The private school that wants to be free
10 September 2012 Last updated at 07:55 BST
Independent fee-paying schools sell themselves on the idea that the best education comes at a price.
But it seems that the economic downturn means fewer parents can afford it.
The King's School in Tynemouth, which up to now has charged parents thousands of pounds a term, is turning to state funding in response to falling pupil numbers.
It is not the first to make that decision but becoming an academy has left some parents there anxious.
Chris Buckler reports.