cover image

Private schools in the United Kingdom

Fee-paying school in the United Kingdom / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dear Wikiwand AI, let's keep it short by simply answering these key questions:

Can you list the top facts and stats about Private schools in the United Kingdom?

Summarize this article for a 10 years old


In the United Kingdom, private schools or independent schools[1] are fee-charging schools, some endowed and governed by a board of governors and some in private ownership. They are independent of many of the regulations and conditions that apply to state-funded schools. For example, pupils do not have to follow the National Curriculum, although, many such schools do.[2] Historically the term 'private school' referred to a school in private ownership, in contrast to an endowed school subject to a trust or of charitable status. Many of the older private schools catering for the 13–18 age range in England and Wales are known as public schools, seven of which were the subject of the Public Schools Act 1868. The term "public school" derived from the fact that they were then open to pupils regardless of where they lived or their religion (while in the United States and most other English-speaking countries "public school" refers to a publicly-funded state school). Prep (preparatory) schools educate younger children up to the age of 13 to prepare them for entry to the public schools and other private schools.

Merchant Taylors' School (1561), one of the nine 'Clarendon' schools.

Some former grammar schools converted to a private fee-charging model following the 1965 Circular 10/65 and the subsequent cessation in 1975 of government funding support to direct grant grammar schools.

There are around 2,600 private schools in the UK,[3] which educate around 615,000 children, some 7 per cent of all British children and 18 per cent of pupils over the age of 16.[4][5] In addition to charging tuition fees, they may also benefit from gifts, charitable endowments and charitable status. Some of these schools (1,300) are members of the Independent Schools Council.[6] In 2021, the average annual cost for private schooling was £15,191 for day school and £36,000 for boarding school.[7]

The Independent Schools Yearbook has been published annually since 1986.[8] This was a name change of a publication that started in 1889 as The Public Schools Yearbook[9]