Independent school lowers fees to provide ‘greater flexibility’

News Article

An independent school in Essex is to lower its fees to allow “greater flexibility” for new and existing pupils.

Holmwood House in, Colchester, a co-education preparatory school for children aged four to 13 years old, has revealed that it plans to reduce its fees to better support existing families, as well as those considering independent schooling for the first time.

In some cases, tuition fees will fall by as much as 30 per cent although termly fees remain in excess of £3,000 for the majority of students.

Head teacher Alexander Mitchell explained the school’s thinking, saying: “As a school, we are fully aware of the financial and time pressures faced by our families and we have worked hard to explore ways in which we can improve our support, “he said.

“Following a recent review of our provision, including valuable feedback from parents and staff, we identified ways which would enable us to achieve greater flexibility and affordability without compromising on the quality of the education we offer.

“The end result is a more affordable and flexible fee structure whilst preserving the school’s ethos of developing happy, adaptable and confident learners through a broad and diverse curriculum designed to enable every individual to reach their full potential.”

The new fee structure will apply from September 2019.

Luke Morgan, a partner with Palmers, said: “It will be interesting to see how this lower fee business model works, given that many independent school fees now cost, on average, £17,000 per year.

“It is no secret that a number of independent schools, which charge much higher fees, struggle to survive in part due to the constant battle to ensure that parents pay on time.

“The new plans to set fees at almost one sixth of the amount charged by most private schools, will still largely be dependent upon parents keeping to their end of the agreement and not defaulting on their termly fees, in order to remain solvent.

“Keeping control of your finances and minimising debt is key to continued liquidity of funds,” continued Luke. “It is important to get advice at an early stage and seeking advice from a legal professional who has experience of both commercial debt recovery and the education sector is particularly important.”

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