ISC Census 2007: Pupil numbers continuing to rise in the independent sector

Posted on: 04 May 2007

The Independent Schools Council (ISC) Annual Census 2007 has found pupil numbers continuing to rise in the independent sector.

ISC's Census is the most exhaustive source of statistical information on accredited independent schools in the UK.

Read the ISC Annual Census 2007

Speaking today as the Census was launched, General Secretary Jonathan Shephard said:

"These figures show a stable and thriving independent sector. It is important to continue with initiatives to support and work with the state sector, especially in maths and sciences, to improve outcomes for all children."

Key findings from the ISC Census 2007 show:

  • Overall pupil numbers in ISC member schools have increased in 2007 to 509,093 from 505,450 in 2006. 67,335 pupils are boarders and 441,758 are day pupils. They attend 1,276 ISC member schools. 1,048 (82%) of these schools have charitable status.
  • This year sees the lowest ever pupil/teacher ratio - there is now one teacher for every 9.7 pupils in ISC schools.
  • Over £700 million has been spent on capital projects in the financial year to 2006 - including £55 million on ICT. This is the first time a separate ICT figure has been identified.
  • Fees have risen by 5.9% this year. This is in line with service inflation figures for the past year. School fees are rising for the same reasons that costs for other services are rising: staff costs, utilities prices and limited supply.
  • This year, average fees are calculated more accurately using a new methodology, which takes into account different fees for different age groups. Overall average fees were £3,391 as of January 2007. However, the rise in fees of 5.9% compares average fees calculated using the old methodology, so that like-for-like data is compared.
  • This year, for the first time, we have figures for the total numbers of overseas pupils at ISC schools. These show over 20,000 such pupils - representing an input of over £350 million to the UK economy.

Notes to editors:

ISC Pupils in ISC schools account for more than 80% of the total number of pupils in independent schools in the UK.

Read the ISC Annual Census 2007