'Sticks in the throat': Private schools spend at least £6,800 more per-pupil

The yawning chasm between private school spending per-pupil and that in the state sector is a stark reminder of the government’s failure to invest in schools.

School leaders say that the huge gaps between private and state education spending “stick in the throat” given that state school spending per-pupil has fallen by 14 per cent in real-terms since the late 2000s.

An analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (Sibieta, 2021) shows that in 2009, state spending per-pupil was approaching £8,000 (in today’s prices). Compared to net fees of around £11,000 in private schools, this meant a gap of around £3,100.

The analysis includes both current and capital spending given that private schools need to fund their own capital expenditure.

Since then, state school spending per-pupil has dropped 14 per cent to about £6,900 in 2019/20. However, net private school fees have risen to £13,700 in 2019/20, a real-terms increase of 23 per cent.

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