Monday 24 July 2017

Private school fees on the rise as boom back

Fee increases across the sector this year range from €40 to €300, although some schools have held steady (Stock picture)
Fee increases across the sector this year range from €40 to €300, although some schools have held steady (Stock picture)

Katherine Donnelly and Grainne Loughran

Pupil numbers and fees in private schools are continuing to rise as the economy recovers, the Irish Independent's annual Fees Report reveals today.

Most fee-paying schools have raised their charges this year, reflecting a growing confidence about the willingness and ability of families to pay for their children's education.

For several years Government budget cuts linked to the recession took their toll on the sector, and the overall number of private schools fell from 55 to 51.

However, those in a sufficiently healthy financial state to weather the economic storm are now enjoying a bounce.

Fee increases across the sector this year range from €40 to €300, although some schools have held steady. In the current year, annual fees for day pupils in the sector tend to be in the region of €4,000-€7,000.

The most up-to-date pupil numbers refer to 2015/16, when total enrolments in the 51 schools stood at 24,706 - up almost 1,000 since 2011/12.

And the sector is preparing itself for a Brexit spin-off, with a growing international business in the recruitment of students for English-speaking second-level education.

In some cases, multinational companies actually pay a retainer to schools to hold places for children of executives.

Fee-paying schools represent 7pc of the 730 second-level schools in the country and have traditionally dominated entry to the most in-demand third-level courses.

Irish Independent

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