Scottish parents could save thousands of pounds by educating their children privately instead of paying over the odds for a home in the catchment areas of the best state schools, according to a study published today.
Reform Scotland compared the average house price for a particular place with the cost of properties in the catchment areas of the best-run local authority schools.
The think tank found that the difference was often more expensive than the cost of private fees for two children during the six years of secondary school.
Using figures obtained by the property website Zoopla, the think tank found the average house price paid in Edinburgh over the past three years was £225,931.
However, this figure increased to £327,313 for the catchment area of Boroughmuir High School, the city’s best-performing state establishment, a difference of £101,382.
A mortgage for the latter sum using a competitive interest rate of 1.99 per cent would cost parents £127,000 to repay over 25 years, the report said.
In comparison, it said fees at George Heriot’s School, George Watson’s College and Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools – three of the capital’s most eminent independent establishments – are around £10,000 per year.
The cost of educating two children for six years of secondary school would total around £123,000, assuming fees increase at about one per cent annually, it said.
“Therefore, it is cheaper to send two children to private school than buy a house in the catchment area of the best performing school in the city,” it concluded.
Ah, no. For you reclaim the sum you’ve spent on the mortgage (minus the interest perhaps) when you sell the house to the next family wanting to send their kids to the good school. The cost of the house is the carrying cost, not the total cost.