Fernhill School Glasgow: Top private school offers mortgage-style repayment scheme to cover pupil fees

Private school offers mortgage-style repayment scheme to cover 9,000-a-year day pupil fees
Fernhill School in Glasgow is offering parents chance to spread fees over ten years, interest freePayment plan could reduce monthly payments by up to 50 per cent

/13 – with the highest fees topping 21,000.

The increases put pressure on parents – particularly those for whom private education is at the limits of affordability.

In February, the consumer price index, the Government's preferred measure of inflation, was running at 2.7 per cent, while the retail price index rose to 3.3 per cent in January.

A report by the Bank of Scotland – published before the impact of the credit crunch – warned that members of key Scottish professions were already being priced out of sending their children to fee-paying schools, with teachers, engineers and police officers no longer able to afford a private education.

More recently, the number of children attending private school in Scotland has fallen, with a drop of 1.5 per cent in both nursery and primary between 2010/11 and 2011/12.

Under the Fernhill scheme, parents can pay half the school fees every year rather than the full amount and continue to repay the outstanding sums once their child has left.

Other financial schemes available to parents in the sector include savings plans where money can be built up in advance of paying fees.

In England, a number of finance companies offer to pay the fees in advance with parents repaying over a longer period time plus additional interest.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Council for Independent Schools described the scheme as ‘innovative’.

She said: ‘Schools will be looking different ways to help parents and this is an innovative scheme that will help families mane the cost of a private education.'