London’s most expensive schools

cameronhouseschoolFollowing my recent post highlighting the top ten most affordable private schools in London, I was asked by a couple of readers to do a ranking of the most expensive private schools in London. I thought that could be a very interesting list! It’s not easy to compile an exact ranking because not all schools quote fees are quoted based on the same terms (inclusive of lunches or school trips, music lessons and so forth), but I have tried as much as possible to exclude the cost of lunches from the below data, which tend to add another £700 – £1000 pounds annually. So please allow a margin of error in terms of the exact position of each school, but the list below will give you a very good indication of the schools with the highest fees. Many of the most expensive British prep schools are located in the neighbourhoods with the highest property prices, which probably comes as no surprise! The fees quoted below tend to be those for the Reception class (or equivalent at the international schools). Obviously, many many private British secondary schools have much higher fees (lead by St Paul’s School, if I remember correctly), so take this as a ranking of private primary school costs only.

And London’s most expensive private school is…. (drumroll please)… the American School in London (ASL!), hooray! Closely followed by Southbank International School. This may not come as a big surprise. International schools tend to be far more expensive than British school, not so much because of their staff ratio or facilities, but because they historically had a lot of customers on expat packages whose employers covered the fees. In all fairness, ASL does have a financial aid programme akin to American universities, so it is possible to apply even if you cannot afford the fees. Here is the list of London’s most expensive private schools, for the year 2016/2017:

School Annual Fee
1 American School in London 24,150
2 Garden House School 21,000
3 Southbank International School 21,825
4 Wetherby Pre-Prep 20,595
5 Pembridge Hall* 20,595
6 Eaton Square School* 19,935
7 Thomas’s Kensington 18,840
8 Knightsbridge School 18,201
9 International Community School 17,750
10 Cameron House School 17,535
12 comments… add one
  • Mummy of three July 2, 2015, 4:45 PM

    Devonshire House Prep school in Hampstead is just under £6000 for pre reception!
    This should have made your list!

    Reply
    • London Preprep July 2, 2015, 5:09 PM

      Hi – I do have their exact fee breakdown. The number you quote is inclusive of lunch though, if you take out the lunches they don’t make the top 10 (although they are close behind). Their full termly fee for Reception, inclusive of lunch, is £5,860. Their cost of lunches is relatively high though, it better be organic!

      Reply
      • Barbara Martin September 10, 2015, 11:48 PM

        You’ve included lunch for 2 of the schools above!

      • London Preprep September 11, 2015, 12:46 PM

        yes, as indicated by the “*” sign. Lunch is around £1k per year, so these schools would be in the top 10 even after lunch taken off, that is why they are included. They don’t break down the cost.

  • Axel July 8, 2015, 2:53 PM

    Several schools have just increased fees for next term… Putney up around 15percent! How do they justify annual prices increases of 5 to 15 percent when the UK has zero inflation and they are not providing any extra facilities or teachers? It is beyond annoying.

    Reply
    • Anonymous September 10, 2015, 10:00 PM

      Agree! North Bridge House also had a price increase with a vague justification…

      Reply
  • Anonymous November 18, 2015, 4:04 PM

    Hawkesdown House also increases fee every year stating that though the inflation is very low the cost of retaining good teachers is high. They also state that none the less there are certain costs which increase inspite of there being no or low inflation. Its just eye watering the entire private shcool ‘business’!

    Reply
  • Anonymous November 22, 2015, 10:53 PM

    Abercorn school in Marylebone is £5750 per term. Should have made your list.

    Reply
  • Pat Davis March 12, 2017, 9:19 PM

    Portland Place School tuition is £20,000.

    Reply
    • London Preprep March 23, 2017, 9:48 PM

      thanks for your comment. this table is limited to primary / prep schools or junior departments. Once you look at senior schools, indeed there are many that have even higher fees.

      Reply
  • Tamara July 9, 2017, 12:10 PM

    I find this group discussion very helpful. Wer moving to London for a year and I was so confused what schools to put my kids in.

    Wer moving to St. John’s wood. Any good private recommended prep schools I. The area or close to it like Marylbone??

    Reply
    • London Preprep July 22, 2017, 10:31 PM

      depends how old they are – look at Saint Christina’s, Abercorn or St John’s Wood Pre-Prep

      Reply

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