After a study from Durham University found that students in private schools are up to two years ahead of their state school contemporaries, the debate around private schooling has been reignited. The biggest differences the researchers found were in French, History and Geography.
Without taking into account the background of the pupils, GCSE results of private school students were almost two grades higher than state school students. But how much does it really cost to send a child to private school? Here's the list of the 10 most expensive private schools based on their highest fees without any scholarships.
All of the prices listed are full boarding for a full year.
1. Hurtwood House – £39,555
Co-ed sixth form college, the smallest on this list – only 340 pupils according to the Good Schools Guide. Particularly known for its focus on creativity and the arts.
Emily Blunt, actress
Hans Zimmer, composer
2. Cheltenham Ladies' College – £37,275
These fees are for a full-time boarder joining in sixth form (it's a bit less if the student joins at a younger age). It's a girls school (hence the name) founded in 1853.
Kristin Scott Thomas, actress
Talulah Riley, actress
Amber Rudd, Conservative MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
Clare Marx, president of the Royal College of Surgeons
3. Malvern St. James – £37,125
Again, those are the fees for a boarder joining in sixth form. Girls school founded in 1893 – originally known as Malvern Girls College before a merger with St James School in 2006.
Barbara Cartland, author
Caroline Lucas, Green MP
4. Malvern College – £36,288
Malvern has it all going on (if it all is expensive private schools). Those fees are for new sixth form joiners. Founded in 1865, co-ed.
Aleister Crowley, occultist
C.S Lewis, author
Jeremy Paxman, broadcaster and journalist
Francis Aston, winner of 1922 Nobel Prize for Chemistry
4. Tonbridge – £36,288
Joint forth place, the first all-boys establishment on our list. Founded in 1553, currently schooling about 800.
Derek Barton, winner of the 1969 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Dan Stevens, actor
Tim Waterstone, found of Waterstones bookstores
EM Forster, author
6. Harrow – £36,150
All-boys, London-based. Founded in 1572, about 800 pupils.
Winston Churchill, UK Prime Minister
Jawaharlal Nehru, First Prime Minister of India
Lord Byron, poet
Benedict Cumberbatch, actor
James Blunt, musician
7. Eton College – £35, 721
Boys school, founded in 1440. A noted favourite of the British aristocracy, 19 UK Prime Ministers are counted in its alumni (not all will be listed here).
Prince William, second-in-line to the throne.
David Cameron, UK Prime Minister
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London
Eric Blair, author known as George Orwell
Hugh Laurie, actor and musician
8. Wycombe Abbey – £35,700
High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
Girls school, founded in 1896. About 540 students.
Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, judge
India Knight, journalist
Charlotte Moore, controller of BBC One
9. Winchester – £35,610
Boys school, founded in 1382. Around 670 students.
Joss Whedon, screenwriter
Anthony Trollope, author
Geoffrey Howe, Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer under Margaret Thatcher
10. Charterhouse – £35,529
Boys school, co-ed sixth form. Founded 1611, last on the list, around 800 students.
William Makepeace Thackeray, author
David Dimbleby, presenter and journalist
Jeremy Hunt, Conservative MP and Secretary of State for Health