Independent schools provide excellence, capacity, and innovation in our education system.
Parents will choose independent schools for some or all of their child’s education, sometimes to meet particular needs – for example, independent schools that specialise in supporting children who have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
There is not a single-type of independent school. The ISC represents almost 1,400 schools with real diversity of provision. ISC schools vary significantly in size from having fewer than 50 pupils to over 2,400, although half of all schools have fewer than 300 pupils. Half of schools are non-selective and many are not for-profit. Over 16% of pupils at ISC schools have SEND.
Independent schools provide:
Particularly in STEM subjects that are crucial to future productivity; and languages post-Brexit.
Recent reforms of GCSEs and A-levels were based on qualifications taken at independent schools including IGCSEs and the Pre-U, and many of the structures and traditions of the independent sector have been adopted by state schools to improve pupils’ education.
Independent schools contribute £13.7bn annually to GDP, support 303,000 jobs and £4.1bn in tax revenue.
Independent schools save the state sector £3.5bn per year through parents (who pay taxes to support state education) not taking up state school places.
The sector contributes £970m annually to education exports, is respected across the world and is attractive to overseas companies re-locating families to the UK. The Government’s International education strategy wants to increase number of overseas students – ISC schools attract 58,000 non-British pupils and are a pipeline to higher education for international pupils.
Our latest Census shows 85% of ISC member schools already have partnerships with their state counterparts – equating to more than 11,500 partnership projects including supporting pupils with university applications, careers advice and providing teaching in shortage subjects such as Modern Foreign Languages.
The ISC Census 2020 shows schools currently provide £440m in means tested bursaries and scholarships – a 4% increase on last year.
The sector provides specialist provision in music and dance, single-sex schools, boarding and SEND support.
- Independent schools working to support the national response to COVID-19
- The value of independent schools
- ISC Census
- School partnerships case study booklet
- The Impact of Independent Schools on the UK Economy (Oxford Economics report)
- Joint Understanding with the Department for Education on promoting school partnerships
- Baines Cutler VAT on school fees report
The value of independent schools
Julie Robinson, chief executive of the ISC, highlights the educational and economic value of independent schools.