Fees at St Paul’s Girls, in west London, rose by just over seven per cent to £20, 160. Oxford High School’s rise of 8.4 per cent brought day fees to £11.601.
Increases of about seven per cent were imposed on boarders at Concord College, in Shrewsbury, and day pupils at Notting Hill and Ealing High School, in west London, and St Swithun’s School, Winchester.
Sixth form fees at Headington School, in Oxford, rose by 13 per cent, fuelled by higher charges for parents whose children join the school in the sixth form.
Caroline Jordon, the headmistresses, said: “Girls who have been at the schools since they were young children having been paying over time for our superb sixth form so there is a greater charge for those joining the sixth form from elsewhere.”
At the lower end of the scale, boarding fees at Eton College rose by 3.5 per cent to £32, 067 a year. Cheltenham Ladies College had the lowest increase at 2 per cent bringing sixth form day fees to £22, 461 a year.
The steep rises at several schools have left some parents facing the prospect of removing their children from the independent sector.
Susan Limm, from Windsor, said the fees for her sons, Charlie, 12 and Harry, 15, had increased by 4.9 per cent in the last year, leaving the family struggling to pay. Her husband has lost his job since the boys started at the school and although he is back in employment, he is on a lower salary. Mrs Limm’s property development business had also folded.
“School fees go up every year and there are the extras – trips to France that cost £100 for the day, £45 for the theatre, £4 a day for each one for lunch, ” said Mrs Limm.
Despite cutting back on every facet of life, the family face moving their boys to state schools.
“Salaries go in to the school bill account. Other bills and holidays go by the by, ” said Mrs Limm. “Clothes come from Primark and Tesco and we eat value products. You cut everything where you can."
The 43-year-old said Harry was not unduly worried about a state sixth form but her younger son Charlie was “a bit devastated” about leaving his school.
“He loves his school and his friends. Harry’s there and he wonders why has his brother got to stay until GCSEs and not him, ” she added. “It really pains me and I would sell everything but I can’t. I don’t think we have a choice.”
Schools argue the increases in fees allow them to provide excellent facilities and teaching.
Judith Carlisle, the headmistress of Oxford High School, said: "This was not a decision that was taken lightly, but we are determined that the school should be able to continue to deliver the very best teaching and learning for the girls, in a physical environment that enables them to enjoy an excellent academic education alongside a range of extra-curricular activities."
She added that a comparison of the schools fees with others across the sector showed the school remained competitive.
While long established, highly academic schools are raising fees above inflation, confident that it will not affect applications, smaller schools are struggling to survive because of falling rolls.More:
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