The UK is home to a large number of private schools. These include independent, international, and boarding schools.
They teach around 615,000 children each year across the country, both at primary and secondary levels. The majority of these children come from middle class families. Places within the UK also offer private nurseries. Scotland for example offers private nurseries in Glasgow.
In the UK, children attending private schools are much more likely to enter university, access a top university, and obtain a bachelor’s degree than their state-educated peers.
The reasons for this are unclear. One possible explanation is that children from affluent families disproportionately attend private schools (‘social sorting’) or that their higher scholastic performance during secondary school leads to superior academic outcomes in later years (‘through high school education’).
Pupils at private schools are more selective in their subject choices because they want to study subjects that will enable them to progress to high-status universities. Consequently, they do more ‘facilitating’ and ‘useful’ subjects at A level and fewer ‘more limited suitability’ or ‘non-facilitating’ ones.
We explore these potential explanations, decomposing the link between private schooling and post-secondary outcomes into ‘social sorting’ effects, ‘through high school education’ components, and ‘residual’ components across three English-speaking countries.
In many progressive private schools, there are a great deal of extra-curricular activities for students before and after school. These clubs give children the chance to explore their interests, expand their skills and make friends with peers who share similar passions.
The benefits of participation in extra-curricular activities are widely documented. They improve academic performance, increase attendance at school and have positive effects on students’ self-concepts.
Private schools are a core aspirational section of British society, offering financially disadvantaged but bright pupils the chance to receive a first-class education. For many, sending their children to private school is a shrewd investment that will pay off handsomely in the long run.
A growing number of studies have found that the pupils who attend private schools make more progress than their state-school peers at each stage of their educational journey.
The UK is a rich country and the best way to boost your child’s employability is to get them to study hard in school. Whether that means enrolling them in extra-curricular activities or entering them in competitions, putting the work in now will pay off when they’re applying for university later on.
Private education is a popular choice for many families and it can be a good way to help your child build their CV. It can also be a great way to ensure they have the right contacts when it comes to interviewing for jobs and internships.