Fettes College in Edinburgh has highest school fees in Scotland

Fettes College, Scotland's most expensive school
Fettes College, Scotland's most expensive school
0
Have your say

Fettes College is the most expensive independent school in Scotland with fees of almost £27,000 a year.

The Edinburgh school has increased its fees for senior school day pupils by five per cent to £26,790.

Boarding fees at the school, where former Prime Minister Tony Blair attended, are more than £33,000 a year.

The cost to families whose children attend independent schools has soared by 27 per cent in the last seven years.

Parents have seen average fees rocket from £11,410 in 2010/11 to its current figure of £14,574.

Prince Charles’ former school Gordonstoun, in Moray follows closely behind as the second most expensive institution at £24,855 a year.

Fees at Merchiston Castle School, in Edinburgh, have risen by 3.5 per cent and now costs £23,505 a year.

The recent rise in fees comes against a backdrop of declining pupil numbers at independent schools.

Pupil numbers at Scottish private schools reached their lowest level for nearly 30 years back in December, dropping by 7.5 per cent.

Prince Charles’ former school follows closely behind as the second most expensive institution.

Gordonstoun, in Moray, is charging £24,855 a year for a senior school day pupil, with boarding fees at the school mounting to more than £30,000 per pupil.

Fees at Merchiston Castle School, in Edinburgh, have risen by 3.5 per cent and now costs £23,505 a year.

Prices are cheaper in Glasgow, however, where fees were highest at Belmont House School, in Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire at £12,606.

The school has seen a 3.49 per cent rise in fees.

Glasgow High School, Glasgow Academy and Hutchesons’ Grammar School cost between £11,500 and £12,000.

More than four per cent of children in Scotland now attend a private school in membership of the Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS).

But the recent rise in fees comes against a backdrop of declining pupil numbers at independent schools.

Pupil numbers at Scottish private schools reached their lowest level for nearly 30 years back in December, dropping by 7.5 per cent.

In 2007, 32,065 children attended private schools, with just 29,647 in 2016.

The biggest decline has been in primary schools where numbers have fallen more than 10 per cent since 2007.

One school that has frozen fees this year is Glenalmond in Perth and Kinross where the annual cost remains at £21,945.

Elaine Logan, the school’s warden said the school “recognises affordability is a challenge for parents”.

She said: “This is perhaps reflected in a record number of applicants for assisted places and we will be providing approximately £2 million in means tested bursaries in the coming academic year.

“Freezing fees for day pupils means that Glenalmond is a viable option for local families.”

A report by the Bank of Scotland - published before the impact of the credit crunch - warned some professionals were already unable to afford school fees.

Teachers, engineers, and police officers were reported to no longer be able to afford a private education.

John Edward, director of SCIS, said all schools worked hard to keep fee increases to a minimum, but stressed there were a number of extra costs.

He said: “Independent schools in Scotland are sensitive to the sacrifices that many parents make in order to afford school fees.

“As a result, they strive to do their utmost to deliver the best for their children and young people in a climate where fixed costs like salaries, pensions and utilities are going up all the time along with the political uncertainty that Brexit brings.

“The figures represent responsible management by the independent sector.”

Mr Edward also highlighted the fact that Scottish private schools have spent millions of pounds on extra bursaries for pupils from poorer backgrounds in recent years.

In 2016/17 Scotland’s independent schools provided a record number of children with financial help with levels of support rising to over £49m, up £2m on the previous year’s total.