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Parents consider ‘top-up’ home tuition with private school costs on the rise

3rd September 2013 Print

With the average amount for private school fees currently running at over £14,296 a year and with fees increasing at around four per cent per annum, many parents are supplementing their child's state school education with private home tuition.
Research from Towry, the wealth adviser, has shown that 12 per cent of adults who send their children to state schools pay for additional tuition support outside of school hours. And with these fees averaging from a minimum of £16 per hour for Key Stage Two children up to a maximum of £30 per hour for those at college, costs over the course of a child's education can soon add up.
If, for example, you were to fund your child to receive extra private tuition in two subjects, one hour a week per subject for the 39 weeks of the school year at an average cost of £20 an hour; this would cost £1,560 annually, or £7,800 throughout the course of their compulsory secondary school education (11-17 years old as of September 2013) although costs are likely to rise further over the period due to inflation.
When asked why they were seeking extra tuition for their child or children, the most common reason (44%) given by parents was a feeling that they were weaker in a particular subject. Nearly a third (29%) also indicated that they would have sent them to a private school but were not in a position where they could afford to do so. A quarter (25%) wanted their child to attend a grammar school, with the additional support being provided to prepare them for their entrance exams.
Andy James, advice policy manager, Towry, said: "With private school fees approaching the £15,000 a year barrier before additional costs such as uniform and equipment, school trips, possible boarding fees, and university tuition fees to come, it is no wonder that some parents are taking up the option of home tuition."
In order to fund the £7,800 (allowing for likely inflation increases) shown in the above example to provide a child with private tuition throughout their secondary school education, it would be best to plan early.
Assuming an annual growth rate of 3.5 per cent after investment charges have been taken into account, you would need to save £56 per month from the child's birth to age 11 to have the full savings in place. This example includes inflation of 2.5 per cent of the costs of private tuition themselves per year.
Andy James added: "It is important to seek advice as to the right savings and investment platforms available that can help with providing for your child's education before the age of 18, as soon as you are financially able to. Options such as Junior ISAs and Child Trust Funds are not useful for this particular purpose, as these do not allow access to the finances until the child is aged 18."