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GCSE results: 18% transfer to post-16 at independent schools

Independent education can help former state school pupils with post-GCSE studies, says Gabbitas

Posted by Stephanie Broad | August 20, 2015 | Teaching

After receiving their GCSE results, many young people will transfer from state-funded to independent schools believing it will help them achieve greater success. So what are the benefits? 

Employers, colleges, schools and universities see GCSE results as a strong indicator of a young person’s academic potential. Whether they performed better or worse than expected, 18% of young people will continue learning at an independent school, compared with seven percent below age 16. This demonstrates that families who had not previously considered fee-paying schools for their children understand the benefits of doing so for their final two years of compulsory education.

The latest independent school A level results revealed that they achieved nearly 30% of all A* grades, and were particularly strong in maths, sciences and modern foreign languages. In physics, 18.3% of candidates were from fee-paying schools, yet accounted for 34% of all A* grades.

Better results can be put down to smaller classes, meaning teachers spend more time with each student. Independent schools are more flexible in how they deliver lessons, allowing learning to be tailored to individual student’s needs. Many are modelled on the top universities, helping young prepare for higher education, especially if they board. They often offer university application preparation programmes and enrichment programmes, which go beyond the core curriculum, helping young people reach their full potential. 

It is likely that the changes to A levels, including the scrapping of modular learning and a greater emphasis on exams, will attract more parents to consider fee-paying schools as an option for their children.

Ian Hunt, Managing Director of Gabbitas, which helps parents find the right independent school, said: “With competition for top university places fiercer than ever, more parents are looking to independent schools to help their children achieve the grades they need. Many young people, and their families, will be reconsidering their options having received their GCSE results. A fee-paying school may be the best option, and our advisers can help find the right one.”    

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