Private schools ‘save Edinburgh Council £46m’

A report launched on Thursday says Edinburgh’s 10 independent schools made an economic contribution of £125 million gross value added (GVA) in 2017-18, supporting 3,000 jobs. 

The report published via the Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS) says the Scottish capital’s private schools 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,” said the report.

“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 more than £46 million in Edinburgh and more than £14 million elsewhere in Scotland. “

The Edinburgh Schools Heads commented jointly: “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 report provides strong evidence of the huge benefit that Edinburgh’s Independent Schools bring to the City.

“We urge those making decisions about the future of Edinburgh to heed this evidence and to work with us for the benefit of the whole community.  

“The Edinburgh independent schools are determined to sustain and continue the unique contribution they have been making to Scotland’s capital city for almost 400 years.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.