Talk:Independent school

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Education (Rated C-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Education, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of education and education-related topics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Schools (Rated C-class)
WikiProject icon This article is related to WikiProject Schools, a collaborative effort to write quality articles about schools around the world. If you would like to participate, you can edit the article attached to this page, or visit the project page.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
Note icon
This article has been automatically rated by a bot or other tool because one or more other projects use this class. Please ensure the assessment is correct before removing the |auto= parameter.

Initial comments[edit]

The term "independent school" is increasingly used interchangeably with "private school" in the US. For all practical purposes, a private school is an independent school, and vice versa. "Independent school" seems to be gaining in current usage. Some institutions refer to themselves as "independent schools" because they feel the term "private school" has elitist overtones (in the southern United States, some private schools were founded to educate white students). Today, of course, most independent schools have an active policy of non-discrimination and in many cases are more diverse than neighboring public schools.

It is important to note that "private school" does NOT necessarily imply a for-profit school; most private high schools in the US are not for profit institutions.

  • Hello! Please sign your talk comments by typing ~~~~, as those four tildes are magically transformed into your signature. Also, "private school" and "independent school" are not interchangeable; private schools operated by churches are not, under the appropriate definition, independent schools. See this National Association of Independent Schools FAQ entry for details. Will Hester (talk) 04:19, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

In some areas, the term "independent school" is synonymous with "prep school." The Conference of Independent Schools in Canada, for example, consists only of such schools. Writerchick 11:31, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Though the terms independent school and private school are often used interchangably in the U.S. and Canada, the latter term has elitist connotations for many and the term independent school has been popularized since the 1970s

This phrase sounds too much like a POV. Anyone care to clean it up? -- 21:27, 6 January 2006 (UTC)


I can't tell: is the definition of public school different in scotland, or is the writer of this article, and the one on Finlay Macdonald, using commas differently than I'm used to??? 21:59, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Independent vs Private[edit]

If independent is the "new" term to use, then does it make "public" schools, "dependent" schools? Private schools are "elitest." Seems like an attempt to whitewash elitest "privilege."—Preceding unsigned comment added by [[User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] ([[User talk:{{{1}}}|talk]] • [[Special:Contributions/{{{1}}}|contribs]])

  • I just moved the following editing-related comment, by new user Louistheripper, off the article page: Private School should redirect here, however since it doesn't we apologize for any inconvenience. This appears to be a request for continuation of the above discussion. --Orlady 16:07, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

This article is a mess[edit]

The term "independent" is widely used in the United States, however, it's meaning is anything but clear. Is this term also widely used outside the United States? This article needs a lot of work. --TMH (talk) 22:21, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Just came across it. It is indeed a mess. The first par of the lead, for example ("An independent school is . . . not dependent upon national or local government for financing . . .") appears to be, on the face of it, contradicted by its final paragraph: "In Sweden, pupils are free to choose a private school and the private school gets paid the same amount as municipal schools." Unable to resist the thought that this article's most energetic contributor(s) thus far might have benefited from a proper education. Wingspeed (talk) 02:30, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Private and independent[edit]

We have an article titled private school and another titled independent school, and it seems unclear that they're about two different topics. Should they get merged? Michael Hardy (talk) 01:31, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Independent vs. Private[edit]

A Public School get funding from the public (ie. government taxes)
A Private School gets it's funding from the private sector (ie. corporations, charities or parents)
An Independent School gets some, or all, it's funding from the government but it's school board runs independent of the public school board.
I hope this clears the difference... the two should be seperate and applied properly to the various schools. --Iota 9 (talk) 08:02, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

I don’t know where you are based, but your definitions aren’t global by any means: a Public School in the U.K., for example is a school that is in the hands of the public (that is, privately owned), as opposed to a State School, which is operated by the State, and paid for by taxes; there may be distinctions between them in a technical sense of which I am unaware, but to the population at large, “Public” and “Private” have therefore been used interchangeably in the U.K., and never mean state funded. I was actually surprised that the article doesn’t include any mention that I have seen of the British sense of public school, which I’d expect in an article on private/ independent schools. Jock123 (talk) 10:39, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Public versus independent revisited[edit]

Trying to make some sense of this private school versus independent school mess I've composed the following table:

Governed by state?
Yes ("state school") No ("non-state school")
Mainly funded by public means Mainly funded by tuitions
United States "public school" United States "charter school" United States "private school"
England "maintained school" England "academy" England "public school" or "independent school"

The table is not meant to be exhaustive, there are certainly many additional names for the six types of schools listed above. Also, terms in the United Kingdom outside of England are often different from the ones listed above.

