Pupils Returning to Private Schools At Highest Rate Since 2008: New research published by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers suggests that more parents are now choosing to send their children to independent schools than at any time since the 2008 crash. This is despite the fact that since 2008 fees for independent schooling have increased. The report, based on responses from more than 1200 teachers, suggests that some parents are beginning to prioritise private schooling for their children as the economy begins to pick up again.
Average day fees for independent schools have more than quadrupled in the last quarter of a century – rising from £2,985 in 1990 to £12,700 in 2013. The rise in boarding fees has been equally steep – increasing from £6,800 to £28,000 over the same period.
The report’s findings, which suggest that 46% of teachers working in private schools have seen an increase in pupil numbers in 2014 compared to only a fifth who report a decline, are the most positive in terms of increasing numbers since 2008. In 2013, the figure stood at less than two fifths (39.8%).
Still, despite increased fees and increasing student numbers, the ATL research claims that conditions for staff in the independent sector are failing to keep pace.
According to the survey, more than two-thirds of teachers worked for more than 48 hours a week – with a quarter being asked to work in excess of 60 hours a week. Around two fifths also admitted that they would be receiving a pay rise of less than 1% this year.
In addition to the research released by the ATL, the Independent Schools Council has also released figures relating to pupil numbers in private schools. According to these separate figures released by the ISC, the overall number of students studying at private schools had remained relatively stable – hovering at just over half a million. The ISC also found that admissions for foreign students had actually fallen slightly.
We welcome comments from all our readers - so please feel free to express your views in the space below. You can also sign up to receive posts directly to your inbox, free of charge. Additionally, education professionals may be interested in joining our community.