Boarding school fees are expected to break the £40,000 barrier for the first time this autumn, putting them out of reach to all but the richest families.
Bursaries at top schools are being offered to parents on six-figure salaries as even they would struggle to afford the fees without assistance.
The private school sector is becoming polarised, with some smaller schools closing, converting to academies, or cutting fees.
Cheaper schools, which focus on teaching but do not boast outstanding facilities, are growing in popularity. Read more.