Can I afford to send my kid to private school?

Can I afford to send my kid to private school?

December 8, 2021

Private schools can cost a pretty penny. More so if you don't give yourself time to prepare for the fees. For many people, paying them straight out of their monthly pay cheque isn’t really an option.

However, it is important to understand that sending your child to private school is neither impossible, nor reserved to the super rich.  We have calculated that in order to afford the average price of secondary & sixth form school fees you would need to put aside roughly £180 per month (rising with inflation each year) from the day your child is born. This figure rises to £344 per month to send your child to boarding school. As with anything — the later you start saving, the higher the monthly amount you need to set aside.

Assuming you'd start saving as soon as your child is born that gives you more than 10 years to amount the fees you need to cover. This timeframe means you'd not benefit that much from a general savings account (low interest rates) and you wouldn't be able to use a Junior ISA as you cannot withdraw any funds (only your child can upon turning 18).

To help fit your private school goals you should consider the following products:

Personal stocks & shares ISA

  • £20k annual limit on investment
  • exempt from income, dividend and capital gains tax
  • self-discipline needed to avoid withdrawing money for personal use

Personal general investment account (GIA)

  • no annual limit
  • capital gains tax annual allowance set at  £12.3k for the tax year 2020-2021
  • any profit over £12.3k is taxed
  • self-discipline needed to avoid withdrawing money for personal use

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A bare trust

  • a junior investment account within a bare trust
  • no annual limit
  • places the funds in the child’s name meaning you can’t use them for your own benefit
  • uses the child’s CGT allowance — decreasing the chances of you having to pay tax.
  • any contributions from non parents (e.g. grandparents, godparents, aunts & uncles, etc.) are also exempt from income tax.

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All writers' opinions are their own and should not be read as personal financial advice.  Individual investors should make their own decisions or seek independent advice. As with any investment, your capital is at risk and may be going up as well as down which means you may be left with less than your initial investment. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Please note that tax treatment depends on the individual circumstances or each client and may be subject to changes in the future.