21 January 2019
Unique contribution of Edinburgh independent schools recognised
In a report launched today, the contribution of Edinburgh’s unique independent school sector is fully revealed. The 10 Edinburgh independent schools together educate around 11,700 nursery, primary and secondary pupils and employ 2,580 staff.
In 2017/18, the Edinburgh independent schools made an economic contribution of £125 million Gross Value Added (GVA), supporting 3,000 jobs. The employment in Edinburgh supported by the Edinburgh independent schools is greater than the number of people employed in the food and drink sector in Edinburgh. Similarly, the Edinburgh independent schools make a larger GVA contribution than the food and drink sector in Edinburgh.
The Edinburgh independent schools make a fiscal contribution through taxation 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 includes educating 14% of Edinburgh primary and secondary school aged pupils, saving the Edinburgh local authority more than £46 million and saving local authorities elsewhere in Scotland more than £14 million.
In releasing the report, The Edinburgh Schools Heads commented jointly that:
“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. It also offers 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. 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 Edinburgh independent schools are facing a number of external pressures which challenge their financial sustainability, the economic and fiscal contribution they make and their wider community engagement activities. They are determined to sustain and continue the unique contribution they have been making to Scotland’s capital city for almost 400 years”.