Boarding in Numbers

The Independent Schools Council (ISC) brings together seven associations of independent schools, their heads, bursars and governors. ISC’s constituent associations are: the Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools (AGBIS), the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA), the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC), the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS), the Independent Schools Association (ISA), the Independent Schools’ Bursars Association (ISBA) and the Society of Heads (SofH).

They represent over 1,200 independent schools in the UK and overseas. These schools are ranked among the best in the world and educate more than half a million children each year.

The data given in this article is based on a survey carried out in January 2015 All 1,267 schools in UK membership of the constituent associations of ISC (“ISC schools”) completed the survey. The census is summarized to address international students.

UK Independent Schools are Proud to Compete on a Global Scale

ISC schools are attracting an increasing number of non-British pupils; this is testament to the world class education that ISC schools offer. ISC schools welcome these pupils and the diversity that they bring.

  • There are 27,211 non-British pupils at ISC schools whose parents live overseas.
  • A further 16,821 pupils are non-British with parents living in the UK.
  • Collectively, non-British pupils make up 8.5% of all ISC pupils.
  • An increasing number of ISC schools have overseas campuses; there are 44 campuses overseas educating 24,710 pupils.
  • Most (92%) ISC pupils progress to higher education and the majority attend Russell Group universities. Slowly increasing numbers are choosing to study overseas reflecting the global outlook of pupils at ISC schools; 4% of ISC pupils going on to higher education chose to study at non-UK universities in 2014.

Non-British Pupils whose parents live overseas

In ISC schools, there are currently 27,211 non-British pupils whose parents live overseas, which represents just over 5% of the total ISC pupil population in 2015. This highlights the attraction of an education at an ISC school to a global market. By far the largest numbers of pupils come from China and Hong Kong.

Non-British pupils whose parents live overseas are more numerous at ISC schools in the sixth form than as junior pupils: 56% of such pupils are in years 12 & 13,42% in years 7 to 11, with only 2% in years 6 and below. Not surprisingly, these pupils are much more likely to board: 92% of non-British pupils whose parents live overseas choose to board. There is no significant gender difference among these pupils: 51% are boys and 49% are girls.

The table below indicates the non-British pupils whose parents live overseas.

Loretto School

Loretto School

Taunton School

Taunton School