Social divide grows for private pupils

INDEPENDENT schools are becoming more socially exclusive, says a research report published yesterday.

The proportion of independent school parents in the top social group, class A, is up 8 per cent compared with five years ago.

The percentage from every other social class is down apart from that for those at the bottom of the heap, which remains unchanged at 1 per cent.

Figures in a MORI poll commissioned by the Independent Schools Information Service (Isis) show that the proportion of private school parents from the top social class has doubled in a decade. Two similar polls were carried out in 1989 and 1993.

Last year, 30 per cent of parents were in class A compared with 15 per cent in 1989. Thirty nine per cent were in class B and just over one-fifth were in social class C1.

A spokesman for Isis warned that the Government's decision to abolish the assisted places scheme which subsidises bright pupils from poor backgrounds in independent schools would make the position worse.

"On the face of it, it does look as though independent schools are becoming more socially exclusive. It is something we have been anxious about for some years. In the 1993 survey, we assumed that it was the result of the recession. It may well be that that effect is still with us."

Nearly two-thirds of parents with children at independent schools have incomes of more than pounds 40,000 a year.

In just over half the families questioned, the parents were first-time buyers and neither of them had attended a private school, a slight decrease on the figure in the previous poll.

For the survey, questionnaires were sent to 1,550 parents from 62 independent schools and 737 replied.

One in four of the respondents said that the decision to choose a private school was influenced by the fact that they had smaller class sizes, up from 18 per cent in 1993.

The proportion choosing an independent school because they were dissatisfied with state schools was up slightly, from 20 per cent to 22 per cent.

Six out of ten parents said that their children's opinion had influenced their choice.

Very few - just 16 per cent - said that they were concerned about a school's position in newspaper examination league tables, although 63 per cent rated exam results as important.

Boarding schools are still hampered by an image problem, the report says. "While they are thought to be good for character building," it says. "They are deemed weak academically and the preserve of the rich."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: SAGE Bookkeeper & PA to Directors

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Executive

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant - Fixed Term Contract - 6 Months

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...

Recruitment Genius: Electricians - Fixed Wire Testing

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map