Now, I'm pretty sure that the term "private school" can be used unambiguously (in both American and British English) to refer to a school not run by the government and primarily funded through tuitions, endowments or some other non-taxation source. The term "independent school" is ambiguous, it might be used as a synonym for such "private schools", or it might be used for a school not under direct government, regardless of whether it is funded by public means or not.

Therefore, I suggest keeping the article presently titled "private school" where it is, and retaining its focus on tuition-funded schools (even if such schools are often nowadays referred to as "independent schools"). I further suggest moving the article "independent school" to "non-state school" and having it focused on schools not run by the state, including both publicly-funded autonomous schools (such as charter schools and academies) and tuition-funded schools. Gabbe (talk) 18:39, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

  • Oppose. There is a difference in England between an independent school and a private school. Private school implies a school run for profit either by an individual or a limited liability company. An independent school can encompass those, but it also includes charity schools which is what many of the the public schools are. -- PBS (talk) 10:02, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

I think you are misunderstanding what academy schools are. They are free to the kids that go to them. They are part funded by other organisations other than the state (but not necessarily with cash), but from the point of view of the kids and their parents they are just another option on the tick form at the end of primary school, and the are state schools. They are however free from local government fiddling and are/were a cunning plan by central government to weaken local government. see Academy (English school). -- PBS (talk) 10:17, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

Please explain why "independent school" can not be used be used unambiguously by Americans. -- PBS (talk) 10:17, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

This reminds me about the two articles town and city, which are largely overlapping and in many languages use only one word, thus messing up interlanguage links. The right solution would be to take a step back and write a single article covering all kinds of free/independent/charter/private schools, with one section per country, giving the reader an overview of how national policy has dealt with the issue. Your excellent table here could make the introduction of such an article. --LA2 (talk) 00:41, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

UN Convention stuff[edit]

I've cut the following from the article:

==United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child==
Article 29 - "Article 29 (of the Convention on the Rights of the Child) claims to limit the right of parents and others to educate children in private school by requiring that all such schools support both the charter and principles of the United Nations and a list of specific values and ideals. By contrast, United States Supreme Court case law has provided that a combination of parental rights and religious liberties provide a broader right of parents and private schools to control the values and curriculum of private education free from State interference."[1]

It is unclear what is being said. Is this a quote from Smolin or what? At best it is off WP:TOPIC. At worse we have WP:POV. Anyone wish to clarify?--S. Rich (talk) 00:10, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Semantics of Private vs. Independent[edit]

I think describing Canadian private schools as "independent" is problematic. I think most would agree that there are specific connotations to each word that should be recognized. Calling something an independent school has positive connotations of independance, nobility, etc.. "private" carries connotations of exclusion, elitism, and could be seen as a more negative desciption of these schools. I personally think private is the more appropriate term for schools existing outside of the public system requiring yearly tuition in excess of $20,000+. I feel terming them "independent" is white washing their exclusivity and restricted access. (talk) 20:23, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Privately-run but publicly-funded schools in the Netherlands and Sweden[edit]

I have moved the following here,


In The Netherlands over two-thirds of state-funded schools operate autonomously, with many of these schools being linked to faith groups.[2] The Programme for International Student Assessment, coordinated by the OECD, ranks the education in the Netherlands as the 9th best in the world as of 2008, being significantly higher than the OECD average.[3]

The Dutch constitution allows faith-based schools to be government-funded. The Christian political party (Anti-Revolutionaries) won equality in funding for their education, by agreeing upon general voting in exchange in the so called Schoolstrijd ("School Struggle"). The outcome of the debate is that schools in the Netherlands are mostly state funded whilst run independently.[4]


In Sweden, pupils are free to choose a private school and the private school gets paid the same amount as municipal schools. Over 10% of Swedish pupils were enrolled in private schools in 2008. Sweden is known for this school voucher model.[5][6][7][8][9]

