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£1 billion private school bursaries available to help less well-off parents

By Charles Kelly

The gift of education is one of the most valuable things you can give to your children. However, the cost of sending a child or grandchild to an independent or private (strangely, also known as a “public school”) school has soared well above the rate of inflation, yet the number of UK pupils in private education has never been higher. Why is this? Part of the answer is that more than £1bn a year of financial assistance is available to parents, enabling one in three students to have their school fees reduced or even waived, according to the FT. School fees have become a major problem for the middle classes in recent years. The cost of a private education is nearly 50% higher than a decade ago, according to data from the Independent Schools Council (ISC). Average fees for day pupils are now nearly £4,800 per term, or just over £14,000 a year. Fees are higher in the Southeast and London, where boarding school fees now average more than £13,000 a term — close to £40,000 per year, according to the ISC. Scholarships and bursaries have become a key factor in affordability, but many parents may not be aware of the level of help available. For instance, at some schools, parents who apply for means-tested support could qualify even if they have a household income of £90,000. Competition for the brightest children means that an increasing amount of assistance is being provided on a “needs blind” basis to pupils with a flair for particular subjects, such as music and sports. My Son won a music scholarship and bursary, which covered part of the fees, and a government assisted place scheme, which was later abolished by the Tony Blair government. Independent schools need to justify their charitable status, which has encouraged more generosity in the form of scholarships and means-tested bursaries. The ISC says that £800m of the £1bn provided in “fee assistance” last year came directly from the schools themselves. Over 175,000 ISC students currently enjoy some form of fee reduction, around half of these through means testing. The number of those receiving “free” fully paid places more than 6,000 pupils, an increase of 5 per cent year-on-year. Click here for full story. See more at www.moneytipsdaily.com  Word of the Day Hedge Fund A hedge fund is an official partnership of investors who pool money together to be guided by professional management firms, not unlike a mutual fund. A hedge fund manager raises money from outside investors and then invests it according to whatever strategy he or she has promised to use. There are hedge funds that specialise in "long-only" equities, meaning they only buy common stock and never sell short. There are hedge funds that engage in private equity, which is the buying of entire privately held businesses, often taking them over, improving operations, and later sponsoring an initial public offering. There are hedge funds that trade junk bonds. There are hedge funds that specialise in property and real estate. There are even hedge funds that put money to work in specialised asset classes such as patents and music rights. In other words, unlike a Mutual Fund or Unit Trust, hedge funds can invest in just about anything. There are more examples and practical steps to getting rich and being happy in my book, Yes, money can buy happiness, I cover the 3 R’s of Money Management, the Money B.E.L.I.E.F System and much more. Check it out on Amazon http://bit.ly/2MoneyBook.

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