Government to respond to the impact of independent schools on the economy

Posted on: 20 Jun 2014

Lord Lexden is asking for the Government’s response to the impact of independent schools on the economy.

This follows publication of a report by the Independent Schools Council.

He has tabled a question in the House of Lords, following a reception to mark the launch of the report, which reveals that independent schools contribute £9.5 billion to the economy – more than the City of Liverpool, or the BBC. The reception will be on Monday 23 June.

ISC independent schools also generate £3.6 billion in tax and support 227,200 jobs across Britain, equivalent to one in every 122 people in employment.

They also make annual savings for the tax payer of £3.0 billion, by educating 470,000 children free from government expense, equivalent to building more than 460 new free schools every year.

In addition, the high standards of academic achievement shown by ISC school pupils are estimated to contribute an additional annual £1.0 billion to GDP. Independent school pupils score a high proportion of the top grades in the more traditional subjects such as Maths and Sciences and in the strategically important but vulnerable (SIV) subjects such as Modern Foreign Languages, which are so important to the future development of the economy.

The new report by global economics consultancy, Oxford Economics, looks at the impact of independent schools on the British economy. Commissioned by the Independent Schools Council, this is the first time that the contribution of the independent schools’ sector to the British economy has been subject to objective analysis.

Barnaby Lenon, Chairman of the Independent Schools Council, said:

“We are pleased that Lord Lexden has tabled this question for debate in the House of Lords following the publication of our report. For the first time, the huge contribution independent schools make to the economy has been assessed and we are delighted to hear the Government’s response.

“We are proud that our schools contribute so much to the British economy as well as setting the bar high for educational achievement in this country. We are delighted to be holding this reception to mark the question in the House of Lords and to have the chance to hear about the very important contribution many of our schools make to their local communities and to local schools, as well as the wider economy.”

While ISC schools have long been recognised for their educational excellence, this report also demonstrates the extent of their contribution to the British economy and to their local communities.

Lord Lexden, a vigorous advocate of closer partnerships between state and independent schools, said:

“For the first time the extent to which the economy benefits from the work of independent schools has been made clear. I am looking forward to hearing the government’s reaction to this important and impressive report.”

There will be a briefing and reception on Monday 23 June at 12.30pm in the Attlee Room at the House of Lords which will include contributions from a number of heads, including Marion Gibbs, Headmistress of James Allen’s Girls’ School and co –founder of the Southwark Schools Learning Partnership and Patrick Derham, Head Master, Rugby School.

They will be highlighting the work that their schools do to break down the barriers between the independent and state schools sectors and the contribution their schools offer their local communities.

The reception is being hosted by Lord Lexden and Barnaby Lenon, Chairman of the Independent Schools Council.

For more information about attending the briefing and reception, please email:

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