classroom are an attractive aspect of a private education and pupils are able to experience diverse activities that might not otherwise be available to them. Unless some radical reform is set in train, an unreconstructed private-school system, with its enormous resource superiority and exclusiveness hanging over the state system as a beacon for unequal treatment and privilege, would make it hard to sustain a fully comprehensive and fair state education system. Some reforms would have much more of an impact than others. School days, after all, are supposed to be the best of your life – and the most important consideration is finding a school where your child will be happiest. There are, of course, some very real contextual factors to these bald and striking figures. The poll reveals, moreover, that even those who have been privately educated, or have chosen to educate their own children privately, are more likely than not to have a perception of unfairness. At a private secondary school, the only difference between kids coming in from state primary schools vs. prep schools is the prep school kids were already decent at French & Latin. Usually private school parents will recommend a private school as they don't want to have seen to have made a bad decision. Alternatively, something that would “hurt” a bit more, government could directly tax school fees (as in Labour’s manifesto pledge to impose VAT or in Andrew Adonis’s proposed 25% “educational opportunity tax”). And fourth, to achieve the best possible exam results and the highest rate of admission to the top universities, “working the system” comes into play. The private school fees are then paid by paying out dividends to the children. Yet the mismatch between such sentiments and policymakers’ practical intentions is palpable. Why can one not simply accept that these are high-quality schools that provide our future leaders with a high-quality education? Similarly, research by the Sutton Trust educational charity found that although just 7% of the school population attends independent fee-paying schools, 71% of top military officers were educated privately, along with 74% of top judges and 61% of top doctors. Even so, given that these schools have been and still are places that – when the feelgood verbiage is stripped away – ensure that their already advantaged pupils retain and extend their socio‑economic advantages in later life, common sense places them squarely in the centre of the frame. Of course, things to a degree have changed since Thompson’s time. I know of 2 parents who are very bitter that they 'wasted over £150k' on their child's education. And for once, that has to include the engines of privilege. Lesser-known schools trumpet something similar. Is paying for private schools really worth it? The press focus tends to be on the great and historic boarding schools – such as Eton (basic fee £40,668 in 2018–19), Harrow (£40,050) and Winchester (£39,912) – but it is important to see the private sector in the less glamorous round, and stripped of the extra cost of boarding. ‘Not all private schools are Eton College, just like not all state schools are Grange Hill,’ says Beth. Some 5.2 per cent of these children come from outside the UK. Far greater resources are available for diagnosing special needs, challenging exam results and guiding university applications. Whether a private school education is worth the fees and other costs has no simple answer. Yet for a mixture of reasons – political and economic, as well as social – we believe that the issue represents in contemporary Britain an unignorable problem that urgently needs to be addressed and, if possible, resolved. You’ll only know if the money was worth it at retirement age. Phone orders min p&p of £1.99. We do not call for that, because we think it is better – and feasible – to harness for all the good qualities of private schools. It would be manifestly absurd to pin the blame entirely on the existence over the past few centuries of a flourishing private-school sector. At Harrow, for example, its vision is that the school “prepares boys… for a life of learning, leadership, service and personal fulfilment”. The schools’ links with powerful vested interests are close and continuous. Private school fees are always going to be expensive, that’s a given. There is, moreover, the sheer extravagance. It would be a mistake for a parent to think that paying for their child to attend private school is a guaranteed route to school success.’. Pupils also received higher average scores in all subjects at GCSE level. From judges (74% privately educated) through to MPs (32%), the numbers tell us of a society where bought educational privilege also buys lifetime privilege and influence. HandicapsContextual admissions to universities Where universities, especially the high-status ones, make substantial allowances for candidates’ school background; alternatively, as another method of positive discrimination, some form of a quota system. The Cameron-Osborne (Eton-St Paul’s) axis takes over the country; Nick Clegg (Westminster) runs errands. All those scary newspaper headlines about the long-term costs of bringing up children pale into insignificance when set beside the £250,000+ required to educate a child privately from nursery to university. State vs Private School What are the differences between state and private schools? The private education world and the financial advice Sending your child to a private school is a bit like paying for financial advice. Theresa May (St Juliana’s) and Jeremy Corbyn (Castle House prep school) face off. Perhaps once it might have been conceivable to argue that private education was a symptom rather than a cause of how privilege in Britain was transferred from one generation to the next, but that day is long gone: the centrality of schooling in both social and economic life – and the Noah’s flood of resources channelled into private schools for the few – are seemingly permanent features of the modern era. ... whatever that looks like. You’ll only know if the money was worth it at retirement age. The unavoidable truth is that, by and large, the increasingly privileged and entitled products of an elite private education have – almost inevitably – only a limited and partial understanding of, and empathy with, the realities of everyday life as lived by most people. I think, unless you can afford the very top private schools, and we couldn't, it isn't worth it and the money could be better used on life skills and experiences. A poll we commissioned from Populus shows a virtually landslide majority for a perception of unfairness about private education, indicating that public opinion is potentially receptive to grappling with the issue and what to do about it. Julie also points out that whilst exam results are high, ‘the development of soft skills is greatly encouraged at independent schools, with pupils learning to be self-disciplined, ambitious, curious and self-confident’. 