Private schools ‘pay agents in China up to £10,000 for each pupil they send to the UK’ amid fears British middle class families are being priced out
- Practice has resulted in rise in schools fees which British families can not afford
- Average fee for UK independent schools is now £15,191 per year for day pupils
- Overseas families have said they themselves are being charged by agents
Private schools are paying scouts in China up to £10,000 for every pupil they send to the UK as the number of Chinese students at top British schools soars, it has been revealed.
The practice has resulted in a rise in schools fees which middle class British families can no longer afford, experts have warned.
The average fee for independent schools in the UK is now £15,191 per year for day pupils and £36,000 for those who board.
Fees rose by 1.1 per cent in 2021 and 4.1 per cent in 2020 after increases above-inflation for most of the past two decades, according to The Times.
Private schools are paying scouts in China up to £10,000 for every pupil they send to the UK as the number of Chinese students at top British schools soars, it has been revealed (stock image)
Vice-President of the Independent Schools Association Neil Roskilly told the publication: ‘Once a child is enrolled at a British school, a fee of between 15 and 25 per cent of the first year’s school fees is commonly paid to the agent by the school.
‘The agent’s commission can be for three years or for the time the child is at the school. Agents in China will sometimes ring round private schools in the UK and see what the best commission rates they can get are.’
Overseas families have said they themselves are being charged by agents for introducing them to a school as well as extra costs for advice, tuition in English language and translation.
Parents have said the totals are often adding up to more than £150,000 for a single child with some being as young as eight years old.
They have said the fees being demanded by agents are damaging the reputation of private schools in the UK – especially as most are set up as charities.
It comes amid concern that students will face unprecedented competition to get a place at university over the next four years as a surge in applicants from China will drive a 40 per cent rise in demand.
It comes amid reports the surge in the number of university students from China is expected to far outstrip those from the whole of the EU by 2025
UCAS Chief Executive Clare Marchant spoke during a seminar hosted by the Higher Education Policy Institute ahead of A-level results being published on August 10.
She argued that internationally there is a ‘real appetite for UK Higher Education’ including from China, India, Nigeria and Ghana.
The surge in the number of students from China is expected to far outstrip those from the whole of the EU by 2025.
There were 28,490 young people from China applying to UK universities this year alone, the publication said.