17th January Headmaster's Blog

17th January Headmaster's Blog

Parents might be interested in the following results from a survey done by the Independent Schools Council’s research body.


This month the Research team released the findings of a survey on attitudes towards independent schools. The survey found that 54% of parents would send their child to an independent school if they could afford to while only 26% said that they would not. This gap of 28 percentage points has never been greater over the past fifteen years of this survey; in 1997 the gap was just 10 points. The main reason given by those parents wanting to send their child to an independent school were "better standards of education". Other popular answers were "Better start to life/more chances in life/better chance for future careers", "better discipline", "smaller classes/smaller pupil-teacher ratio" and "better results/would get on better".

The survey also revealed that 57% of adults believe that educational standards are higher in independent schools than state schools, a higher proportion than for all previous years of the survey; only 7% think the opposite is true, while 27% think standards in both are similar.

Other findings included:
• 76% of people think that independent schools provide good university and employment prospects for pupils (up from 71% last year), only 3% do not (down from 4% last year);
• 75% of people think that independent schools provide opportunities for pupils to fulfil their potential (up from 71% last year), only 4% do not (up from 3% last year);
• 68% of people think that independent schools provide excellence in the teaching of maths, science and languages (up from 61% last year), only 4% do not (up from 3% last year);
• 52% of people think that independent schools offer bursaries and scholarships which help to broaden access and increase social mobility, only 10% do not;
• 12% of adults attended an independent school. Around half of adults have had some kind of experience or contact with the independent sector, either directly through their family (22%) or through friends/other family members (35%). 8% of parents have a child currently attending an independent school and the same proportion of adults have a child who previously attended an independent school