School fees expected to soar in race to attract overseas pupils

The Times is reporting that heads have said fee rises at leading independent schools will continue to outpace inflation for years to come to fund improvements aimed at attracting overseas pupils…

Top private schools will continue to push up fees but also put more money aside to fund means-tested places for children from lower-income families, they said.

More private schools are competing in a global market for pupils as day schools increasingly target expatriate families and children from overseas. Traditionally it has been boarding schools that recruited pupils from abroad.

Earlier this year the stockbroker Killik & Co published a report showing that private school fees had quadrupled since 1990, rising from an average of £2,985 to £12,700 a year: equivalent to a rise of 6.2 per cent a year, while inflation rose at an annual rate of 2.5 per cent.

To send one child to private school, with excursions and music lessons, now costs £271,000. For two children the cost is £526,000, the report said.

Heads gathering in Newport, Gwent, for the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) said the trend was likely to continue…

William Richardson, general secretary of HMC, said: “This is a 20-year trend that I just don’t see slowing down at all. There are two sides to the coin. There is access for British students to go to HMC schools in Britain but the internationalising of these schools is really very steady now, including day schools.

“Day school heads will go to the far east to explore recruiting pupils who will come to the UK as day school pupils but domiciled in properly safeguarded arrangements with extended family.”…

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If the independent sector is building its business model on targeting wealthy overseas students, would that have any impact on its charitable status? Your thoughts? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…


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