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Sancho Panza

Middle-Classes 'forced Out Of Private Schools' As Fees Soar

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Telegraph 6/7/14

'Private education is becoming “increasingly unaffordable” for the middle-classes following a four-fold rise in school fees in little over 20 years, according to a major study.

Parents in traditionally well-paid careers such as accountancy, law, finance and academia are now less likely to afford an independent education than plumbers were in the early 90s, it emerged.

In a report, it was claimed that the rise in school fees had outstripped wages by such an extent that private schools were increasingly becoming the preserve of super-rich foreigners.

Figures suggest that an infant enrolled at a private day school this September will ultimately cost their parents £271,000 in fees and added extras by the time they take their A-levels in 13 years’ time – more than the average house price.

A boarding education will stand at some £435,000, it was claimed, and approach close to £1m for two children.

The disclosure – in a study commissioned by the stockbroker Killik & Co – will prompt fresh concerns that independent education is becoming out of reach for the average family.

It comes just days after the Sutton Trust, a social mobility charity, called on the government to invest around £215m a year to subsidise fees and enable private schools to take pupils from a broader range of social backgrounds.

The action is needed to help schools shake off their image as “bastions of privilege”, it was claimed.

The Independent Schools Council defended the system, insisting fee rises had slowed in recent years and record sums – £320m – were being spent on means-tested bursaries.

They also pointed to figures showing that the UK’s private schools were among the best in the world.

But the Killik Private Education Index said the type of family that could afford private school fees “has changed dramatically since 1990”.

It added: “It is less likely to be the archetypal middle-class professional and more likely to be high net worth individuals, increasingly international. Many established independent schools like Eton and Harrow educate the children of some of China’s wealthiest multimillionaires.

“The average doctor, accountant or professional is not the typical private-school parent – at least, not any longer.”

The Killik study, carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, analysed data on school fees and average earnings over the last 24 years. It also estimated rises to be expected over the next 14 years.

The study found that average annual day fees had more than quadrupled since 1990 – from £2,985 to £12,700 in 2014. Boarding fees soared from £6,800 to £28,800.

It said that overall fees have increased by more than 300 per cent while wages have risen by just 76 per cent over the same period.

The study suggested that spending on teachers’ pay combined with investment in expensive buildings and equipment may have driven some of the rise.

Researchers compared fees – and other costs – with wages to find how much of parents’ disposable income would be taken up by private schooling.

In 1990, average day fees, plus extras, for one child would have taken up 19 per cent of the average doctors’ salary, compared with 23 per cent for solicitors, 30 per cent for academics and 29 per cent for accountants. A plumber would have been required to put aside 39 per cent while fees would have taken 47.5 per cent of a construction worker’s salary.

But by 2014, fees for one child accounted for 36 per cent of a doctor’s disposable income, 47 per cent for a fund manager, 50 per cent for a solicitor, 51 per cent for an academic and 59 per cent for an accountant.

For most professional occupations listed, the proportion of income spent on school fees in 2014 was higher than the rate for a plumber and even a construction worker 24 years ago.

By 2027, researchers estimate that day fees will more than double again to £27,400, with a further £3,000-a-year needed for extras such as music lessons, uniforms and school trips.

It would result in a total price tag of £271,000, or £526,000 for two children.

The study suggests that a parent sending one child to boarding school from the age of 13 – after eight years at a day school – would be required to pay £435,000 or £831,000 for two children.

It suggests that fees for a single child will account for more than 50 per cent of a doctor’s disposable income, rising to 66 per cent for fund managers, 70.5 per cent for solicitors, 72 per cent for academics, 83 per cent for accountants. Costs would exceed the total amount of disposal income for a plumber – 102 per cent – and stand at 114 per cent for construction workers and 128 per cent for members of the clergy.'

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All schools should be good schools....all teachers good teachers. ;)

Edit to say; can't they get their better profitable homes to pay for the better education that can give them better opportunities to secure that better job to buy a better home?

Edited by winkie

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Has the state sector pushed up the salaries for teachers across the board?

