You’ve paid the fees but the school fee extras can be significant. Don’t forget to budget for them.
For those of you thinking of independent schooling, you’ve probably already made a note of sacrifices (let’s call them “lifestyle changes”) you’ll be making to pay the fees.
And if you haven’t, you should know that the average termly school fees in 2019/20 for the 1,900 mainstream independent schools in my database rises from £2,985 in Reception to £5,233 in the Upper Sixth. Average full boarding fees range from £7,410 per term in Year 3 to £10,282 in the Upper Sixth. There’s more about fees here.
You were pining for your loss of pay TV subscriptions, fancy nights out à deux, the new car and the holidays abroad. But now, and in the spirit of a good kicking when you’re down, I’ve compiled a list of school fee extras, some or all of which will be added to your bill. These extras can easily exceed £2,000 per year. In a more positive light, think of it as a budgeting checklist for your school visits.
School fee extras
- Uniform, bags and sports kit (3 terms, indoor and outdoor)
- Lunch, tea, supper, snacks
- Day trips (transport, admission, refreshments)
- Residential trips and sports tours
- Extended hours/before and after school care
- Bus/coach/minibus service to and from school
- Text books, stationery
- Laptops, Chromebooks, iPads, tablets, calculators
- Science, cookery, art, DT consumables
- Cookery basket
- Internet access, library cards, printer/photocopier cards
- Locker padlocks
- Musical instrument, drama/speech and drama, dance tuition, and exams
- Swimming lessons
- Clubs run by external experts, such as fencing, judo, karate
- Horse riding and stable charges
- Weekend activities
- Exam fees
- Personal accident insurance, medical insurance
- Bedding, laundry and clothes repairs (boarding)
- English as an Additional Language
- Special Educational Needs care and assessment
- PTA contributions
- Capital development charge (a levy to improve school facilities)