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Census highlights strength of independent schools April 26, 2012

Posted by Jonathan Barnes, editor in Independent Education.
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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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