I believe that is one of the main reasons for the rise in tuition fees. If you pay the same person more it means theyre better at their job dont you know.

PS Look at what the police earn these days aswell, it truly is theft from the taxpayer.

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By 2027, researchers estimate that day fees will more than double again to £27,400, with a further £3,000-a-year needed for extras such as music lessons, uniforms and school trips.

It would result in a total price tag of £271,000, or £526,000 for two children.

Fees must be close to topping out now, and need to crash.

Yet like VIs with house prices, here they are extrapolating further huge increases into the future.

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Fees must be close to topping out now, and need to crash.

Yet like VIs with house prices, here they are extrapolating further huge increases into the future.

If anything education is going to be a growth industry over the next 5-10 years as all those kids from the credit crunch baby boom start their school life.

The parents of these children are generation Jones - in other words they have to keep up with the Joneses (their peer group) whether it's house, wedding, flash car, child, 52" TV or school. They'll do anything to ensure they keep up.

However, there is one disruptive element in the educational sector, the UTC (our attempt at the Germany Fachschule). I'll be interested to see what happens when they realise their children (the ones who aren't going to become lawyers or doctors) might earn more if they learnt a trade. Unfortunately I can see their practically inept children taking places off the non-academic but practically skilled children they are designed for.

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Rich people's sob story...not interested

+1 - I agree.

The place I just quite was full of posh talking Clifton types working in low level office positions that anyone could do. Most were from private school and boarding school backgrounds. A good friend of mine also went to boarding school and left uni with a 2:2.

I went to a public school in north Cornwall, it wasn't great but a lot of it's down to how much time and effort parents go to. Shoveling kids into private schools is meaningless and not necessarily the best start in life, it's all down to the individual.

I eventually left uni with a first in Electronics after getting low grades at school ad failing my A-levels. I went to uni on a foundation course when I was 21 and had some real world experience of life and had spent sometime working in meat factories.

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Shoveling kids into private schools is meaningless and not necessarily the best start in life, it's all down to the individual.

It depends what the alternative is. Good state school - there are a few - vs. average private school then, yes, you're right. Failing or failed state school vs. even a below average private school and the private school wins any day.

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The top boarding and prep schools provide something the State system simply can't match. Worth every penny if you can afford it.

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+1 - I agree.

The place I just quite was full of posh talking Clifton types working in low level office positions that anyone could do. Most were from private school and boarding school backgrounds. A good friend of mine also went to boarding school and left uni with a 2:2.

I went to a public school in north Cornwall, it wasn't great but a lot of it's down to how much time and effort parents go to. Shoveling kids into private schools is meaningless and not necessarily the best start in life, it's all down to the individual.

I eventually left uni with a first in Electronics after getting low grades at school ad failing my A-levels. I went to uni on a foundation course when I was 21 and had some real world experience of life and had spent sometime working in meat factories.

Most parents sending their kids to private schools in London (and much of what's driving these numbers is confined to London) would be perfectly happy to have their children educated in a school like yours, but that's simply not an option. The fact is that most state schools in London are filled with students coming from non-British households where education isn't valued and English skills are less than desirable. The real value of state education in London has plummeted since 1990, so it's hardly surprising that parents are willing to pay much more to get their kids into private schools.

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The top boarding and prep schools provide something the State system simply can't match. Worth every penny if you can afford it.

What?

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Most parents sending their kids to private schools in London (and much of what's driving these numbers is confined to London) would be perfectly happy to have their children educated in a school like yours, but that's simply not an option. The fact is that most state schools in London are filled with students coming from non-British households where education isn't valued and English skills are less than desirable. The real value of state education in London has plummeted since 1990, so it's hardly surprising that parents are willing to pay much more to get their kids into private schools.

Have a look at http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/education-committee/news/white-working-class-report/

Just 32% of poor white British children achieve five good GCSEs including English and mathematics, compared with 42% of black Caribbean children eligible for free school meals and 61% of disadvantaged Indian children.

White British students with lower socio-economic status spend fewer evenings per week completing homework than peers from other ethnic backgrounds.

