Ask Full Fact: How many pupils attend independent schools?

1st Dec 2014

578,975 pupils in England attended an independent (non-government funded) school in January 2014, according to the Department of Education school census—that's around 7% of all pupils.

In 2009, 4.3% of Scottish pupils (30,507 full-time equivalent students) attended an independent school according to the Census of Independent Schools. The Scottish government has since discontinued this survey, but the Scottish Council of Independent Schools (which represents "almost all" of these schools in Scotland) estimate that their pupils account for 4.4% of Scottish students.

In 2014, 1.8% of Welsh students (8,990 full-time equivalent pupils) attended an independent school.

In 2013/14, 0.2% of Northern Irish pupils attended an independent school.

The gender breakdown of independent school students was roughly 51/49 male/female in England, Scotland and Wales.