19th November 2018
Daily summary of the latest news and opinions from the world of independent education brought to you by Education Advisers...
“ISC schools remain among the best in the world and a good level of resourcing is important in achieving this.”
Julie Robinson, general secretary of the Independent Schools Council (ISC) responds to claims from Francis Green, professor of work and education economics at UCL’s LLAKES Centre claiming that the UK's private/state school wealth gap may be 'biggest in the world'
Robinson explained "In citing the increased costs of education in the independent sector, Professor Green fails to acknowledge this figure has also risen in the state sector.
"ISC schools remain among the best in the world and a good level of resourcing is important in achieving this. Schools within our membership contribute considerably to the state sector and have stated their desire for a collaborative, diverse and well-funded education system which helps all children reach their potential.
"Although many ISC schools are run at cost and do not make a profit, a third of pupils receive help with their fees. £400million is given in means-tested bursaries. This number continues to rise, with more pupils receiving considerable amounts of discount.
“We recognise funding pressure on the state sector and it is important to note that independent schools educate over half-a-million children outside the state system, therefore relieving some of this pressure.”
Figures released by the Scottish Council for Independent Schools (SCIS) have revealed that independent schools in Scotland have provided in excess of £51 million in fee assistance during the current academic year.
The data, collected from SCIS’s 74 member schools, shows that 24.6% of mainstream pupils (7204) received means tested assistance (30,807,706), with 573 pupils (3.2%) benefiting from 100% fee assistance. A further £20,301,772 was awarded to children on a non-means tested basis.
The figures show an increase of £2,473,121 on the previous year, and brings the total fee assistance provided by the sector in the last ten years to £404,495,065.
Commenting on the results, John Edward Director of SCIS, said: “The results demonstrate our absolute commitment to widening access to independent education in Scotland.
“We are responsible for educating 30,000 children around the country. The availability of fee assistance is something the sector is hugely proud of and works hard to achieve. We have seen a steady and significant increase in the bursaries available rising from £24,588,023 in 2009/2010 to the current figure of £51,109,478.
“This is a significant financial commitment for schools – all of which are not-for-profit - as the budget for fee assistance must come from cash reserves, once salaries and other operational expenses have been paid.
“Scotland’s independent sector provides choice, diversity and excellence for Scotland’s young people, and we will continue to work hard to safeguard fee assistance, despite the impact of the Barclay review which will cost the sector £5 million a year.”
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