Going private - time to trade-in?

The family car: a surprisingly useful educational asset in the 1980s. (image credit: Unsplash)

The family car: a surprisingly useful educational asset in the 1980s. (image credit: Unsplash)

I read with interest Charlotte Avery’s words in the Telegraph: Middle classes should ditch the family car in favour of private education.  Is she right? 

My father “ditched the family car” for my education (for mine, not my brother’s… that, for some reason, was a given … and another blog).  Unfortunately, he misjudged the how much “the car” was worth and two years into my private education, I was back in the state system.  I appreciate my boarding school experience, but I am quite sure I’d have had a better clutch of qualifications if I hadn’t been moved – along with my raging hormones – right in the middle of my secondary school education.

The economics

It is surprisingly difficult to find meaningful statistics on school fees, but I do know that my father took out a £7000 loan to pay for two years’ of boarding education at an elite girls’ public school.  According to one of those nifty little websites that puts yesterday’s money into today’s terms, that £7000 would be somewhere between £21,000 and £44,500 today (depending on the measure you choose).  That same school is still offering education, but this year it would cost you over £66,000 for those two years (more in the sixth form).  And don’t forget the extras.  That is about 50% more than the most inflationary calculation I could find. 

And as for that car today, I don’t know what Ms Avery drives and I know that our own cars are particularly undesirable, but if we sold our whole “fleet” we’d barely cover the cost of a term at the relatively modestly priced day school that we chose for our daughter.