ISC Census 2010: ISC schools continuing to attract more international pupils

Posted on: 29 Apr 2010

The Census has found ISC schools continuing to attract more international pupils. There are now 23,307 non-British pupils with parents living overseas at ISC schools, an increase of 7.4% on 2009.

The Independent Schools Council (ISC) has today published its Annual Census for 2010. Among schools that answered the questionnaire in both 2009 and 2010, the Census shows pupil numbers to have fallen a modest 0.6%. On Census day in January, there were 511,886 pupils in the 1,260 schools in membership of ISC, compared to 514,531 in 2009. This represents some 80% of all children in the independent sector. There has been a net fall of 5 schools on last year. In addition, the Census finds the lowest fee increase at ISC schools since 1994, with fees rising by an average of 4%.

Read the ISC Annual Census 2010

Further findings from the Census include: ##

  • ISC schools provide more than half a billion pounds in fee assistance, with 32.5% of ISC pupils receiving help with their fees.
  • More than 4 in 5 schools are involved in partnerships with maintained schools or the wider community, further underlining the public benefit they provide.
  • The pupil-teacher ratio remains low. There is now 1 teacher for every 9.4 pupils in ISC schools.

Speaking today, ISC Chief Executive David Lyscom said:

"For the last year we have been listening to dire warnings in the media about the health of the independent schools sector. We now see what has really been happening – in the deepest recession for over seventy years, with a fall in GDP of over 6%, pupil numbers have fallen by only 0.6%. In any other economic sector this would be seen as an outstanding success. There are 10% more pupils at ISC schools now than there were in 1996. The fall over the last year represents an average of only two pupils per ISC school. Critics of independent schools should remember that they make a direct contribution to GDP of over £6 billion, employ almost 63,000 teachers, both full- and part-time, and tens of thousands of support staff. The fact that they have outperformed the economy as a whole is a significant, positive development.

"The Census sends a very positive message. Despite current economic difficulties, significant numbers of parents are still choosing to invest in the high quality of education for their children found in ISC schools. Moreover there is strong growth in pupil numbers from overseas, emphasising the worldwide reputation of UK independent education and the high esteem in which it is held."


Notes to editors

ISC Mission Statement

The Independent Schools Council (ISC): working with its members to promote and preserve the quality, diversity and excellence of UK independent education both at home and abroad.

Additional information

ISC represents the eight leading independent schools associations in the UK, collectively educating more than 500,000 children in 1,260 schools in the UK and select British schools overseas. In total, there are around 2,600 independent schools in the UK.

Read the ISC Annual Census 2010