Applications to top private schools are up in 2013

In the Times School Gate blog, 28/02/13, Sarah Ebner looks at why demand has gone up so hugely in independent schools and quotes several HMC schools.

This is despite the straitened economic times we live in. Figures show that the cost of independent schooling has leapt by 68 per cent since 2002, with parents now paying around £11,500 per child each year. But despite these rises and difficult economic times, applications to the top schools, especially in London, have continued to rise.

I have obtained up to date figures which show sustained rises at many of the best-known schools. For example, Haberdasher’s Boys school in Elstree have had a 20 percent rise in applications at 11+ over the last five years, with Latymer Upper School reporting a jump of around 17 percent over just the last two years. 

City of London Boys school has seen a rise of around 15 to 20 percent in applications over the last five years and 600 children now apply for the 85 places at 11+ at Emanuel School.

Mark Bishop, headmaster of Trinity School in Croydon (fees of £4,352 per term), said that applications for 11+ have gone up by around 50% at 11+. He thinks the increase is due to a number of reasons, including impressive private school facilities, and issues with state education.

Susan Hamlyn, director of the Advice Service for the Good Schools Guide, agreed.

“State schools in London have improved a lot, but not all of them,” she added. “An awful lot of them are not great, and it’s a myth that parents have a choice.

“London is full of people with lots of money and with increased uncertainty about education in this country, parents will always pay for a good education.”

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