Julie Robinson, chief executive of the Independent Schools Council, uses the latest Census data to set the record straight about some of the myths surrounding independent schools…
9th May 2019
Independent schooling is not necessarily as it might first appear and certainly has much to offer society more widely. Without independent schools, our country would be worse off; there would be practically no alternative to state education and capacity and specialism across the education system would be reduced.
Independent schools save the taxpayer £3.52 billion in tax each year by educating 536,109 youngsters at no extra cost to the state. They pay over £4 billion in taxes each year and support over 300,000 jobs. Independent schools are of enormous value to the country culturally and economically. They punch above their weight globally and offer specialisms and capacity that can be hard to find in the state sector. We believe they should be viewed as a national resource and an asset.
The independent sector is hugely successful and persists even in an unfriendly socio-political climate. The schools are effective, demonstrate value-added and are good enough to warrant parents’ investment.
Contrary to the stereotypical press image of the sector, there is socio-economic diversity at independent schools. The typical independent school family is dual income with the whole of one parent's income going to pay school fees. There is a smaller proportion of pupils from lower income homes when measured against the country as a whole, but the proportion is growing. Many of the parents who choose an independent education make sacrifices in order to pay fees. They do so because they place great value on the education provided. This year’s Census figures show there are more children in ISC schools than ever before. That’s more parents choosing to invest in their child’s education by paying school fees.
Millfield schools exceed £73m in GDP contributions
Millfield and Millfield Prep surpassed £73m in contributions to UK gross domestic product (GDP), with £38m contributed to the Mendip area in 2017/18.
Equating to 2% of GDP for the whole of the Mendip area, Millfield schools have a long association with the local community and are active members of Somerset and the South West region. Through educational and community partnerships and providing employment, the schools support the local economy and open up cultural events and the use of their facilities to the public.
An infographic released by the school shows figures such as Millfield delivering 1,800 jobs in the community, putting on 80+ music, drama and dance productions open to the public every academic year and raising £26,000+ annually for charity.