7 Answers. Third, the high – and therefore exclusive – price tag sustains a peer group of children mainly drawn from supportive and affluent families. They just don't have the room to accept everyone. – Plan early – this is easier said than done, but if you have an inkling you’d like to send your child to private school, starting from birth gives you the best possible chance. The reform of private schools will not alone be sufficient to achieve a good education system for all, let alone the good society; but it surely is a necessary condition. The answer: It depends. First, especially small class sizes are a major boon for pupils and teachers alike. Private school costs: From the age of five to 18, it will set you back around £195,745 per child 1) A DISCOUNT FOR HELPING THE SCHOOL INVEST These can … In 2018 the proportion of private-school students achieving A*s and As at A-level was 48%, compared with a national average of 26%; while for GCSEs, in terms of achieving an A or grade seven or above, the respective figures were 63% and 23%. There are numerous alternative methods of paying for the fees, which method is appropriate depends on the parents’ objective and financial circumstances.” Despite the expense, some 522,879 children are at private school in the UK according to the ISC (up from 522,432 a year in 2016). All of which leaves the private schools almost uniquely well placed to make their case and protect their corner. Why Private Schooling Isn't Worth The Money ... An increase in annual fees last year of some 4.6 per cent saw parents paying £13,179 per child in fees. The great historian EP Thompson wrote more than half a century ago about The Peculiarities of the English. Whether one has been privately educated, or has sent or is sending one’s children to private schools, or even if one teaches at a private school, there should be no barriers to taking part in that conversation. What about the implications for our polity? We suggest a Fair Access Scheme, where the schools would be obliged initially to recruit one-third of their pupils in this way, with a view to the proportion rising significantly over time. Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Ed Balls (Nottingham High) takes to the dance floor. For most parents, an independent education is aspirational and the decision about whether to pay school fees of between £10,000 and £43,000 per year comes down to one simple fact – how much money is available. Yet it would be a huge mistake to underestimate the seriously negative educational aspects of the current dispensation and to continue to marginalise the private-school question. I would personally say it depends on the quality of the free schools in the area. A glance at the annual fees is relevant here. As the millennium approaches, New Labour under Tony Blair (Fettes) sweeps to power. Its effects are deep, long-term and run from one generation to the next. Everything is potentially on the table. Or take the City of London, where in that historic and massively wealthy square mile not only do individual livery companies have an intimate involvement with a range of private schools, but the City corporation itself supports an elite trio in Surrey and London (City of London, City of London school for girls, City of London Freemen’s school). Depends on the student's willingness to learn, the teacher and the school. It marked some kind of apotheosis when in July 2014 the appointment of Nicky Morgan (Surbiton High) as education secretary meant that every minister in her department at that time was privately educated. For those seeking to educate their children privately, it’s becoming increasingly expensive: school fees have trebled in real terms since 1980, with their cost as a proportion of household budgets rising remarkably. Consider the extras.It’s not just about private school tuition. When assessing if private school is worth the money, it's important to consider all the factors look at many students’ experiences at private school from a cost-benefit perspective and many come up with the conclusion that attending a private school does not in any way guarantee access to an Ivy League or equivalently competitive college. At every rung of the income ladder there are a small number of private-school attenders; but it is only at the very top, above the 95th rung of the ladder – where families have an income of at least £120,000 – that there are appreciable numbers of private-school children. But being reminded of quite how expensive is a shock. This lethal combination of private benefit and public waste is nowhere more apparent than in the time and effort that private schools devote to working the system, to ease access to those scarce places. At both stages, GCSE and A-level, the gap is invariably huge. The Cameron-Osborne axis sees off Labour, but not Boris Johnson+Nigel Farage (Dulwich)+Arron Banks (Crookham Court). Here's what you need to know about the benefits of private school, and private school costs. Choosing a school for your child is an exciting but often overwhelming task. Boris Johnson (Eton) enters City Hall in London. A more open society in which upward social mobility starts to become a real possibility for many children, not just a few lucky ones? A nation grieves for Diana (West Heath); Charles (Gordonstoun) retrieves her body; her brother (Eton) tells it as it is. Personally, I think private school is amazing when it comes to the opportunities it provides e.g. The good news (if there is any) is that, according to the ISC 2018 report, the average overall fees only increased by 3.4% between 2017 and 2018. So far, she's been to Residential trips to Paris, one at a PGL, to the Black Country for several days and skiing for a week in the French alps. 3 years ago. 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