School fees: a luxury you can’t affordThe credit crunch is taking a terrible toll on the middle classes. They’ve started to give up their organic boxes (sales are down 10 per cent at some companies), their foreign holidays (can the new fad for camping really be a choice thing?), their Chelsea tractors, and even their privacy (their second homes are now available as holiday lets). So what’s next? Probably their children’s private education.School-fee inflation is running at well over 6 per cent a year, the average day school costs £3,000 a term, and top schools such as Eton and Wycombe Abbey charge £9,000-plus. Fifty-one schools in the UK charge more than £25,000 a year. That means if you have two children at top schools, you need to find £60,000 out of post-tax income — £100,000-odd pre-tax — just to pay the basic fees.