In numbers: Scotland’s private education sector

How significant is the independent education sector in Scotland?

Erskine Stewart's Melville School in Edinburgh is one of the more prestigious independent schools Picture: Neil Hanna

A total of 25,093 pupils attend 33 of the ISC represented Scottish independent schools . There is an almost 50/50 split between male and female students with boys slightly outnumbering girls 12,623 to 12,470. There are 72 independent schools in Scotland in total. This is only a 0.2 per cent increase from the 2014 census.The Scottish Council of Independent Schools’ (SCIS) found that 69 per cent of its students, who sat Scotland’s new National 5 exams, were awarded an A grade (compared with 37.5 per cent nationally). Almost all (95 per cent) students in a mainstream SCIS school, sitting the new Higher achieved a pass of which 60 per cent achieved A grade. 91 per cent of Advanced Higher entries from a SCIS school achieved a pass of which 49 per cent gained an A grade. SCIS exam candidates have achieved top grades in this year’s exam results with over a quarter of candidates at a SCIS School achieving three or more A grades at old Higher.

John Edward, Director, (SCIS) said: “At a time when attainment is top of the political agenda, Scotland can be very proud of the efforts of these pupils and schools. They are also testament to committed families and to the highly-qualified teachers’ school seek to recruit and retain. The transition to New Highers and Advanced Highers has still to finish, but it is very clear that our pupils and schools have adapted as well as ever.”

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The Independent Schools Council (ISC) census of 2015 showed that a record 517,113 pupils now attend an independent school in Britain - the highest number since records began in 1974.

Census in numbers for UK independent schools

Across the UK there has been an increase of 5,185 private school students since the 2014 census was conducted, making it the highest yearly increase since the 2008 economic recession.

Now 14 per cent of all school pupils in the UK aged 16 or over attend an ISC school.

Across Britain, 170,000 independent school pupils get help paying their student fees, up £60 million from 2014, to an all-time high of £836 million.

A total of 40,000 pupils receive means tested bursaries, up 6 per cent from the previous, worth £350 million. Bursaries are worth on average £8,277 a year, with 5,406 pupils paying no fees at all.

Overseas students in the 2015 Independent Schools Council census

Mr Barnaby Lenon, Chairman of the ISC added: “It is vital we continue widening access to our schools for pupils of all backgrounds through our bursary programmes. The data this year shows that this is happening.”

The average fee for an independent day school is £4,174 per term, or £12,556 per school year, with a 3.6 per cent increase from 2014, with one teacher to every nine students.”

Scottish Council for Independent Schools (SCIS) attainment infographic