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Census highlights strength of independent schools April 26, 2012

Posted by Jonathan Barnes, editor in Independent Education.

The Independent Schools Council (ISC) published the results of its annual census today, with pupil numbers showing a rise for the first time since 2008.

The ISC said there were 508,472 pupils at its 1,223 schools in 2012, which represents an increase of 0.1% on 2011 figures.

The most significant growth was in London and the South-East, where pupil numbers rose by 1.2%.

School fees have risen by an average of 4.5% – the second lowest fee increase since 1994 – with the average fee per term standing at £4,596.

Other findings include what the ISC describe as ‘increasing globalisation’ of its schools. The proportion of non-British pupils at ISC schools in 2012 was up 5.8% to 25,940 and 27% of schools reported an increase in the number of pupils going to university overseas.

Independent schools’ groups and associations said the census demonstrated resilience through the economic downturn and made a case for UK independent schools as among the best in the world.

ISC chairman Barnaby Lenon said: “Independent schools throughout the country should be very proud of the results of the census. At a time of recession, when very many parents are struggling financially, it is clear that finding fees remains a priority for very large numbers.”

Independent Schools Association chairman John Wood said: “The positive news from this year’s census confirms that independent education remains an aspiration for a large proportion of parents across the country. It will be interesting to see if the substantial increase in the number of pupils applying to overseas universities is a trend that continues in the future.”

For the full release, go to www.isc.co.uk/research/



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