Numbers rise at school that bucked fees trend

The Times, 10/02/2014: Greg Hurst reports that  one of the first independent schools to reduce its fees has enjoyed a dramatic turnaround. St Joseph’s College in Reading dropped its fees from £10,500 to £8,715 three years ago after steadily falling rolls. The previously all-age girls’ convent school also went co-educational. Since then pupil numbers have risen from a low of 274 to 423, with the growth in revenue allowing the school to resume capital investment after two years of cost-cutting.

Other independent schools are also experimenting with ways to reach out to parents who struggle to afford independent education. Warminster School in Wiltshire is to offer up to 55 places at reduced fees to families who opt for weekly boarding. The reduced fee levels will vary according to a child’s age. For pupils aged 11 and 12, the fee for weekly boarding will be £16,500 compared with £25,590 for full boarders. Warminster also said there was growing demand for more flexible boarding from parents. Headmaster Mark Mortimer is quoted.

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