How Sustainable Is The Independent Education Sector?

In recent months the independent sector has faced a series of challenges both nationally and globally. We look at how sustainable independent schools are and what the effects of these challenges will be. It is safe to say we have not lived through a time like this before. Schools closing for months on end due to the pandemic, the rising cost of living, challenges in recruiting and retaining teachers and increasing unemployment have all had a significant impact across education in the UK.Let’s take a closer look at these issues and their potential effects.

The Issue Facing Independent Schools

The pandemic: Even through two world wars we have never been in the position of closing schools for months on end but the global pandemic did just that in March 2020. Following the reopening of private schools, there has been a drop in numbers with students from overseas accounting for around half. It is likely that Brexit has also impacted numbers of students outside the UK; some subjects are also suffering from low national teacher retention rates. The recent rise in the cost of living compounded with extremely fast rising property prices mean some people are struggling more than ever. However, the majority of people have returned to work and in many areas, life has gone back to pre-pandemic times. Within recruitment, independent schools are looked upon favourably as with smaller class sizes. students are likely to be more engaged throughout their lessons. Instead of managing behaviour, teachers can actually do the thing they studied to do and love doing – teach.

What Will The Long Term Effects Be? 

The independent schools we speak to have a range of long term strategies in place. This means they are strongly placed to weather any temporary challenges. As covid infections continue to decrease in the UK, schools and businesses have been operating normally for some time now and parents are looking to prioritise the best educational options for their children. Independent schools are uniquely placed to offer a bespoke learning environment aimed at expanding students’ minds with the aim of creating a nation of young leaders, mature and confident in all areas of life. It is likely that the long term effects will be swallowed by the future of private schools and their success – although there may be a noticeable short term effect.

How Can Independent Schools Be Confident Of Success? 

Independent schools should be marketed strategically and confidently, highlighting the success of your students and showing what you offer. Ensure your school is utilising the most up to date teaching methods, embrace the growth mindset, encourage heuristic learning in your young people and communicate your wins and achievements. Keep your staff, students and their families on board with positive messaging and back this up with excellent management, teaching and learning that underpins everything and permeates throughout your school. In short, carry on doing what you are doing and build upon the areas that are not yet there – it is your route to future success. Call our experienced education consultants to find out more.

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