Boarding or day school?Choosing the best boarding school for your child is also a question of cost. Some schools offer a menu of different boarding options to suit a range of budgets and needs.
These range from full day school to full boarding school, with various combinations of weekend, weekday and flexi-boarding to choose from. Other schools, like Harrow, are boarding-only and do not accept day pupils.
How much does boarding school cost?If you have decided to opt for the full boarding package, you should expect to pay anything from £28,000 to £33,000 a year per child at one of the top 30 boarding schools.
This figure includes tuition, accommodation, food and round the clock pastoral care and support from the school. Activities, such as school trips, will cost extra.
The most expensive schoolsThe most expensive schools in Britain are the famous boys-only boarding schools, as a result of a historic tradition where education of boys was considered more important than for girls.
The most expensive schools in the UK currently are Tonbridge School (over £32,800), Winchester College (£32,700) and Eton College (£32,100).
The most expensive girls’ school cost slightly less, although you should still expect to pay from £29,000 to £32,000 for basic boarding and tuition, before other expenses like insurance and activities.
Is it worth it?Sending your child to the most expensive schools isn’t a guarantee that they will be happy or successful. Additionally, higher fees don’t necessarily translate into better exam results or entry into prestigious universities.
Some schools are more selective than others, and many of the most expensive schools have a very traditional atmosphere that might not suit all children. Cost should be just one of many criteria to take into consideration.