Prepayment Plan

The GDST prepayment plan provides a means by which parents and other fee payers (such as grandparents or other relatives) can pay all or part of the school fees for a designated pupil’s education at a GDST school in return for a discount on school fees.

The GDST has been offering prepayment plans for a number of years and they offer the following benefits:

  • In return for advanced payment of fees, the GDST applies a discount on each term’s fees.
  • Prepayment of fees gives you peace of mind by securing the education of the named pupil for a designated period of time and against any future change in personal circumstances, although if the actual fees (including lunches and compulsory extras) are more than the advanced payment, you will be liable for the shortfall (and any tax that is then due).

How does it work?

The total amount to be paid as a lump sum is calculated taking into account the following:

  • Number of years’ fees the plan is going to cover (this can be from 2 years up to the end of the pupil’s time in a GDST school).
  • The current fees at the specific GDST school whether full boarding or day pupils including lunches and certain compulsory extras.
  • The estimated increase in fees over the years of the plan.
  • The current discount rate for the prepayment plan.

A prepayment will immediately be allocated to payment of fees (including lunches and certain compulsory extras) to the extent agreed with you. A termly statement of that fee account will be issued showing the actual fees (and any extras or tax) less the amount of any relevant prepayment. Parents will remain liable for any shortfall and any excess will be refunded (less any amounts due to GDST) when the pupil leaves the school. Please see the FAQs below for further information about the treatment of any shortfalls and excess.

Please use this calculator to see how the prepayment plan could work for you.  The calculator on this page provides an approximate amount and does not include scholarship, sibling or staff discount, international fees and boarding fees.  If you would like further details, please complete the application form and an illustration will be provided.  Please note that no promise, warranty or representation is made as to the amount of fees payable in future and they may be more than the amounts suggested in the calculator.

How much will it cost?

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How to apply

If you would like to proceed, please click here to obtain a personal illustration. At this stage you will be able to add scholarship details, sibling and staff discounts.

Prepayment Plan FAQs

Please note the GDST does not provide tax, financial or investment advice and we recommend that you seek independent financial advice if you are interested in making an advance payment of fees. In particular, please note that if VAT is introduced on independent school fees, we do not know how it will be applied and it may be that VAT will be applied to any fees where payment has been made in advance, but the relevant term has not yet started. Prepayment plans do not include any VAT which GDST may be required to pay to HMRC in future. Fee payers will be liable to pay any VAT due.

If you have any queries regarding the prepayment plan that are not answered below, please contact the Fees Department on +44 (0)20 7393 6666 or by email at feesdepartment@wes.gdst.net

  • Will the money we pay into the plan cover everything over the term of the plan?

    The prepayment plan estimates the total tuition fees over the term of the plan, taking into account estimated fee increases of 5% a year, as well as compulsory lunch fees,  extracurricular activity, and any compulsory residential trips. This then suggests a sum for the potential advance payment. It does not however guarantee to cover all fees that may be payable, such as where actual fee increases over the term of the plan exceed those estimated at the outset. Nor does it cover other voluntary extras such as English as an additional language tuition or exam fees.

    The parties to the Parent Contract remain responsible for meeting any shortfall between the prepaid amount per term applied under the plan and the total amount due in respect of the pupil for that term e.g. actual fees are more than the amount that has been applied in payment of them; additional extras; VAT. Any excess of the advance payment above the actual fees for the relevant period will be refunded (without interest and less any sums due to GDST), and subject to the terms of the plan.

  • What is the minimum prepayment period?

    The minimum prepayment period is 2 years.

  • Are fee increases included in the prepayment plan?

    The prepayment plan estimates the total tuition fees over the term of the plan, taking into account estimated fee increases. The prepayment plan calculations are based on a 5% increase on school tuition fees every year for the length of the plan.

  • Am I able to prepay fees for a year?

    The prepayment plan is available for a minimum of two years. However, a request can be made to prepay fees for the 2024/25 academic year although this is not subject to the prepayment plan discount.

  • Can I extend the prepayment plan for further academic years?

    No, but at the end of the period to which the prepayment plan relates you may enter into any new prepayment plan then being offered by GDST for further academic years. Any subsequent agreement will be subject to the discount rates (and any VAT rules in place) at that time.

  • Are you able to issue an invoice and receipt for the prepayment plan in full, confirming that the service has been purchased, and the fees paid?

    An invoice will be issued for the full value of the prepayment plan at the start of the plan.

  • Can I make a prepayment before my child starts school?

    Yes. However, parents must have accepted an offer of a place for the child at the school and paid the acceptance deposit, before a prepayment plan can be accepted.

  • Will the discount rate change?

    The discount rate for all prepayment plans is fixed at the time of signing GDST’s Fees in Advance Agreement and will not change during the term of the plan for any reason.

  • How is the discount calculated? What does the discount represent?

    GDST recognises that there is a commercial and financial advantage to us if families pay fees in advance, as we have the use of those funds earlier than would otherwise be the case. Therefore, in common with other businesses we offer a financial incentive to encourage families to pay for education in advance. We have decided to offer this incentive by topping up the value of any prepayment by an amount equal to 1.17% of the balance of any prepayment after the fees for each term have been allocated. This calculation is undertaken automatically by our prepayment calculator at the start of the process, based on estimated fees for future years. We do not adjust the value of this top up should the actual fees for a particular term differ from those used in the initial calculation.

