Diplomats’ children’s UK school fees cost £13m

  • 10th August 2023

Emily Thornberry

The bill to the taxpayer for the children of diplomats attending UK private schools amounts to £13 million annually, The Times has reported.

The Foreign Office, which funds the scheme, also spends an additional £25 million annually on the fees of schools overseas for children whose parents are posted there.

The average cost for the fees of the 514 diplomats’ children attending UK independent schools is £26,800 a head.

The support is available under the Foreign Office’s continuity of education allowance to diplomats who cannot take their children with them to their posting on security grounds, or where “local schools of an acceptable standard are not available”.

The statistics were revealed following a parliamentary question posed by the shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry.

The fact that Labour is highlighting the figures is being interpreted as yet another salvo in the party’s agitation against private schooling characterised by its policy of ending charitable status and the imposition of VAT of fees.

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