Prior to the 1990s there were only a handful of independent schools in Sweden, mostly tuition-funded boarding schools. 1992 saw the introduction of a system of education vouchers, making Sweden one of the first to follow the Netherlands' model. Schools can be run by charity groups or for-profit companies, and anyone can start one. "Free schools", as they're called, are funded with public money from the local municipality (kommun) and are similar to charter schools in the United States or academies in the United Kingdom. Free schools and public schools both receive money from the municipality for every pupil they have enrolled. Economic differences throughout Sweden directly affect how much money each municipality provides per pupil, by as much as 50000 SEK (7150USD, 4375GPB).[10] As of 2008, more than 10% of Swedish pupils were enrolled in free schools.[5] This model has been promoted in the Op-ED section of the New York Times, by the conservative Pacific Research Institute.[11]

Sweden's implementation of free schools is promoted by economic and governmental figures with the words 'Sweden is a world leader in free-market education'.[5] Per Unckel, Governor of Stockholm and former Minister of Education, summarizes the advantages of Swedish system "Education is so important that you can’t just leave it to one producer. Because we know from monopoly systems that they do not fulfill all wishes".

The system is especially popular among right-wing voters in large cities, and has even expanded overseas.[5][12] Criticism has been expressed that this reform has led to a large number of fundamentalistic religious schools, and that the system results in increased segregation. Some municipal assemblies, for example Täby Municipality, have sold public schools to private persons, for example the head of the school, for a much lower price than what a school chain would have paid on the open market.

Profit opportunities in education (from public money), but more specifically, education's deregulation in Sweden, contrasts its 20th century socialist trends and history. These two aspects are utilized as economic, social, and ideological marketing levers for claims about the benefits of independent schools in Sweden (see, ideological theory of Alain Badiou).[13][not in citation given] In addition to real public support (and dislike), the desire to promulgate the constituted and constituent ideology deregulation opportunities (and profit making) support claims that the Swedish system is popular.[5][12]

Two large independent Swedish school chains are Internationella Engelska Skolan and Kunskapsskolan (“Knowledge Schools”), which is the biggest school chain. Kunskapsskolan offers 30 schools and a web-based environment, has 700 employees, and teaches nearly 10,000 pupils.


  1. ^ David M. Smolin, Overcoming Religious Objections to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 29, 104 at [1] - See Susan H. Bitensky, Educating the Child for a Productive Life, in CHILDREN’S RIGHTS IN AMERICA 181 (Cynthia Price Cohen & Howard A. Davidson eds., 1990) (referring to “fundamentalist” curriculum used in some private religious schools which evidences hostility toward the United Nations). Relevant cases include Runyon v. McCrary, 427 U.S. 160 (1976); Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972); Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925); Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 (1923).
  2. ^ Coughlan, Sean (11 February 2003). "State-funded self-rule in Dutch schools". BBC News. London. Retrieved 24 March 2010. 
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ Coughlan, Sean (11 February 2003). "State-funded self-rule in Dutch schools". BBC News. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Making money from schools: The Swedish model, The Economist Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "swedishmodeleconomist" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  6. ^ "Made in Sweden: the new Tory education revolution". The Spectator. 2008. 
  7. ^ Baker, Mike (5 October 2004). "Swedish parents enjoy school choice". London: BBC. Retrieved 24 March 2010. 
  8. ^ "Embracing private schools: Sweden lets companies use taxes for cost-efficient alternatives". Washington Times. 2008. 
  9. ^ Munkhammar, Johnny (25 May 2007). "How choice has transformed education in Sweden". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 5 May 2010.  Check date values in: |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  10. ^
  11. ^ Lance T. Izumi. "Sweden’s Choice: Why the Obama Administration Should Look to Europe for a School Voucher Program that Works". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  12. ^ a b Made in Sweden: the new Tory education revolution, The Spectator
  13. ^ Slavoj Zizek, Hollywood Today: Report from an Ideological Frontline

since it relates to publicly-funded (but privately-run) schools. This article explicitly states that it is about privately-funded schools. Gabbe (talk) 10:04, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to 2 external links on Independent school. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true to let others know.

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 08:21, 7 January 2016 (UTC)