A private school near Glasgow is believed to be the first in Britain to allow cash-strapped parents to use a mortgage style repayment scheme to spread the cost of its fees.
The Telegraph reports that Fernhill School will allow parents to pay their child's tuition fees over 10 years in order to 'make independent education more manageable during the economic crisis'.
The scheme will reportedly reduce the monthly bill of attending the £8,976-a-year Catholic school by up to 50 per cent.
One of the school's governors told the paper the repayment option would help families who would otherwise be unable to afford private education.
Annual fees at schools across Britain increased by 4.5 per cent last year (an average rise of £600). Many families choosing private education are now spending around £13,800 per annum.
Overall, private schooling costs have risen by more than 75 per cent over the last decade – far more than earnings have increased in the same period.
Janette Wallis from The Good Schools Guide told the Telegraph that Fernhill's mortgage-style programme was a 'creative approach to making school fees more affordable'. She added that she felt 'many parents' would welcome it and that other schools would be 'sitting up and taking note'.
Fernhill's prepayment schedule will allow parents to pay half the school fees every year and repay the outstanding amount once their child has left.
More on Parentdish: Why private schooling isn't worth the money