White British students who are eligible for free school meals have a higher rate of absence from school than other major ethnic groups.

I think you'd better double check the source of your facts.

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My sprogs board at a top tier school at scrotum-tightening expense.

Not worth it financially by any stretch of the imagination (as I think some recent analysis found). Hell, I'm a bloke who rides a bike to Aldi rather than contemplate the reckless extravagance of driving to ASDA - so I know how to do financial comparisons.

My high earning days are over (by choice) but we decided fairly early on that education was a good use of money and set cash aside over the years. We see flash cars, expensive holidays and general ostentatious spending as unappealing.

And I am a wholehearted supporter of private education. Nothing to do with quality - everything to do with not having young minds shaped and moulded and owned by the state.

In response to the main point of the OP, however, it's not that the middle classes are being "forced out of private school" - more that the middle classes are being forced out of existence. I have yet to decide whether that's good (do they exist because of closed shops of professionalism that are better opened to the market?) or bad (are they really the backbone of inclusive democracy?).

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Yeah, a friend in the UK works for a private school. He says most of the kids there are now from China, not Britain.

Clearly it's one of Britain's more successful exports.

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My sprogs board at a top tier school at scrotum-tightening expense.

Not worth it financially by any stretch of the imagination (as I think some recent analysis found). Hell, I'm a bloke who rides a bike to Aldi rather than contemplate the reckless extravagance of driving to ASDA - so I know how to do financial comparisons.

My high earning days are over (by choice) but we decided fairly early on that education was a good use of money and set cash aside over the years. We see flash cars, expensive holidays and general ostentatious spending as unappealing.

And I am a wholehearted supporter of private education. Nothing to do with quality - everything to do with not having young minds shaped and moulded and owned by the state.

In response to the main point of the OP, however, it's not that the middle classes are being "forced out of private school" - more that the middle classes are being forced out of existence. I have yet to decide whether that's good (do they exist because of closed shops of professionalism that are better opened to the market?) or bad (are they really the backbone of inclusive democracy?).

You say that you don't want your kids to be moulded by the state but surely the problem with all education is that it passes on societal values? And since we live in a pretty degenerate society, those values get passed on in any school setting.

Plus the state determines what is taught anyway.

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Seems odd to commission a study to compare poor local kids with average kids from immigrant families. Why didn't they compare average local kids with average immigrant kids (or poor with poor), or on an IQ basis?

Doesn't really make any sense.

(sorry, completely off topic)

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'Free to those who can afford it. Very expensive to those who can't'

Had to google that to find the source.. still not clear but I guess you mean moving in the right circles / being in the right clubs.

Not sure it always works like that but there must be an element of it.

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Have a look at http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/education-committee/news/white-working-class-report/

'Just 32% of poor white British children achieve five good GCSEs including English and mathematics, compared with 42% of black Caribbean children eligible for free school meals and 61% of disadvantaged Indian children.

White British students with lower socio-economic status spend fewer evenings per week completing homework than peers from other ethnic backgrounds.

White British students who are eligible for free school meals have a higher rate of absence from school than other major ethnic groups.'

I think you'd better double check the source of your facts.

You seem to assume that being British and 'black Caribbean' or ' Indian' are mutually exclusive.Said Indian kids could possibly be third gen or fourth.In the same way non -British could be used for first gen Polish etc

Edited by Sancho Panza

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In response to the main point of the OP, however, it's not that the middle classes are being "forced out of private school" - more that the middle classes are being forced out of existence. I have yet to decide whether that's good (do they exist because of closed shops of professionalism that are better opened to the market?) or bad (are they really the backbone of inclusive democracy?).

Interesting post.I'd go for the latter.Countries with strong middle classes are inherently more stable than those without.Do you need closed shops to create a middle class...?I'm unsure

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Yeah, a friend in the UK works for a private school. He says most of the kids there are now from China, not Britain.

So in about 30 years China will be run by people who had the same education as the overconfident and undertalented people who are running the UK now. Lucky them.

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