Partnership work between Independent School Council (ISC) schools and state schools is at its highest ever level, with new figures revealing an estimated 175,000 state pupils are currently benefitting from initiatives between schools.
At a time when politicians have been asking questions about independent school support for state schools, the 2017 ISC Census reveals the huge amount of partnership work already taking place voluntarily.
10,000 different partnerships now exist with state schools, a figure which is 7.5% higher than last year. The types of partnerships vary from academy sponsorship to seconding teaching staff, serving as governors at state schools and sharing facilities to partnering for activities and projects.
“The role independent schools play in our diverse educational landscape should not be underestimated,” said Julie Robinson, General Secretary of ISC. “ They are not only supporting the development of academically successful, conscientious and confident young people, they are also providing a huge number of learning and sporting opportunities through partnerships with state schools. Many people do not realise that 88% of our schools have a partnership with a state school, a statistic made even more noteworthy considering the average size of school is only 400 pupils and 77% of our schools are charities.”
This year’s Census also shows:
• There are now a record 522,879 pupils at 1,301 ISC member schools – the highest number since records began in 1974.
• 16% of pupils aged 17 and over in England go to ISC schools.
• £900m was provided in fee assistance for pupils at ISC schools, an increase of 4.9% compared to last year.
• Average fee increases this year were 3.5%, in line with last year and the lowest since 1994.
• ISC schools are equally divided between those who use academic selection and those who do not.
• 32% of pupils are from a minority ethnic background.
• ISC pupils on average spend 4-5 hours a week engaged in sporting activities. This compares to less than 2 hours a week nationally. ISC pupils spend on average 1-2 hours a week in performing arts activities.
• 91% of all ISC pupils went on to higher education, with 55% going on to a Russell Group university.
• Between £10m and £15m was raised for charities at ISC schools this year and 851 ISC schools organise volunteering opportunities for their staff and/or pupils.
Completed by all schools in ISC membership for 43 years, the ISC’s Census provides a picture of where independent schools sit within the UK’s education landscape and is regarded by government, policymakers and opinion formers as the authoritative source of such data.
David Goodhew, Head of Latymer Upper School in Hammersmith, added: “Partnerships can be a ‘win-win’ for children in all types of school, provided they are locally arranged, meaningful, and bespoke. At Latymer Upper we work with over 50 local state schools in a range of different programmes designed to meet their specific requirements. Our students and staff find it hugely rewarding, while our partner schools benefit from invaluable assistance with academic subjects, sport, music, professional development and governance. Like most independent schools we strive to be ‘good neighbours’ and play an active role in our community.”
For more information, the full 2017 ISC Census can be found on the ISC website.