Edinburgh independent schools in £125m boost to economy

TOP independent schools contribute £125m-a-year to the Capital’s economy, a report published today reveals.

Thursday, 24th January 2019, 12:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th January 2019, 12:09 pm
Fettes College

The ten Edinburgh independent schools together educate around 11,700 nursery, primary and secondary pupils and employ 2,580 staff.

John Edward, of report authors the Scottish Council of Independent Schools, said the sector is in “rude health” despite Brexit and ten years of economic woe.

“For the first time it gives some proper detail to anecdotal evidence that Edinburgh is probably the best served city in the English speaking world in terms of independent education,” added Mr Edward.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Findings revealed that In 2017/18, the Edinburgh independent schools made an economic contribution of £125 million gross.

Jobs supported by the institutions is greater than the number of people employed in the city’s food and drink sector, the report found.

And researchers found that independent schools make a contribution through taxes paid and collected as well as through public sector cost savings from the schools’ provision of education.

The total contribution amounted to £85 million in 2017/18, of which the City of Edinburgh Council benefitted by £47 million.

This included educating 14 percent of Edinburgh primary and secondary school aged pupils, saving more than £46 million in Edinburgh and more than £14 million elsewhere in Scotland.

Mr Edward said SCIS plans to showcase the importance of the independence sector to the Scottish economy, and the positive impact it has in local authorities across country.

In a joint statement, The Edinburgh schools heads said:“The independent school offer in Edinburgh is unique in both its breadth and scale.

“It cover all forms of education provision; all-through, preparatory, day, boarding, single sex or co-educational.”

The independent schools also offer SQA qualifications, GCSE and A-Level, International Baccalaureate and Steiner Curriculum.

“The Edinburgh independent schools make a significant contribution to the City of Edinburgh and throughout Scotland,” continued the heads.

“As not for profit organisations, maintaining financial sustainability is of crucial importance as it allows the schools to fulfil their core role of providing education to pupils and enables them to undertake additional activities.

“This report seeks to show the level of contribution the schools make to the local and national economic and educational capital, as well as their increasing contribution to widening access through means-tested fee assistance, and the scale of use of their shared facilities and resources.

“All of this is achieved while adhering closely to their not-for-profit status.”

The heads called on city chiefs to recognise the contribution made by their schools in future decision making.

“The Edinburgh independent schools are facing a number of external pressures but are determined to sustain and continue the unique contribution they have been making to Scotland’s capital city for almost 400 years,” they added.

Join our Facebook group Our Edinburgh to share images and news from and around the Capital