Your guide to In­de­pen­dent schools

Campbeltown Courier - - FRONT PAGE -

WHY do par­ents send their chil­dren to in­de­pen­dent schools in ever-grow­ing num­bers? Par­ents choose to send their chil­dren to in­de­pen­dent schools for many dif­fer­ent rea­sons, in­clud­ing choice, di­ver­sity and ex­cel­lence. Above all, they choose in­de­pen­dent schools be­cause they feel a par­tic­u­lar school will best serve their child and his or her so­cial and ed­u­ca­tional needs. All in­de­pen­dent schools in Scot­land have their own unique ethos and val­ues, but they share a com­mon goal of en­cour­ag­ing each in­di­vid­ual pupil to be all that they can be, and to make the most of their time at school. In­de­pen­dent schools en­joy a rep­u­ta­tion for ex­cel­lence, pro­vid­ing a broad cur­ricu­lum, con­sis­tently good exam re­sults, a pos­i­tive learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment and a wealth of co-cur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties. Be­ing in­de­pen­dent gives each school the free­dom to pro­vide the best pos­si­ble ed­u­ca­tion for the ben­e­fit of its pupils. Con­se­quently, many schools have de­vel­oped in­di­vid­ual strengths that com­ple­ment the ex­cel­lence that is the hall­mark of the sec­tor. The choice of main­stream schools is wide and there are also spe­cial schools that pro­vide care and ed­u­ca­tion for chil­dren with ad­di­tional sup­port needs. The statis­tics are com­pelling – Scot­tish Coun­cil of In­de­pen­dent schools pro­vide at least £47 mil­lion an­nu­ally in fee as­sis­tance, with 26.4 per cent of all pupils re­ceiv­ing some form of as­sis­tance. Eighty-eight per cent of SCIS pupils go on to Higher Ed­u­ca­tion, with 25 per cent con­tin­u­ing their stud­ies out­side Scot­land. Ac­cord­ing to num­bers from SCIS and the Scot­tish gov­ern­ment, there is one teacher for ev­ery 8.7 pupils in SCIS schools, com­pared to one to 13.7 in state-funded schools. SCIS schools ed­u­cate more than 31,000 chil­dren of mixed abilities from di­verse back­grounds. The fo­cus of in­de­pen­dent schools has al­ways been, and re­mains, de­liv­er­ing in­di­vid­ual ed­u­ca­tional out­comes for pupils of all abilities.

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