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An Independent School is a school that is not financed by the government, but is instead funded privately, predominantly in the form of tuition charges. There are now more than 2,500 Independent Schools in the UK, responsible for educating approximately 7% of children throughout the country. Of these, only around 800 are boarding schools. It is from this group of 800 boarding schools that most overseas parents select a school for their son or daughter. Approximately a quarter of these boarding schools are prepartory schools catering specifically for students up to the age of 13.  

In 2006, students at fee-paying schools made up 43.4% of those selected for places at Oxford University and 38% of those granted places at Cambridge University. This reflects well on all Independent Schools and not just those at the top of the League Table.

It is important to remember that most  independent schools are now predominantly day schools and although there are only a around 820 Boarding schools in the UK  it is the boarding school traditions which generally now  give a distinctive character to most UK independent education, even in the case of day-pupils.

Independent schools and especially boarding schools are in high demand and so are generally quite selective in their choice of pupils. The principal forms of selection are academic, financial, and in the case of foreign students linguistic. Many schools also pay close attention to students who display talent in music, art or sport or who have other exceptional talents. The level of English for foreign students is a critical factor in their selection and the importance of this should not be underestimated. The principal reason many mainland Chinese fail their school entrance tests is because both  parents and students consistently overestimate their level of English or underestimate the level of English required by the school they are applying to, this is especially so if you are targeting a highly selective school.

The number of students schools take from overseas varies from school to school. Most schools and particularly our Consortium schools place a strict  limit on their overseas content. So places are limited and application should be made early to avoid disappointment. 

The U.K. is a Christian based country Therefore most schools in the U.K. have some connection with a Christian faith. In most case they accept students from any country and any faith. They do not expect those students to adopt the Christian faith. They simply use the guiding principles of their faith to encourage students to understand moral issues and to distinguish between right and wrong in a general sense. In other words, they teach children how to respect themselves, the teachers and others in community and how to deal with people in a proper and courteous manner. 

There is very little difference between the Scottish and the English systems of Education. The subjects offered are the same and access to all the universities in the UK is the same. The Scottish system allows very good students to sit for what is called 'advanced higher grades' in their subject choice (which considered similar to A+ levels).