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How Much Are Private Schools?

Written by, Martina Georgievska

Updated July, 8, 2023

Good education is invaluable but it does come with a price tag. 

So, how much are private schools in the UK, and what makes them better than private schools?

Private school fees

One of the biggest concerns for parents who want to send their children to a good private school is the cost of education. Naturally, school fees can vary from school to school, based on factors such as the location of the school and the type of facilities they have. 

According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the average private school fee is £13,700 a year and the average fees for sixth formers were over £15,000 in 2019-20 in the private sector. Fees for boarding school, on the other hand, range from £20,000 to £30,000 a year.

The Independent School Council Annual Census revealed that the average prep boarding school fees in 2020 were £5,442 per term for day pupils and £8,621 per term for boarders. The average boarding fees per term for senior boarding schools were £11,609 and £6,895 for day fees. 

Obviously, if you are considering private schools in the centre of London, you should expect the fees to be higher. Popular private school choices and the poshest private schools in the UK, like Eton or Harrow, might even carry a more expensive price tag

So, what are the private school fees for schools in London?

Thomas’s Battersea School fees start around £6,190 between Reception and Year 2, jumping to £7,810 from Year 3 until Year 8. As for the Wetherby School fees, they are £8,095 per term and include tuition, school lunch, and textbooks. Westminster School fees range from £9,987 per term for day pupils to £14,424 per term for boarding pupils. 

St Paul’s Girls’ School charges £8,802 per term and up to £9,463 per term for sixth form students. Finally, the fees for Harrodian School are £5,463 for Years 4 to 7 and £8,391 per term for Years 12 and 13. 

Private school fees have risen faster than the rate of inflation in the UK in the past decade. What’s more, not all private schools require parents to pay per term. 

Additional costs

Unfortunately, private schools cost in the UK doesn’t stop at school fees. 

All private schools require parents to put down some sort of non-refundable registration fee and a deposit before the school year starts. The amount depends on the school you’ve chosen. 

In addition to term fees, some private schools charge extra for uniforms, workbooks, and lunch, as well as sports equipment, music lessons, and school trips, among other things. This usually amounts to around 10% of a single term fee. Of course, other schools include many of these in a term fee so, make sure you read the fine print before making a final decision.

How Can You Save Money?

This might be a hard pill to swallow, but private education costs in the UK are high. There are almost 9 million students in the UK. About 7% of British children attend a private school, so they certainly aren’t for everyone. 

But if a private school is something you are considering for your children, here are some ways to make the costs more manageable.

Find the cheapest private schools in England 

Conduct a thorough research to find the cheapest private schools in your area. Sometimes your location can also play a huge part on how expensive schools are. Make sure you don’t miss any additional cost and check to see if meals, school uniforms, and school books are included in the term fee. 

School fee plan 

If the idea of a huge upfront cost for the school year seems scary, try to find out if the school you’ve chosen offers a school fee plan. This is something that will allow you to pay fees on a monthly or termly basis, which helps spread the cost.

Pay upfront 

On the other hand, you can also consider paying the full amount for the entire year at once if you can afford it. Much like car insurance, some schools might offer a discount if you choose to pay the full amount in one go.

Scholarships or bursaries 

 It wouldn’t hurt to check if your child is eligible for a scholarship or a bursary. According to the ISC, more than a third of pupils at private schools across the country get help via these programmes. 


Some private prep schools offer sibling discounts. Also, children who have parents in the clergy, armed forces, or whose teachers are in private education may also qualify for some private school prices adjustments.

Bottom Line

Before you decide to send your child into a private school, make sure you look into fees, what they cover, any additional cost, and potential discounts. It’s a big step and a large commitment, but it’s hard to put a price on quality education.

Frequently Asked Questions And Their Answers

How many private schools are there in the UK?

According to BESA (British Educational Suppliers Association), there are a total of 2,461 private schools in the UK. 


An aspiring linguist with a background in teaching, I decided to use my years of experience to educate my audience through writing. The chance to apply my knowledge to my articles, fueled by my passion for research helped me develop my skills and learn more along the way, awakening my interest in even more topics. When I’m not typing behind my desk, you’ll find me learning a new language or pouring my thoughts into rhymes.