Key independent school statistics

Broadly speaking, there are about 2600 independent schools in the UK; the majority are junior schools. Over 620,000 children are at independent school − nearly 7% of all UK school pupils. About half of the parents of these pupils did not themselves attend independent schools.


Regional variations in the numbers attending independent schools are huge: 4% in the whole of Scotland, but 25% in Edinburgh; 10% in the South East but 13% in London. Some 20% of all UK sixth formers are in independent schools.


Statistics suggest that, at every level of ability, independent school pupils achieve higher examination scores than the total school population (of which they are also a part). Over 50% of GCSE entries from independent schools are awarded a grade A/A*, compared to a national average of some 20%. At A-level, over 50% are awarded grade A compared to the national average of about 25%. Independent schools account for well over one third of A-level candidates gaining three grade As or better. Almost all sixth formers from ISC schools go on to university – twice the national average.