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updated: 8/27/2012 6:12 AM

U.K. private-school fees increase twice as fast as inflation

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Bloomberg News

Fees at U.K. private schools have risen 68 percent in the past decade, almost twice the pace of inflation, according to a report by Lloyds TSB Private Banking.

Since 2002, the average annual private school fee has increased to 11,457 pounds ($18,140) from 6,820 pounds, Lloyds said in a statement in London today. The highest annual fees are for private schools in London, at 13,359 pounds, the report showed. The U.K. capital and Southwest England have seen the biggest increase in costs, with fees in those regions rising 79 percent in the period.

Lloyds said the surge in school fees means there are now several "relatively well paid" occupations -- such as pharmacists, architects, information-technology professionals, engineers and scientists -- where someone on the average earnings for that job can no longer afford a private school without assistance from other sources.

The current average private-school fee represents about 35 percent of gross annual average earnings. Lloyds said school fees are deemed "affordable" if they represent 25 percent or less of an average annual salary.

The total number of pupils in private schools has declined by 13 percent over the past decade, it said.

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