Sabtu, 24 Maret 2012

Independent Private Schools

A school which does not fall under the control of the local LEA (Local Education Authority) in England is considered to be private or independent. An independent school does not depend upon government or councils for funding through tax payer contributions, instead being financed through tuition fees and gifts.

There are more than 2500 independent private schools in the UK today, catering for about 7% of all children in education. These independent schools offer more flexibility than they used to with regards to the way they operate. Many larger schools are now co-education, the more traditional education system in private schools favoured same sex schooling. These larger independent schools frequently offer day, part time boarding, and full time boarding. Day schooling may be preferable to those living in the vicinity of the school, and fees are of course greatly reduced.

State funded schools controlled by these LEAs have less freedom and choice when it comes to the curriculum they teach. The government dictates what must be in the syllabus. However the government has no control over the syllabus of independent private schools granting them the ability to teach a wider range of subjects. These private schools tend to have a greater range of extra curricular activities than their comprehensive counterparts, usually consisting of a wide choice of sports and art based projects.

The Independent Schools Council is quoted as saying that due to their charitable status independent schools in the UK receive £100million in tax relief and return £300million of fee assistance in public benefit, relieving the 'maintained sector', ie the state schools, of £2billion in costs.

Preparatory, or prep schools for short are independent schools designed to prepare pupils for their education at a secondary level private school. Pre-Prep schools are those which cater for children aged under seven years of age, where they are prepared for education at the preparatory school. Boarding preparatory or boarding prep offer the same level of flexibility as independent private schools, usually offering a day school, part time, and full time boarding education to its pupils.

The benefits of a private education are easiest surmised by their results. Private boarding school pupils will usually achieve higher results than their state school peers in most or all areas of education. This may be due to the lower teacher to pupil ratio, the quality of the facilities and resources, which are usually of a higher level than those available in state schools, and the freedom of the schools to teach as they see fit for their pupils, not as they are told to in a 'one fit for all' state system.

The continued proximity of staff and pupils which forms part of a boarding routine has been said to lead to higher levels of discipline, maturity, and lower levels of stress in schools children. Better teacher to pupil relationships may be formed allowing the child to express themselves more openly and not be afraid to say if something is wrong. Independent boarding schools also offer a high level of safety to pupils. By staying within the secure grounds after the school day ends pupils are less likely to come across negative influences or unsafe situations.

When choosing an independent private or preparatory boarding school research all of those which appeal to you, but remember to talk to your child about what is important to them too.

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