Number of pupils in fee-paying schools on rise again
Pupil numbers in fee-paying schools are on the rise again as family finances recover in the post-recession era.
Enrolments are up for the second year in a row after a decline caused by the financial crash in 2008.
A turnaround is evident, with 60pc of the 51 schools in the sector growing their pupil numbers.
Many schools have also introduced fee rises this year and in most cases annual day fees are in the €4,000-€7,000 range.
However, a comprehensive survey by the Irish Independent today reveals how fees vary widely - with parents paying between €2,600 and €12,646 this year for a day pupil at these elite schools.
A number of schools offer both a day pupil rate and a higher day boarder rate, the latter covering options such as supervised evening study and evening meals. St Columba's College, in Rathfarnham, Dublin, is currently the most expensive day school in the country. There is an annual fee of €12,646 for day pupils who go home at 5.30pm, while the fee for day boarders is €14,832.
Fee-school enrolments peaked in September 2008, with 26,685 pupils in the 55 institutions.
But by the end of that month, the full scale of the economic disaster began to unfold and the narrative changed.