The schools that charge £30,000-plus a year

The most expensive schools in the country – the famous boys” boarding schools –  are now charging more than £30,000 a year. 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.

Tonbridge School in Kent (£32,823) tops the list  with Winchester College (£32,700); Eton College in Berkshire  (£32,067); Sevenoaks School in Sevenoaks (£32,175) and Charterhouse  in Godalming, Surrey (£31,680)  not very far behind. Boys’ school have always been more expensive than girls’, 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 £29,421). Charterhouse takes girls in the sixth-form.  For social connections, there is Marlborough College in Wiltshire, (£31,350) a co-educational  school that boasts Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, among its former pupils.

The other co-educational schools in the list include Sevenoaks School in Sevenoaks, Kent, which has large numbers doing the International Baccalaureate (IB). It charges new arrivals in the sixth form £32,121, but lower down the school the fees are £29,610.  Other options are Wellington College in Crowthorne, Berkshire (£31,500). language translate It has only been co-educational since the Dr Anthony Seldon took over as headmaster and is around two-thirds boys.

Bedales School in Petersfield, Hampshire (£30,930) is popular with media types and has a reputation for combining good manners and liberal attitudes. For sporty types, there is  Millfield School in Somerset (£31,260). Sherborne, a boys’ boarding school in Dorset, charges £30,300.

High fees do not always signify a school with brilliant exam results and Oxbridge success.  Some schools are more selective than others.   In this list, the ones that send significant numbers of pupils to Oxbridge are Eton, Winchester, Tonbridge and Charterhouse.

Not all schools that claim to be boarding schools are included. Westminster School in central London justifies its high day school fees – £25,538 in the sixth-form – on the grounds that it is a traditional boarding school, though only a quarter of its pupils are boarders. Boarders pay £30,432.


1 Tonbridge School, Tonbridge, Kent                                      £32,823

2 Winchester College, Winchester, Hampshire                     £32,700

3 Sevenoaks School, Kent                                                          £32,175 ( new sixth-formers)

4 Eton College                                                                               £32,067

5 Charterhouse , Goldaming, Surrey                                       £31,680

6 Wellington College , Crowthorne, Berkshire                     £31,500

7 Marlborough  College, Marlborough, Wiltshire               £31,350

8  Millfield School, Street, Somerset                                     £31,260

9 Bedales School, Petersfield, Hampshire                            £30,950

10 Sherborne School, Dorset                                                    £30,300





6 Responses to The schools that charge £30,000-plus a year

  1. dave redicesi says:

    King’s School fees for the academic year 2013-14:
    Boarding: £10,745 per term
    Day: £8,090 per term
    School fees are reviewed annually.
    King’s School fees for the academic year 2012-13:
    Boarding: £10,380 per term
    Day: £7,765 per term
    Full details of fees can be obtained from Mrs Kate Harrison, Admissions Assistant, The King’s School, Canterbury CT1 2ES; or telephone: 01227 595772; or e-mail:

  2. Henry Jayakaran says:

    Nice article that gives an idea of choosing the best school

  3. Ann says:

    This is a list of ‘expensive’ schools Henry, not the best schools. How much you pay for your child’s education does not automatically translate into the best education. More modest private schools place their emphasis on religion, academic excellence, social justice and morals and ethics that support the students personal development as well as their academic achievements. In my opinion, these elitist schools are a brand, a label that families believe give their children the social connections to get where they want to go in life. I personally reject these styles of elitist schools for my own children because i want my children to associate with and have respect for a diverse range of the population, and learn to interact with people based on their personal characteristics, not on their address, income or the name of the school they attended. That’s not what life is about.

  4. Alice Parker says:

    fees 2013/2014 for Wycombe Abbey (all girls school) are 33,300 per year without any add ons
    that trumps all the boys schools.

  5. Sandy Anderson says:

    I am led to believe that ACS Cobham International School fees are around £40,000 per year.

  6. […] Walking through Buxton a couple of years ago, I passed the offices of the law firm set up by Tim Brooke-Taylor’s family. I couldn’t help wondering how many small town lawyers would be able to send their sons to Winchester nowadays. (I have random thoughts like that when I’m strolling along with nothing better to think about.) Not many would be my guess, given that boarding school fees have risen at a much faster rate than salaries over the past 30 years and Winchester is one of the most expensive. […]

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