    We believe this approach enables families to have absolute clarity, from the outset, as to the additional financial incentive we offer to all families who can pay for education in advance.

    Families use the value of these additional funds to help pay for future fees, thereby building in a discount level of 1.17% for those families who choose to pay in advance, compared to families paying fees on a term-by-term basis.

    For clarity, any refund of fees paid in advance will be limited to the value of the funds originally deposited with GDST, less the costs of education already provided.

  • The discount on the prepayment plan is lower than saving interest rates

    This is true, and is a factor which families considering making payments in advance should consider and also that interest from savings accounts may be taxable. The “discount” provided, is of course not interest on deposited sums in the same way as a bank or other financial institution would pay, but rather an incentive to reward those families who are able to make advance payments, in the same way that a hotel might offer a lower nightly rate to customer who books and pays for the room well in advance.

  • What if my child becomes a boarder instead of a day pupil or vice versa?

    A change in whether your child is a boarder or day pupil will create a new contract between us. The fees paid in advance under one contract (e.g. for a day student) cannot be transferred and applied towards the fees payable under another contract (e.g. for a boarder). GDST would consider any later prepayment plan request to transfer fees on a case by case basis but is under no obligation to do so or to refund any fees because of the change.

  • What if my child leaves a GDST school?

    If your child leaves one GDST school to go to another one, then any advance payment applied to future terms may be applied towards the fees of the new school in the same way as originally applied unless your child becomes a boarder having been a day pupil or vice versa (please see immediately above in the case of a change of your child’s status).

    If your child leaves and does not go to another GDST school, then there will be no refund of any advance payment unless your child is unable to go to a GDST school because she is a day pupil and has moved too far away (in GDST’s opinion) to attend any GDST school, or because of her illness or death. There will not otherwise be any obligation for GDST to make any refund of any part of any advance payment if a child leaves before the end of the prepayment plan period.

  • What if my child does not take up an accepted place?

    If the Child is unable to continue at or, having been offered and accepted a place, does not join the School because of her ill health or death or because she moves home and that home is not within a reasonable distance of the School or any other school then owned by the Trust, then the Trust will refund to the Payer any fees paid in advance for any term which the Child is unable to attend the School in full (subject, in the case of a move, to a term’s notice being duly given by the Parents under the Parent Contract). Save for any excess that may be due under clause 4 of the prepayment plan terms and conditions in no other circumstance is the Trust obliged to refund to the Payer any part of the Advance Payment because the Child leaves (or having been offered and accepted a place, does not join) the School before the end of the Period.

  • My child is starting nursery, can I set up a prepayment plan?

    Prepayment plans are not available for pupils in nursery.

  • What happens if my daughter’s school gets into financial difficulties?

    In this most unlikely case, the remaining lump sum should be protected by the overall strength of the GDST organisation, which has substantial assets and investments to draw on should a repayment be required for any reason. However, in the event of its insolvency, GDST cannot guarantee that any part of the advance payment will be returned.

  • Why is the overall discount more than the annual discount?

    The discount is an annual figure, so the cumulative effect of this on the reducing balance over subsequent years will provide a higher overall discount.

  • What might happen if VAT is charged on school fees at some point in the future?

    At this stage we cannot provide any detailed guidance on how any future changes in UK VAT rules may impact GDST’s fees. While the Labour Party has announced their intention to impose VAT on school fees should they win the next general election, they have not published any detailed proposals on how this tax would be applied. Regardless of when the prepayments are made, any amounts paid to GDST will be net of any VAT which may become payable to HMRC in the future. This means that those making prepayments may not be protected from any VAT charge and may become liable for additional amounts to cover any future VAT charge on sums already paid. GDST thus reserves the right to charge VAT on prepaid fees.

  • If VAT is payable on school fees, how will this be billed?

    If legislation is implemented, introducing VAT on school fees, we will be in contact with families to advise them on how this will be invoiced.

    Our fees are expressed net of VAT, so should VAT become due at some point in the future, then this may result in those families who have made repayments either being asked for additional sums to meet this VAT liability, or that a portion of payment in advance will need to be used to fund the VAT costs, which in turn means that the advance payment will not cover fees for the period initially envisaged.

  • Where can the funds come from?

    Funds can only come from one of the following sources:

    • A personal account and not business accounts. The funds should come from the personal account of one of the parties to the prepayment contract.
    • A trust fund set up for the payment of the school fees for the pupil who the prepayment plan has been set up for.
    • We will ask for proof of the source of the funds as part or process for setting up of the prepayment plan.

  • I have more than one child at a GDST school, can I prepay for more than one child?

    The prepayment plan covers one student. If you would like to arrange a prepayment plan for a sibling, please complete a separate application form.

  • Are exam fees included in the prepayment plan and would VAT apply to them?

    The prepayment plan does not include public examination fees. At this point, examination fees are not subject to VAT, but may be in the future.

  • Is it possible for school fees to be part of a salary sacrifice scheme?

    In April 2017, legislation was introduced to stop school tuition fees being part of a salary sacrifice scheme.

 

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