The most expensive schools in the country – the famous boys’ boarding schools – are now charging well over £30,000 a year. The most expensive is Tonbridge School with fees of £36,288, but Eton College (£35,721) and and Wellington College, now co-educational, with fees of £35,775, not far behind. They would say the quality of education and the 24-hour care is money well spent. Schools like Eton College have generous bursary schemes for bright children from impoverished homes.
Boys’ school have always been more expensive, a relic from the days when boys’ education was considered more important than girls’. It is possible to spend serious money on girls, but there are no all-girls’ schools in the top ten most expensive schools. Cheltenham Ladies College has fees of £33,090. Wellington is now co-educational and for social connections there is the co-educational Marlborough College (fees £33,930).
The Sevenoaks School in Sevenoaks, Kent, (fees £33,156), has large numbers doing the International Baccalauerate,(IB). Bedales School in Petersfield, Hampshire,( fees £33,930), is popular with media types and has a reputation for combining good manners and liberal attitudes. For sporty types, there is Millfield Schoool in Somerset, (fees 34,650).
High fees do not always mean a school with brilliant exam results and Oxbridge success.