Sixty-two independent schools have withdrawn from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) because of a rise in employer contributions, Schools Week has reported.
The exodus was triggered by a 40% rise in employer contributions from September 2019.
A freedom of information request revealed the number of schools that have notified the Department for Education (DfE) of their decision.
Julie Robinson, chief executive of the Independent Schools Council (ISC), said: “Schools take issues around affordability very seriously and are acutely aware of the sacrifices families make when choosing an independent education.”
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Robinson said remaining in the TPS was still ISC’s “first preference” for its members.
Independent schools do not have to join the TPS and must be given permission from the government to do so.
Calculations by the ISC – published by TES – suggest there would be a £800m blackhole in the teachers’ pension pot if independent schools were to leave en masse. Private schools currently contribute around £590m a year to TPS, around 10% of the total annual cost.
In June, teachers at St Edward’s School in Oxford went on strike over plans to withdraw from the scheme next year. The school is one of those that will still leave the plan.