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  • Barnaby Lenon, ISC Chairman

    "ISC schools are the envy of the world for their first rate academic achievements, the excellent all round education they offer pupils and for their outstanding pastoral care."

Excellence

ISC schools offer an excellent academic education, high standards of pastoral care and exceptional levels of teaching.

Bespoke education

ISC independent schools provide young people with a bespoke well-rounded education that concentrates on developing character as well as academic ability.

Our schools also offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities, including both traditional and non-traditional sport, music, drama, dance, debating as well as activities such as the Combined Cadet Force, Duke of Edinburgh Award and service in the community.

ISC schools have nurtured some of this country’s most capable and well-known sports people, actors and musicians.

Emphasis is given to developing leadership skills and building resilience and self-esteem, as well as offering excellent professional pastoral care.

For further details on academic success see ISC schools' exam results.

ISC schools provide a well-rounded education

Year 13 exam results

A levels

  • One in 16 candidates at ISC schools now achieve three or more A* at A level.
  • 18.4% of A level entries from ISC pupils were awarded A* grade.
  • Approximately half of entries are awarded either A* or A grade at A level.

GCE A levels

  • 34,981 pupils (92.6% of Year 13s) at 479 schools, took at least one A level.
  • 18.4% of entries were awarded A* grade (national average 8.3%).
  • 48.1% of entries were graded A* or A (national average 26.3%).

Pre-U

  • 2,865 pupils at 78 schools, took at least one Pre-U.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

  • 2,135 pupils at 58 schools took IB exams.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

  • 5,206 pupils (13.8% of the Year 13 ISC cohort), at 337 schools, took the EPQ.

See the latest exam results

Approximately half of independent school entries are awarded either A* or A grade at A level

Year 11 exam results

GCSE and IGCSE

  • Typical ISC students achieve an equivalent of nine As at GCSE or IGCSE.
  • 62.2% of all exam entries were graded A*or A or the equivalent 9-7 (national average 20.0%).
  • 94.7% were graded A*-C or the equivalent 9-4 (national average 66.3%).

IGCSE

  • 48.4% of Year 11 exam entries were for IGCSEs rather than GCSEs.
  • 471 schools had pupils taking at least one IGCSE and 4 schools offered IGCSE only.

See the latest exam results

A typical ISC student achieved an equivalent of nine As at GCSE

PISA 2015

PISA is the OCED’s global education survey.

According to the most recent PISA study (2015) pupils in independent schools score on average at least 50 test points (around one and a half years of schooling) more than the average score of their peers in all other school management types - with the exception of academy converters – and perform as strongly in PISA as the average pupil within the top performing East Asian countries.

A significant proportion of independent school pupils in England are amongst the highest-performing 15-year-olds in science anywhere in the world. (Achievement of 15-Year Olds in England: PISA 2015 National Report December 2016 John Jerrim and Nikki Shure. UCL Institute of Education, DfE.)

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Independent school pupils in England are amongst the highest-performing 15-year-olds in science anywhere in the world

PISA Report, 2015

Durham University Research

Research by the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at the University of Durham and the OECD PISA test results in 2015 both showed that pupils in independent schools were one to two years ahead of state school pupils of similar ability. In 2016 82 of the top 100 schools in terms of A-level results were ISC schools, despite the fact that a high proportion of children at the most academic state schools receive private tutoring and these schools are more selective than most independent schools.

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Independent school pupils are one to two years ahead of state school pupils of similar ability

Research by the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at the University of Durham and the OECD PISA test results, 2015

STEM subjects

STEM refers to the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Independent schools are strong at teaching the traditional facilitating subjects required at Russell Group universities.

ISC schools are strong at science and mathematics, as well as modern foreign languages.

ISC schools are strong at science and mathematics

Medicine and Law

Medicine

Medicine remains one of the most inaccessible professions, with 80 per cent of medical school applicants coming from around only 20 per cent of schools, the majority of which are independent or grammar schools. Over a quarter of successful applicants attended independent schools.

Law

Privately educated people still dominate the legal profession. The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) 2015 diversity questionnaire found that of the partners willing to disclose their school background, 30 per cent attended an independent school.

A recent review into judicial diversity by Geoffrey Bindman QC and Karon Monaghan QC found that 71 per cent of the senior judiciary attended independent schools, with one in seven judges going to just five independent schools. Of the 12 Supreme Court judges, ten are privately educated.

71% of the senior judiciary attended independent schools