ISC Census 2005: University entrance hits record as independent schools maintain market share
More than 92 per cent of sixth form leavers - a new record - went on to higher education from independent schools last year and pupil-teacher ratios reached their best-ever level, the Independent Schools Council's 2005 census shows.
The annual ISC census, published today, is the most authoritative source of statistical information about accredited independent schools in the UK. It shows that total pupil numbers in ISC schools declined slightly this year, by 0.6 per cent. But, when compared with Government forecasts for the maintained school population, which has fallen by 1.2 per cent, it is clear that ISC schools have comfortably maintained their share.
The ISC 2005 census shows that:
- 92.2 per cent of post A-level pupils from ISC schools went on to higher education. This is the highest proportion ever recorded by ISC.
- ISC schools have one member of staff for every 9.98 pupils. This is the highest ratio of staff to pupils ever recorded by ISC.
- Lower sixth numbers up: The number of 16-year-olds increased by 1.6 per cent compared with 2004.
- The decline in pupil numbers in ISC schools, at 0.6 per cent, is lower than that estimated by the DfES for the maintained school population in England (1.2 per cent) between 2004 and 2005.
- For the first time, there are now more girls than boys as day pupils in ISC schools (218,156 girls; 217,730 boys). When boarders (39,844 boys; 28,411 girls) are taken into account, the overall percentages are 48.9 per cent girls compared with 51.1 per cent boys.
- At an average 5.8 per cent, fee rises are the lowest since 1999. Costs in ISC schools tend to rise in parallel with costs in the maintained sector.
- Schools recruited nearly 10 per cent fewer foreign national children from overseas. Recruitment from abroad into UK schools is an important means of bringing more overseas pupils into the UK Higher Education system. Recruitment is being damaged by a doubling both of visa charges and of fees from the British Council for promoting UK schools.