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Independent Schools UK

Independent schools in the UK are schools which are independent both in terms of financing and governance; they do not depend on national or local government for financing their operation, nor are they reliant on taxpayer contributions. The term independent school and private school are synonymous in the UK. High Schools (senior school for girls) and Preparatory Schools (for junior age) are types of UK Independent School.

There are around 2,300 independent schools in the UK. Independent schools set their own curriculum and admissions policies and may have a religious affiliation.

The funding of Independent Schools in the UK is provided by a combination of tuition fees, fund raising activities, government funds, donations and investments. Just over half of Independent Schools have charitable status.

Independent Schools are governed by a board of directors that is elected by an independent means and a system of governance that ensures its independent operation. Although Independent Schools in the UK may receive government funds, their boards must be independent.

Every independent school in the UK must be registered with the Department for Children, Schools and Families. Standards are regularly monitored by either Ofsted or an inspectorate approved by the Secretary of State, ensuring that the school maintains the standards set out in its registration document.

The Independent Schools Council (ISC) represents 1280 independent schools in the UK, educating more than 500,000 children. ISC schools include the famous name boarding schools, though the majority of Independent School Council schools are day schools which are not widely known beyond their local communities. The great majority of children in UK independent schools are in ISC schools. The Independent Schools Council therefore speaks for the sector as a whole. The ISC is strictly independent of all political parties and acts in the interests of all children.

Independent Schools Council schools cover the entire academic range. They also cover a wide social range, with nearly a third of children receiving help with their school fees.

The Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) is approved by the Secretary of State for Education and Skills for the purpose of inspecting independent schools that belong to the Independent Schools Council.

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