Why choose an Independent School for your child?by isbi schools
Independent schools in England offer an unparallelled level of education. Although there are some fantastic state schools out there, the figures still speak for themselves: a child educated in an independent school is three times more likely to get top grades for A-levels. But educational benefits are far from the only reason to consider a private education for your child.
If you ask a parent why they choose to send their child to an independent school they may well tell you about the school’s fantastic academic record. But if you keep listening, you’ll also hear about the varied extra-curricular activities that state schools just can’t afford to provide. Then there is the option of boarding, which can be useful for parents but also enriching for children. There are better facilities, smaller class sizes, a stronger sense of community among children and parents.
Almost half of all independent schools in England are single-sex and this can be an appealing prospect. Many parents worry that when their children begin to notice the opposite sex, their school work will suffer so single-sex schooling can be very appealing. Many mixed independent schools opt to teach students in single-sex lessons, allowing them to mingle at break times. There has also been a steady increase in the number of children boarding in recent years, something that can only be offered by independent schools. Many parents may balk at the idea of sending their child away to boarding school at first, but it can have its advantages for children and it’s rarely a black-and-white case of either full boarding for terms at a time or nothing. Many children will board for one or two nights per week, or will stay overnight on an ad hoc basis so that their parents can attend conferences and meetings. Boarding at school with friends in a familiar environment is a much preferable option than having your child shipped from pillar to post with babysitters if you are required to travel for work.
The facilities offered by independent schools in England simply cannot be equaled by state schools, who do not have sufficient funds. A state school may have tennis courts, a swimming pool or football pitch but rarely will you find all of these and more in one school these days. They are the norm for independent schools though, who invest funds from tuition into the school and its facilities. Extra-curricular activities are also much more available and varied, with horse riding, sports, music, dance, drama, community service and even Duke of Edinburgh Award schemes. Independent schools use their resources for extra-curricular activities because they help children to build confidence and resilience as well as fostering teamwork - all of which are then present in the class room, but more importantly help a child to become a well-rounded adult who is more than just "book smart.”
With the rise of SAT tests and inspections, it can often feel like a child is going to school to learn how to pass the next set of tests. Parents can often worry that their carefree, creative individual will be treated as a number rather than an individual; a square peg forced to fit into a round hole. Whilst independent schools in England are still subject to the same standardised tests, they are also able to offer a much more rounded education where children can develop skills outside of the classroom.
While there is no denying that independent schools in England offer an outstanding level of education, this is far from the only reason to consider private schooling. With additional facilities and extra-curricular activities, they nurture the whole person rather than just their formal education.