Report reveals the economic impact the independent schools sector has on Scotland
Scotland’s independent schools are proving their worth against the “toughest charity test” in the world according to the sector’s governing body.
New figures released this week reveal the independent schools' sector is worth nearly £450 million to the economy and employs over 11,000 people.
Schools have met many challenges over recent years, not least the charity regulator’s test
This includes exports worth almost £28m per year and a contribution of more than £263m a year to public finances.
The figures were revealed at the Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS) AGM held this week.
Most independent schools have charitable status and are funded almost entirely by parental fee income.
John Edward, SCIS director, told the conference the worth of the sector wasn’t in doubt and that everyone involved with schools should be aiming to make Scottish education the best in the world.
He added the findings were a striking indication of the contribution the schools make to Scotland as a whole, a contribution often overlooked by outdated views of the independent sector and untested preconceptions of the people in it.
“These papers add weight to the growing understanding of the contribution that independent schools make to Scotland, operating entirely on their own with just the support of their families and staff,” he said.
“The independent sector has long held this at its core, but has not always been recognised for doing so.”
In addition, the conference heard the sector generates a number of wider economic benefits that include supporting the Scottish university sector, enhancing the capacity of the third sector and contributing to the communities in which they operate.
Edward continued: “Schools have met many challenges over recent years, not least the charity regulator’s test which the Scottish Parliament ensured was the toughest in the world.
“Schools have met those tests with an enthusiasm which shows the approach they will take to the many new challenges that lie ahead for Scotland and its young people.”