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Nearly half of private school parents rely on family help

Customers / 31st August
  • Around two out of three say they find it difficult to afford the cost of private education
  • Premium Credit’s Schools Fee Plan provides funding to help parents spread the cost of fees

Nearly half of parents with children at private schools rely on family help to afford the fees with the Bank of Gran and Grandad the biggest source of funding, new research* from Premium Credit, a leading provider of finance for school fees, shows.

Its study found 47% admit to relying on financial support from family with grandparents the biggest source of funding. Nearly four out of five (79%) say grandparents help with some of the fees while 38% say some help comes from aunts and uncles.

Despite the family support around two out of three (65%) parents still find it difficult to pay fees and Premium Credit’s research outlines the cutbacks and choices they are making. Around two out of five (38%) parents who have children at private schools or have had in the past say they take fewer or cheaper holidays while 37% work overtime to afford school fees and 24% say they have taken on more than one job.

Nearly one in seven (13%) say they have stayed in unhappy relationships so as not to incur the cost of divorce or separation while nearly two out of three (63%) questioned say paying for their children to attend private school has delayed retirement plans with one in 20 (5%) saying they will never be able to retire as a result.

Premium Credit’s Schools Fee Plan (SFP), which provides funding to parents enabling them to spread the cost of their children’s school fees, saw a 13% rise in lending last year with the average total amount of funding provided at £7,695. Its analysis** shows the cost of privately educating a child from reception to A levels is an average £355,516 in a day school rising to £514,594 if they attend a day school to 11 and then board.

Stewart Ward, Director Education Sector & Head of School Fee Plan, Premium Credit said: “The cost of private education is rising and inevitably that means many parents have to rely on family help in order to afford the fees and make a range of sacrifices.

“While it is their choice it is still worrying to see so many saying they have delayed retirement plans with some saying they can never afford to retire. Spreading the cost of their children’s school fees for a small fee through funding plans can make financial sense and ease the strain for parents.”

For over 25 years, SFP has helped parents finance their children’s independent school fees by allowing them to spread the cost rather than paying a lump sum each term. SFP is the convenient and manageable way for parents to pay for independent school fees and extras such as music tuition and trips. It splits the cost into regular monthly direct debits, like any other household bill.

The process of applying for a SFP for both parents and schools is seamless. Parents apply to open their account online before the beginning of any term. If the application is approved, SFP will notify the parents and the school. SFP sends the full payment to the school at the start of each term.

For further information on SFP, please visit here 

Notes to editors:
(1*) Independent research conducted by Viewsbank online among 885 parents including 197 whose children currently attend or have attended private schools in the UK between May 24th and 26th 2023
(**) Based on Premium Credit analysis of data from This included the latest fees for day and boarding schools, and an annual increase of 4%. According to, schools fees have been increasing by around 4% since 2016. They increased by 5.1% year on year in September 2022.

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