I read this article on The Sunday Times today, which seems to indicate the worry that the independent schools now rely on wealthy parents overseas. According to Andrew Halls, the head of King’s College School in Wimbledon, this system is not sustainable.
Below are some extracts:http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/new ... 487310.ece
" FEE-PAYING schools have become so expensive that lawyers, doctors and teachers can no longer afford to educate their children privately, with some becoming little more than “finishing schools for the children of oligarchs”, according to a headmaster at one of the country’s top independent schools.
Andrew Halls, the head of King’s College School in Wimbledon, southwest London, where fees for a day pupil cost £20,000 a year, said some private schools had become so reliant on pupils from overseas that they were at risk of a banking-style crash. The wealth of such families had pushed fees to stratospheric levels.
“We have allowed the apparently endless queue of wealthy families from across the world knocking at our doors to blind us to a simple truth: we charge too much,” said Halls, whose school is today named as The Sunday Times independent school of the year.
“The most prestigious schools in the world teach the children of the very wealthiest families in the world. A typical boarding school now requires a parent to have a spare £30,000 in taxed income to pay for just one child — every year.
“We are in danger of coming across as greedy, because we can charge what appears to be limitless fees but in truth there is a fees timebomb ticking away. It feels like the build-up to the banking crisis. For the first time in my career, I feel that the shifts over the next 10 years could prove seismic.”
Fees in private schools have risen nearly twice as fast as inflation in the past 10 years and quadrupled in the past 20, said Halls, who warned the increases were unsustainable and that soon the system would collapse as the supply of overseas families dried up or turned to schools being built in their own countries.
In addition, state schools are improving so rapidly because more Oxbridge graduates are becoming teachers, warned Halls, that British families who might have scrimped and saved to send their child to a private school were opting for academies or grammar schools instead.
“In the past few years about 50 private schools have already closed, merged, or turned into state schools. That number will only rise,” he warned.
“If independent schools don’t read the writing on the wall, they will surely perish, one by one. Of course, I realise that my own school must look to itself as well.""
Do you think the current fee system will be unsustainable and may collapse soon? By 'collapse', I mean the UK independent schools will have to reduce their fees so that more people in the UK can afford them?