Private Schools – Inflation of Fees

Last month, I wrote about about the affordability of independent schools. I am often asked how much private schools fees have risen in the past few decades. I have been looking for a good account for a while, and just recently came across this one in Dominic Carman’s Heads Up:

Comparing 1971 incomes with today as a multiple, the average income has increased by 13.5x – from £2000 to £27000. And prices over the same period? The cost of a First Class stamp has increased by 20x, a pint of beer by 29x, a loaf of bread by 11x, a pint of milk by 8.5x, a gallon of petrol by 20x, and an average house by 45x (source: ONS). And KES fees? In 1971, Claughton’s education cost £135 a year. Today’s annual fees come in at £10,926 – an increase of 81x – six times the increase in average earnings, and nearly twice the increase in house prices. A comparable surge has occurred throughout the independent sector, although day school fees have grown by more, proportionately, than boarding schools, where multiples of 50x are more typical over the same time period.

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