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Hidden School Fees

Updated: Oct 1, 2021

When considering the cost of private schooling, it is important to consider ALL the fees and costs, not only the tuition fee.

Parents are often not thinking about all the extras which can all add up to quite a bit.

Tuition fees increase every year at a rate far above inflation. Not only do parents have to worry about high tuition fees and school supplies but also other additional expenses such as uniforms and the cost of school transportation for their children.


Uniforms are expensive! In Asia, they are of poor quality, whereas the UK schools tend to have much better quality. Many schools/school shops do have second hand items, but do budget for the extra each year for uniforms. Shoes on top! Specialist sports equipment on top!

Field Trips/Excursions/Camps/Overseas Trips

Once your child is in Upper Primary, they go out of school. They start with trips in Hong Kong before they go overseas. A week in Hong Kong costs around HK$5,000. Usually, you will find a range of trips for a range of budgets but whatever you spend, it is an extra few tens of thousands by the time your child is in secondary school.


Most children need their own laptop, sometimes starting as early as Year 5. And this inevitably gets upgraded every few years. At least $10,000 a time.

The school provides most stationary and books but students may want to buy some of their own materials.


Your child will eat at least their lunch during school hours. They may be able to bring a

School bus

An essential service for many parents, bus costs can easily reach an additional HK$10-40,000/year! If your child is staying on for an ECA, you may need to pay for an additional bus on those days.

If your child can take public transport once they reach secondary school, you could save a lot.

After school activities

Usually provided free by the school, but some activities are ‘paid for’ services from outside companies.


If your teenager prefers to study a language or other subject not offered in the curriculum, the school can usually arrange or allow a private tutor. All costs extra!

Boarding Fees

If your child is boarding, a fee will be charged for this and usually includes food.

Exam Fees

These are not included in the tuition fee and can certainly add up.


If you would like advice on choosing a school that meets your budget, please do get in touch:


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