Extra Costs of Private School
As if the tens of thousands of pounds in school fees weren’t enough, anyone considering sending their children to private school needs to be aware that extra costs are likely to crop up as well. At the end of the day schools are businesses with the aim of making a profit in mind and so will try and reduce their own costs as much as possible. They may have little tricks up their sleeves in order to make more money from you, but the bulk of extra costs will have the education, wellbeing and enjoyment of the pupils in mind.
Looking the Part
The majority of both state and private schools require their students to wear a uniform, and it’s up to the parents to acquire and pay for it. It’s thought that the average state school student’s uniform costs about £200 per year including their PE kit, but this can be even more when educating your child privately. Many private schools require that you buy their uniform from a specific supplier, which can lead to it being very expensive. If your child is a member of any extra-curricular school sports teams they may need an extra sports kit as well. It’s worth bearing in mind however, that a lot of schools have a second hand uniform shop which can help reduce your outgoings.
Cost of Extra Education
One of the main additional expenses in terms of education will be school books. While many will be included in your fees, more expensive books might not and could be added on to your end of term bill.
With the aim of giving your child a more involved learning experience, private schools are often more ambitious in their school projects and activities. This might mean that when your child is set the task of bringing something into school for a project, the assumption will be made that parents can afford to stretch their budget a little more. For example a woodwork project might require that you pay for materials that work out more expensive than projects attempted at a state school.
Extra Curricular Costs
A huge part of attending private school is taking advantage of the extra-curricular activities that are on offer. These include music and drama, as well as various sports, and the cost of participating could run high. Extra sports kit, tuition, travel and administration fees can all add to your bill at the end of the term, and it’s worth considering whether you’re prepared to fork out the costs if your child shows a particular interest in a certain area. It’s also worth remembering that your child can find these activities hugely rewarding and may play a large part in shaping their future.
School Trips are probably one of the most expensive extra costs. Again, private schools will tend to be more ambitious and assume that parents are willing to dish out more dough than state school parents, although it should ultimately result in a more rewarding experience. In reality, any trips that are part of your child’s education will not come with any particularly significant extra cost, but optional trips such as ski trips or rugby tours could run into the mid hundreds.
The extra costs of private school are not something to be overlooked. While you may decide that you simply won’t go for any of the optional extras, you’ve got to remember that a lot of the extra costs aren’t optional. You’ve also got to be prepared for your child’s nagging and disappointment if you choose not to let them take part in activities which many of their friends have been allowed to take part in. It’s always a good idea to research what exactly is included in the school fees of your chosen school, and what is likely to pop up unexpectedly on your bill at the end of the term.
By Jonathan Milward