top of page
  • Writer's pictureDavid Yeardley


The cost of education


When I was at school, the second half of the year was often the months that was crammed full of end-of-term assignments, revision, and exams. There is a value to education of course. Price is only an issue in the absence of value I know, but it did get me thinking about the implicit and explicit price of education.


You may already have children, are thinking of having them, or are a concerned grandparent). This time of year is an apt reminder of the investment that schooling requires not only in terms of commitment by the child, but the real price of it to parents and guardians:

·        Average cost of sending one child to ‘State school’ from year 1-11 is £1,579 a year, which equals £17,374 in total1

·        Average fees of a private school (day only) are £15,396 a year 2

·        A University course costs on average £22,185 a year 3


‘State schooling’ still requires items such as:

·        Uniform (£70),

·        Tech (£85),

·        After school clubs (£106),

·        Packed lunch (£585),

·        Commuting (£60),

·        School social events (£55), and

·        Childcare (£220) per year1.


Research1 shows that the most expensive years are year 8 and 11 (due to school trips). These figures vary not only on a personal basis, but regionally:

·        East Anglia - £15,312

·        London - £21,298

·        North West - £16,507

·        Scotland – £15,714

·        South West - £14,505

·        Wales - £15,573

·        West Midlands - £15,526

·        Yorkshire and the Humber - £14,107


With ‘Private schooling’, all the above ‘extras’ of State schooling will still apply - although school outings, after school clubs and uniform are likely to cost more. On average, you can expect to pay the following fees per term:

·        ££13,002 for boarding,

·        £7,196 for a day pupil at a boarding school, and

·        £5,446 for a pupil at a day only school.


These figures are the average per term across the 1,395 schools that participated in the census. There is also a non-refundable ‘registration fee’ and some schools ask for payment for the year rather than term by term. These can reduce with scholarships, bursaries, sibling discounts, and up-front payment. It is worth pointing out that Private school fees have risen faster than inflation every year for the past 10 years, so be prepared for further increases in the future


For University, a typical three year course totals £66,5603, The cost of tuition for the majority of students in the UK is approximately £9,2503 a year, plus the average annual cost of living of £12,9633.


To help with tuition fees, specific tuition fee loans cover the full cost of the course, and won’t have to paid back until the student is earning above a certain level.


There are also ‘Maintenance loans’ and ‘Student Grants’ that are means tested to help with living costs.


Note that Tuition fees depend on what country the University is in, and your home location. see(


How we can help


Pre-funding and saving for this, using the many available tax shelters, can help with all of the above. We’re here to help you plan for your children/grandchildren’s future education, please get in touch.




2Independent Schools Council Census 2022 of 1,388 schools 


Approver Quilter Wealth Limited, Quilter Financial Limited, Quilter Financial Services Limited & Quilter Mortgage Planning Limited. February 2024


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page