The Impact of Independent Schools on the British Economy: House of Lords Reception

Posted on: 27 Jun 2014

ISC reception to celebrate independent schools contribution to the economy is big success. Tracy Cook, Head of Press at the ISC, explains why….

Five minutes wasn’t long enough for head teacher Marion Gibbs to outline all the valuable partnership work her school is doing in her local community.

In an entertaining talk, Marion, Head of James Allen’s Girls’ School, listed the myriad and many ways her school make a real contribution to their local community.

She cantered through the long list from Saturday schools, GCSE revision classes, joint teacher training, science master classes, classics lessons, the building of a new community theatre and arts centre, dance and drama lessons for 500 local children, the constant sharing of sports facilities, down to the story of the new gate put in the fence between the schools sports field and the local primary school, so those children could play outside whenever they wanted. Her audience were left seriously impressed and yet strangely humbled.

Marion was talking at the ISC Reception at the House of Lords on Monday. The event was all about independent schools dazzling the Westminster world with their contributions to both the British economy and to their local communities.

The reception, in a packed Attlee Room, marked the tabling of a Question by Lord Lexden, President of ISA, asking the Government for their response to ISC’s new Oxford Economics report examining the impact of independent schools on the economy. The debate in the House of Lords followed the reception.

MPs, Lords and Baronesses mingled with policy makers and think tank researchers to hear from Barnaby Lenon, Chairman of the Independent Schools Council, how independent schools contribute £9.5 billion to the economy, support 227,000 people in employment and contribute £3.6 billion in tax.

They also heard from Patrick Derham, Head of Rugby School, on the great impact of bursaries and the Arnold Foundation on social mobility; David Dunn, Head of Yarm School on the impact of the schools’ Princess Alexandra Auditorium, now a cultural hub in North Yorkshire and from Mark Taylor, Bursar of the King’s School, Canterbury on the school's Recreation Centre, a health hub for the community and soon to be an NHS centre of excellence for stroke and cancer victims, not to mention the schools support for The Canterbury Festival, the largest arts festival in south east England.

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The ISC Press Office posts blogs on behalf of ISC schools and Associations.