There is a never-ending debate as to whether independent schools are better than state schools and, when afforded the choice, what is the best option for parents to choose when sending their children to school. There are many parents who are strongly against independent schools due to their political values, whereas there are others who prefer independent schools and will do anything to send their children there.

There are around 2,500 independent schools in the UK, which educate around 615,000 children, compared to around 22,000 state schools with 8.2 million students, 93% of children within the UK are in education funded by the state. When you consider the difference in students attending each sector, it is difficult to see how you can make a valid argument between the two when comparing. There is no fair comparison available when looking at the education and attention students receive at each. Independent schools are able to select their students based on entrance exams results and also have the option of smaller classes. This could lead to more opportunities for one to one support within lessons and an easier path to achieving high grades year after year.

One of the main differences between the two schools are the fees. I’m sure a lot of parents would love to send their children to independent school or even have the option to consider it, but they aren’t in the position to do so. The fact remains; why should parents have to pay in order for their children to receive a good education? Why can’t all children be given the same level of education?

According to The Independent Schools Council, over half of A-Level entrants from private schools gained the top A grade in 2009. In addition more than 90% of them went onto higher education. Statistics produced in 2009 show that pupils from independent schools accounted for almost half of the countries university intake. With statistics like this, it’s easy to see why some parents will consider private education for their child. However, recent research has shown that students from state schools are more likely to achieve higher grades from university, but yet they are still not given priority places in university over independent school students.

It is important to remember that although the opportunities within independent schools seem to be better than that of some state schools, there are very good state schools providing a comparable or sometimes better education. However, parents do not always have the luxury of choosing their preferred state school, as it all depends on their catchment area and which is classed as their local school.

Although it would be difficult to suggest the level of teaching received would be any different, state schools must follow the national curriculum unlike independent schools. They are also beholden to any changes implemented by the government which can lead to teachers under more stress and ultimately, their performance may suffer, either through increased workload or having less time to teach effectively.



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