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Average private school fees rise above 17,000 – How to save for your child

16th August 2018

According to the annual census of leading independent schools, the average fee for attending a private school is now over 17,000 a year.

Despite the rising cost of fees, private education continues to remain popular, with the number of pupils reaching 529,000, the highest figure since the Independent Schools Council began collecting data in 1974.

IT PAYS TO PLAN EARLY

After buying a home, school fees could be a family’s largest expense, especially if you have several children to put through school and college. Starting to save from the day the children are born and encouraging other family members to contribute to accounts like Junior ISAs, can all help in building up the amount needed in fees. If you have more than ten years to go before schooling starts, then it’s worth considering stock market investments. Whilst your money will be exposed to risk, it also has the potential, although not the guarantee, to outstrip the returns you would get in an average savings account.

Parents can make use of their annual ISA allowance ( 20,000 for 2018–19). Money invested in an ISA grows in a taxfree fund and can be withdrawn to meet fees without incurring tax. Increasingly, grandparents are looking at passing money on to their grandchildren during their lifetime as a way of reducing the value of their estate for inheritance tax purposes, either by giving a lump sum or setting up a trust for the benefit of the child.

LOANS, REMORTGAGES AND PENSION LUMP SUMS

Using offset mortgages or remortgaging their property are also common ways of raising the cash for fees. In some instances, older parents are taking their 25% tax-free pension lump sum and using the money to educate their offspring, although care needs to be taken to ensure the parents leave themselves enough money for their retirement.

If you’re considering paying for your child’s education, taking professional advice can help you plan effectively for the years that lie ahead.

The value of investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. The past is not a guide to future performance and past performance may not necessarily be repeated.

As a mortgage is secured against your home or property, it could be repossessed if you do not keep up mortgage repayments.

The information within this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute advice.