Headmaster's Blog - 3rd February

Headmaster's Blog - 3rd February

Dear Parents
I thought you might like to see some interesting and recent research on the Independent sector.
Simon

A survey of attitudes towards independent schools has revealed that the proportion of parents who would send their children to an independent school far outstrips the proportion who would not.

54% of those parents polled said they would send their child to an independent school, while only 26% said they would not. This gap of 28 percentage points has never been greater in the past fifteen years of the survey; in 1997 the gap was 10 percentage points.

When those parents who said they would send their child to an independent school were asked why, the most popular answer was "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, commissioned by the Independent Schools Council (ISC) and carried out by Populus, 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.

Commenting on the findings, ISC’s Head of Research Rudolf Eliott Lockhart said:
“These findings show that the public recognises the high quality of independent schools, associating them not only with high academic quality but also with a broader education including arts, drama, music and sport. As a result, a clear majority of parents would like to send their children to an independent school. It's also encouraging to see public recognition of the significant bursaries that independent schools offer that help to broaden access and increase social mobility.”