Grandparents play vital role

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Grandparents, of all ages, are today playing a vital role in helping their grandchildren get an education.

Research carried out by Saga Investment Services found that a third of grandparents are providing childcare outside of school hours, 31 per cent are spending time helping them learn, 15 per cent are doing the school run and a huge 47 per cent are on call if their grandchildren are poorly when at school.

More than one in three grandparents with grandchildren of education age are either helping them out financially now, or plan to in the future.

And we aren’t talking pocket money here.

This generous group is contributing what we estimate to be a huge £6.4 billion every year to the education of grandchildren across the UK.

Most grandparents say they are primarily motivated seeing where their money is going while they are alive and because it feels like a lasting legacy.

Grandparents are particularly interested in helping create higher education funds for their grandchildren and with university students needing to find upwards of £15,000 a year to meet the cost of courses and living, their contribution could go a long way to helping make these higher education dreams a reality. Grandparents currently contributing to their grandchild’s education say they are putting away an average £181 each month.

If that was invested over a child’s school years, growing by 5 per cent per year, they could end up with a £39,000 lasting legacy to help fund education, depending on how they invest the money.

So if starting at school is starting conversations about the future, we would urge families to think big and get planning now.

Gareth Shaw

Head of consumer affairs, Saga Investment Services