Essex’s poshest private schools and how much they really cost

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There are many private schools in Essex, from prep schools to full boarding schools and everything in between.

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And while there are undoubtedly many selling points for charter schools — smaller class sizes, more extra-curricular activities, even boarding facilities — they can cost a lot of money.

But have you ever wondered exactly how much it would cost to send a child to one of these schools?

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Read more: Education in Essex

We have compiled a list of some of the most expensive private schools in Essex, and what you can expect for your money.

Brentwood School

As one of the few boarding schools on this list, Brentwood School has a lot going for it – but that’s definitely reflected in its fees.

The semester tuition fee for middle school (up to the age of 11) rises to £5,245 for older pupils, while the secondary school fee is £6,899 per semester.



Aerial shot of Brentwood School

Accommodation is also offered for pupils aged 11-18, and it will cost up to £13,455 per semester to live at the school for seven full days a week.

But as the school describes itself as ‘one of the UK’s leading independent day and boarding schools’, what makes it worth spending money on?

The Brentwood School follows the “Diamond Model” of teaching, which is essentially single-sex education within a co-educational setting between the ages of 11 and 16.

Before this age, and again at the sixth level, the sexes are taught together, but throughout their education, boys and girls can still mingle together outside of the classroom.

The list of extra-curricular activities available, especially in high school, is astounding – the multiple plays, musicals, dance lessons, orchestras and choirs are just the tip of the iceberg of what the school has to offer.

Chigwell School



Chigwell School

Chigwell School is a popular school for children of travelers in London, offering daily and challenging places from the age of four to 18.

Middle School (up to age 11), boasts small sized classes along with high-level drama, music, arts and sports.

Moving on to secondary school (11-16), pupils are categorized into ‘houses’, through which they compete in extra-curricular activities, as well as bond with people across the school age group.

On Sixth Form, they offer the opportunity to undertake up to four A-levels and Extended Project qualifications, and support students applying to Oxbridge with interview training and other sessions.

And to receive all of this?

It will cost £6,459 per term for day pupils in grades 7 to 13 and for boarding students it will cost an additional £4,830 per term, which means it will cost £11,325 per term.

In middle school, fees for Years 5 and 6 are slightly lower at £5,415.

Felsted School



Felsted School

By their distinctive dark red jackets with yellow trim, Felsted’s pupils are easily recognizable to many throughout the county.

Felsted School offers both A Level and IB pathways, which is a rare opportunity for many students, as well as it prides itself on supporting all students to reach their academic potential.

There are many extra-curricular activities on offer as well, from Pilates and photography to debate or the medical community.

The school has a national reputation as a formidable athletic competitor, whether in hockey, rugby, netball, cricket, or just about anything else.

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Sports tours are offered most years, where pupils can visit foreign countries and meet new people while developing their skills.

Felsted offers both day and boarding facilities to students, and the school takes pride in its in-house culture, in which all students are encouraged to participate.

For residents there is also a dedicated weekend activity program including shopping and cinema trips in Chelmsford, Braintree and Cambridge, as well as movie nights, brunch and many other activities.

Sounds great to us – but how much will it cost?

For junior pupils in years five to eight, the daily fee is £6,445 per semester, while the accommodation fee is £8,875.

Secondary school fees are somewhat higher, with a daily class fee of £8,530 and a boarding fee of £13,055.

New Hall School



The school and its grounds belonged to Henry VIII
The school and its grounds belonged to Henry VIII

Although an unusual and rare educational model, there is a second school in Essex that offers the “diamond” model of single-sex education during the middle years of student development.

Located in a former Tudor mansion, the school offers day and boarding accommodations for students in stunning surroundings on the edge of Chelmsford.

There are three types of boarding offered at New Hall – full, weekly and flexible.

Students can either live in the school throughout the semester, during the week, or stay one or two nights a week as needed in relation to their lifestyle or that of their parents.

Academics are very important to New Hall, and this is evident from their findings.

In 2021, 79% of GCSE grades had seven or higher (ie an A*/A grade), and over 29% had nine grades.

Almost every sixth grader had a B over his score this year.

What is the cost of this educational wealth?

The sixth day fee is currently £6,834, and to board it is £10,824.

For younger students, the daily fee is lower, at £6,765 for Years 9-11, and £6,312 for Years 7 and 8.

Gosfield School, Halstead

Set on 110 acres of parkland, sports fields, and woodland, Gosfield School looks perfect.

Secondary school and sixth form are taught in a Georgian mansion, all pupils are taught in classes of no more than 20 pupils.

Besides classes, students participate in a “jungle school,” where students in preschool, middle school, and seniors discover and explore the natural environment, from lighting campfires to climbing trees.

Gosfield High School tuition is £5,750 per semester.

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