The Independent Schools Council is a lobby group, operating on a non-profit basis and bringing over 1,300 independent schools in the UK together in a single network to promote collective business interests. It is comprised of seven associations of independent schools and includes the Department of Education.

As the founder and executive chairman of Highgate Hill House School, Sir Peter Birkett is a member of the ISC. The five principal activities of the ISC are outlined in the infographic attachment to this post.

The work of the ISC is carried out by a select group of dedicated professionals, based in its London offices and working across the UK.

Educational Benefits of Independent Schools

Independent schools are defined as educational establishments for students aged from birth to approximately 18 years, or nursery through to sixth form.

There are many reasons why parents may choose to send their children to independent schools for all or part of their education. These include opportunities to access classes and courses that may not be available at state schools.

Independent schools in the UK have a strong record for academic excellence in the STEM subjects, which have been recognised as crucial to future global productivity. The short video attachment explains what the STEM subjects are.

Financial Benefits of Independent Schools

In the UK, independent schools generate approximately £4.1 billion annually in tax revenue and contribute around £13.7 billion to Gross Domestic Product. There are over 300,000 individuals directly employed by independent schools, and £970 million is contributed by the sector each year to education exports.

ISC schools attract an estimated 58,000 international students to the UK each year and act as a pipeline to higher education. The state sector also saves around £3.5 billion each year due to parents paying taxes that directly contribute to education but sending their own children to private fee-paying schools.

The PDF attachment defines what it means to be an independent school in the UK.

ISC Objectives

The ISC operates with three main functions: policy and public affairs, media and communications, and research and data.

Under the remit of policy and public affairs, the ISC works to create political engagement between its members and the government and promote cross-sector relations, along with running an Independent Schools Inspectorate and an All Party Parliamentary Group on Independent Education.

The ISC uses a variety of media channels to communicate with members, government departments and all stakeholders. These include social media networks, internal communications, publications, print press, broadcasts, the web, a daily news summary, and Schools Together.

Research and data operations include a regular census, an economic impact report, impact evaluation materials, portal and data tools, public exam results analysis, a medical schools survey, and bespoke research projects.

Schools Together

The ISC has thousands of partnerships with state schools each year. Ventures include seconding teaching staff, academy sponsorships, sharing facilities, serving as governors, and working together for projects and activities.

As part of Schools Together, the ISC helps to build relationships between independent schools and state schools in the UK for the benefit of both. These partnerships facilitate resource-sharing as well as the creation of a network of knowledge and skills between both teaching staff and pupils and thousands of UK schools.

The Schools Together website currently lists details of more than 5,000 ongoing cross-sector projects.