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What Is an Independent School?

Independent Schools in Scotland

Scotland’s independent schools are mostly charitable organisations run by Boards of Governors, inspected by Education Scotland and regulated by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).

Independent schools are not part of the state-funded system and receive no financial support from the government. This means they are free to set their own curriculum and make decisions in the best interests of their school community. Schools are funded through income raised mainly by charging fees, although they will provide means tested financial assistance when they can. 


Independent schools in Scotland are registered with the Registrar of Independent Schools, an official of the Scottish Government. The Registrar ensures that independent schools take due care over the health, welfare and education of children.


Education Scotland publishes inspection reports giving information about the education in schools, and all independent schools with boarding and/or nursery facilities are inspected by the Care Inspectorate on a twice-yearly basis.

Scotland offers an extremely high standard of education and almost 30,000 children and young people of mixed abilities and backgrounds attend an independent school.

answering questions in class

 What next?

Draw up a shortlist of possible schools, and get in touch with the school to arrange a visit to help you and your child make a decision. 



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