Jersey school fees to rise due to staff costs and inflation

Victoria College Picture: ROB CURRIE. (37795871)

PARENTS of pupils at fee-paying schools have been warned that prices will rise next term.

Schools are facing increased costs, including a wage rise for teachers following a long-running dispute with the government over pay, which was settled in February.

Treasury Minister Elaine Millar recently signed off £7.5 million to help fund the pay increases, which saw teaching staff receive an 8% rise and a £1,500 one-off payment for this year, as well as guarantees of a rise of 1% above inflation for both 2025 and 2026.

The Island’s latest rate of inflation – for December – was 7.5%, a 2.6% decrease from three months earlier.

Parents of students at Jersey College for Girls, De La Salle College and Victoria College were recently notified of impending increases in school fees to accommodate the pay deal for teaching staff, and to maintain a balanced budget.

In a letter shared with the JEP, the chair of De La Salle’s finance committee explained that the teachers’ pay awards meant that the school needed to increase their fees by 10%. They will rise to £2,952 from September to cover expenses.

The chair of the board of governors of Victoria College also informed parents in a letter that the school would be implementing an 8% increase in school fees.

Concerns were raised in the letter about a lack of clarity on the funding formula provided by the government for fee-paying schools.

The letter read: “The Government of Jersey has historically provided us with an amount per pupil, which was based on 47% of the amount a pupil would receive if they attended a fully provided school.

“The funding formula for fully provided schools changed in the calendar year ended 31 December 2023, but we are yet to be advised of a funding formula strategy for government-provided fee-paying schools.

“We are informed that funding for 2024 is no longer based on pupil numbers but have yet to understand the basis of the calculation of the figure provided to us.”

And JCG told parents that their fees would be rising by £198 per term to £2,666 from 1 September – an increase of 8%.

During the last States sitting, Education Minister Rob Ward said that he hoped future industrial action by teachers could be prevented through clear dialogue and by rebuilding trust.

Deputy Rob Ward said: “We need to view education as an investment not cost, as the return from every well-educated person on the Island is significant.”

The Reform Jersey politician added that he was “confident” that there would no be further disputes between teaching unions and the government.

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