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Parents need to save almost £1,000 a month to keep pace with rising school fees

Parents planning to put their children through private education will need to save an average of almost £1,000 a month from when their child is born, according to new figures from Wesleyan, the financial services specialist for professionals.

Data from the Independent Schools Council show the average cost of private school fees for non-boarding day students is £13,418 a year, up 65% over the past ten years. If prices continue to rise at the same rate as over the past year, the total amount will be an average of £218,928 over the course of their education for children starting school at five this year and finishing at 18.(1)

The annual fees could leap further to more than £32,065, or more than half a million pounds over the course of their education (£519,915), if the children board.(2)

Wesleyan has calculated if parents save £11,778 per year from when their child is born until they leave school - equivalent to £982 a month - in the leading easy access savings account paying interest at a rate of 1.05% per annum, they would build up enough money to cover the cost of day school private education. The interest accumulated over those 18 years (£6,920) would save more than a term's school fees.

If parents want their child to board, they would need to save more than double, £27,975 a year, or £2,331 per month.(2)

Research by Wesleyan revealed just one in five (19%) doctors, dentists and lawyers are currently saving towards private school fees.(3)

Vicki Wentworth, Wesleyan's Chief Customer and Strategy Officer, said: "We know parents want to give their children the best start in life, and for many of our customers this means investing in private education. However, this can be a very big financial commitment for families, even those with higher incomes, especially as some parents have to pay for fees out of their post-tax income. That's why saving early can make a huge difference.

"It's all about saving as early as you can and making money work harder by using the returns generated on savings and investments to help build a healthy fund for the future, for example by using ISAs or Flexible Savings Plans.

"As with any major financial decision, it's important to take specialist financial advice and understand all your options before making a decision."

Wesleyan is a mutual financial services specialist for doctors, dentists, lawyers and teachers.

Please note that past performance is not a reliable guide to future performance and the value of your investment can go down as well as up, so you could get back less than you have invested.


(1) Day fee day school - Calculation based on current average annual fee for day fee day schools (2015/2016) of £13,418, with an annual inflation in fees of 3.7% applied for the life of the child’s education up to and including A-Levels. 3.7% is the average rate of fee increase reported by the Independent Schools Council (ISC) for day fee day schools in its annual census based on a survey conducted in January, 2016 18 annual savings of £11,778 required or £981.50 per month.
(2) Boarding school - Calculation based on current average annual fee for boarding schools (2015/16) of £32,065, as estimated by the Independent Schools Council, with an annual inflation in fees of 3.6% applied for the life of the child’s education up to and including A-Levels. 3.6% is the average rate of fee increase reported by the Independent Schools Council (ISC) for boarding in its annual census based on a survey conducted in January, 2016. 18 annual savings of £27,975 required equivalent to £2,331.25 per month
(3) Survey of 388 doctors, lawyers, dentists and teachers by Censuswide, Feb/March, 2015

'WESLEYAN’ is a trading name of the Wesleyan Group of companies.

Wesleyan Assurance Society and Wesleyan Bank Ltd are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Wesleyan Financial Services Ltd, Wesleyan Unit Trust Managers Ltd, Practice Plan Ltd and DPAS Ltd are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  Advice about investments, insurance and mortgages is provided by Wesleyan Financial Services Ltd.

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