Skip navigation |

Research

The ISC research team works to ensure that the ISC is the hub of accurate and timely information on the independent sector in the UK.

The ISC research team works to ensure that the ISC is the hub of accurate and timely information on the independent sector in the UK.

Pupils in ISC schools account for around 80% of the total number of pupils in independent schools in the UK. The UK independent sector as a whole educates around 625,000 children in around 2,600 schools. The independent sector educates around 6.5% of the total number of school children in the UK (and over 7% of the total number of school children in England) with the figure rising to more than 18% of pupils over the age of 16.

Our 2015 Census has revealed that

  • There are now record numbers of pupils at 1,267 ISC member schools - 517,113 pupils, the highest level since records began in 1974.
  • ISC pupils are diverse:
    • 382,389 pupils attend co-educational schools; 134,724 attend single-sex schools.
    • 446,471 pupils are day pupils; 70,642 are boarders.
    • 66,026 pupils are identified as having a special educational need or disability.
    • More than 2,500 pupils attend specialist music and dance schools.
    • 29% of pupils are from an minority ethnic background.
    • 5,406 pupils are on full bursaries.
    • 27,211 pupils are from overseas.
  • This year fees increased by 3.5%, the lowest increase since 1994.
  • Fee assistance grew again this year, continuing the long term trend. Almost 170,000 pupils, an unprecedented number, now receive help with their fees with a record value of more than £800m
  • ISC schools provide more than twice as much assistance in the form of means tested bursaries as they do scholarships; over 40,000 pupils are currently benefitting from a means tested bursary, valued at almost £350m and representing an increase of 6% compared to last year, well above the rate of fee increase.
  • Beyond fee assistance, ISC schools undertake a wide range of work with state-funded schools and in the wider community; 93% of schools are involved in such partnerships. To put this figure into context, only 80% of ISC schools hold charitable status.
  • In addition to partnerships, nearly all ISC schools (98%) raise funds for charities. This year, more than £15m was raised for charity by ISC schools.
  • 92% of ISC pupils go on to Higher Education with 7% of these attending Oxford or Cambridge. 4% choose to study overseas.
  • There is one teacher for every 9.2 pupils in ISC schools.

ISC Annual Census 2015

Exam results, Summer 2014

  • 19.2% of A-level entries from pupils at ISC schools were awarded A* (up from 18.0% in 2013); nationally 8.2% of grades were awarded an A* (7.6% in 2013).
  • 7.1% of candidates at ISC schools were awarded 3 or more A* grades (or D2 grades or better at Pre-U).
  • 50.5% of A-level entries from pupils at ISC schools were awarded either A* or A (down slightly from 51.3%); nationally 26.0% of entries were awarded an A* or A (down from 26.3%).
  • 32.7% of all GCSE and IGCSE entries received the A* grade, up from 32.0% last year (national average 6.7%, down from 6.8% in 2013).
  • 60.6% of GCSE and IGCSE entries were graded A* or A, up from 60.4% in 2013 (national average 21.3%, unchanged from 2013).

Between 2013 and 2014 there was an 18% rise in the number of IGCSE entries from pupils at Independent Schools Council (ISC) schools. In 2014 38.9% the exams taken by Y11 pupils at ISC schools were for IGCSEs rather than GCSEs.

Exam Results 2014

Independent Schools Economic Impact Report

For the first time, an independent consultancy has analysed the economic benefits that independent schools bring to Britain. Its conclusions for the schools represented by the Independent Schools Council are striking:

  • An annual contribution to GDP of £9.5 billion – larger than the City of Liverpool, or the BBC
  • More than 227,000 FTE jobs in Britain supported by ISC schools – one for every two ISC pupils
  • More than £3.6 billion in tax revenues flowing into the Exchequer each year
  • Annual savings for the taxpayer of £3.0 billion – equivalent to building more than 460 new free schools every year
  • Additional annual contribution of £1.0 billion to GDP arising out of the high academic performance of ISC school pupils

Independent Schools Economic Impact Report

Latest Research

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Independent Schools Council website. To find out more about the cookies, see our privacy policy.