Fees at some of Britain’s most prestigious private schools soar above £50,000 a year for the first time
- Cheltenham Ladies College and Harrow School are among those to up their fees
Some of the most prestigious private schools in the country are to charge parents more than £50,000 a year for the first time.
A handful of schools including Cheltenham Ladies College, Concord College in Shropshire, and Harrow School in north west London have all moved above the threshold.
Another, Eton College in Berkshire, whose alumni include former Prime Minister David Cameron and Prince William, will charge boarders up to £49,998 per year.
It means their boarding fees are well in excess of £16,500 per pupil, per term, for the upcoming school year, which starts next month.
Professor James Tooley, the founder of an affordable private school in Durham, warned that middle class parents were being priced out.
Harrow School (pictured) in north west London has become among the first private schools to charge more than £50,000 a year
Eton College (pictured) in Berkshire will charge up to £49,998 a year in boarding fees for pupils
He told the Telegraph: ‘It is a crying shame to me that these private schools focus on a particular elite market.
‘People at the lower end do need private schools. They want schools who are accountable to them.’
Schools are said to be raising their fees for the new academic year as a consequence of the increased cost of food, energy and wages, as well as rising teacher pension contributions.
Labour has already said it would end the tax breaks enjoyed by private schools and use the revenue raised to help state schools.
Private schools in England can currently benefit from an 80 per cent discount on business rates, and they also do not have to pay VAT on school fees.
The influential Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank estimates that removing tax breaks from private schools – including exemptions from VAT and relief on business rates – would raise around £1.6 billion a year in extra tax revenue.
With a small movement of pupils into the state sector, costing around £100 million to £300 million a year, this would lead to a net gain to the public finances of £1.3 billion to £1.5 billion a year, the IFS said.
But it could mean up to 40,000 fewer pupils could attend private schools as a result.
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