Grandparents pay to keep children in private school

The Times is reporting a new survey which shows that one in six families with children at private schools relies on grandparents to help pay the fees…

…Analysis by mtm consulting, a schools strategy and marketing company, said that the willingness of grandparents to supplement fees had kept many children in private school.

The company commissioned a survey of 6,200 parents with children at fee-paying schools last year, in collaboration with the Independent Schools Council, and did more detailed analysis of 2,400 parents. The results showed that 16 per cent of parents admitted that relatives, predominantly grandparents, contributed to the cost of school fees. In London, where demand for private education is highest, this rose to 25 per cent in families whose income was below £70,000.

Another 9 per cent of families said that they had borrowed money from a relative or friend to pay school fees. The report did not have previous data against which to measure the past role of grandparents in paying school fees but said that it appeared to be increasing. “In particular, grandparents have become important contributors to fees because they hold a disproportionate amount of wealth,” it said…

More at:  Grandparents pay to keep children in private school (subscription required)

If the role of grandparents in paying school fees is increasing, as the report speculates, should this be a cause for concern for the independent sector? Is it sustainable or just a temporary intervention through a difficult economic period? Please give us your insights in the comments or on twitter… 

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