April 2016 press coverage
In terms of press coverage, April was very quiet until the last two days of the month when ISC published its 2016 Census.
With independent school stories in the national press being so unfairly negative in the past few months, there was some trepidation about how the new statistics would be presented in the media.
Launch day proved a mix bag. Whilst the Financial Times offered a detailed and balanced look at bursaries and fees (followed-up by the Times), other titles led heavily on perceived negative aspects, including single-sex education, regional figure and school facilities. There was more balance seen in trade titles and regional media.
A reporter on one title, which did not cover the launch, commented (with a truthful tongue-in-cheek): " Sadly my news editors were not enthusiastic about the ISC census this year, due to the lack of apocalyptic news...We couldn't find evidence of the imminent collapse of the independent schools sector, but we'll try again next year."
ISC pushed details of the Census through social media - particularly well-received were videos created on a new ISC YouTube channel.
Beyond the Census, April will be remembered for a single feature published in the Times' weekend magazine. The title asked 'is this the end for private schools?' Once again a picture of crisis was painted, and once again a large number of schools reacted to say they did not recognise this. ISC responded swiftly.
Other press coverage continues to be led by ISC's authoritative data, particularly that from the Census. We also continue to pick up international articles, mostly from the Far East.