Private Education is an increasingly popular option for UK students and their families. Parents from every sort of background choose this for their children and about half of the children entering independent schools have parents who also received private education.
The main advantages are high academic standards, good examination results, sound discipline, superior facilities and a commitment to a wide range of sport and extra-curricular activities. UK private education has a long history steeped with tradition and can offer a unique cultural environment for the education of children where the focus is on the development and care of the individual. Pupils are encouraged to develop their talents and to pursue new interests through clubs and societies, sport, outdoor activities and community service. Meetings are often arranged between schools at which pupils can meet and share interests.
A great strength of the private education sector is the choice and diversity it offers. Regardless of their child’s ability, parents can choose “girls” or “boys” only schools or co-educational schools; schools which are boarding or day schools; senior or junior; rural or urban; large or small. Independent schools are available to provide education from age 3 to 19. Many schools provide help for children whose first language is not English, and special tuition is available. Guardianship arrangements are available for those whose families live outside the United Kingdom, and many other practical details such as transport to and from airports are looked after by the schools, working in partnership with the parents.
This sector achieves the highest academic standards. Evidence from the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) suggests that pupils at all levels of ability do better in private schools. More than 80% of pupils at private education gain five or more GCSE passes at grades A-C compared to a national average of 49%. Independent school performance at A-Level is equally impressive and 90% of leavers from independent schools go on to higher education.
Why Choose Private Education
• Independent education offers many advantages:
• excellent academic results and high expectations, small class sizes and attention to individual needs
• high degree of specialisation
• a wide range of extra curricular activities: opportunities for sport, drama, music, and special activities
• high levels of investment in facilities
• the option of boarding – full, weekly or flexible
• good discipline and the encouragement of a responsible attitude to work
• diversity, catering for differing ethos and philosophy
• help for special needs
• traditional values
• private education often boosts earning potential because pupils benefit from smaller classes and better teachers.
Disrupting a child’s private education midway through a vital stage would be very unfortunate, so it is important to prepare for the commitment of paying fees for several years.
It is in most cases possible to significantly reduce the financial burden of school fees with professional advice on planning strategies, SFIA would typically save parents tens of thousands on the cost of private education.