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The results of our annual CENSUS are in, revealing a rise in both independent pupil numbers and international students.  

Independent pupil numbers on the rise   

We are delighted to see a 1.3% increase in independent pupil numbers, with 29,414 young people currently attending a Scottish independent school.   

4.2% of Scottish children now attend independent schools, a clear indication of continued trust in the sector.   

With a focus on academic rigour, personalised attention, and a nurturing environment, Scottish independent schools are creating a generation of confident and capable learners who are poised to succeed in a rapidly changing world.  Find out here what sets Scottish independence schools apart.  

Welcoming our international students      

In today's globalised world, it's increasingly common for students to seek education outside of their home country.  

Our CENSUS results reflect this; the number of international boarders jumped from 963 in 2019 to 1087 in 2022.  

International students have greatly bolstered the number of boarding pupils, which is now at 2,745. As a result, boarders make up 9.4% of the average independent school population, while 40% of boarding pupils come from 82 different countries - including Germany, France and Hong Kong. A safe country with stunning scenery and rich culture, families are flocking to Scotland. You can find out more here on why Scotland's independent schools are a great place for international pupils.   

Inclusivity through financial assistance     

When it comes to education, financial barriers should never stand in the way of realising a student's potential. That's why Scottish independent schools are leading the way in providing financial assistance to families in need.     

The 2022 CENSUS results found that almost one-quarter of independent school pupils received some form of financial aid, amounting to £55.6 million in assistance. In doing so, the sector supports students from all walks of life to have the opportunity to access top-quality education. 

We have outlined everything you need to know about the fee assistance process here.   

Key CENSUS findings: 

  • 4.2% of Scottish schoolchildren attend independent schools   
  • 29,414 children and young people attend SCIS independent schools   
  • Independent pupil numbers across SCIS schools have increased by 1.3%    
  • 40% of boarding pupils are from 82 different countries    
  • 2,745 pupils board at SCIS member schools    
  • The number of international boarders has increased year on year since 2020   
  • 24.2% of pupils receive financial help    
  • 3.2% of senior pupils receive 100% fee assistance.   

If you are considering registering your child at a Scottish independent school, SCIS can help – use our find a school tool or get in touch with us today.