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School's Value to the Local Economy

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A recent report by Oxford Economics has found that in the last financial year Bolton School, which employs 460 staff and has 2,260 pupils, contributed £22.1m towards Bolton’s gross domestic product (GDP). The figure represents 0.46% of the town’s entire GDP. Further afield, the School contributes over £33 million to the UK’s GDP, a figure which comprises the School’s own GDP plus that of its UK-based supply chain and the induced GDP which is generated through the spending of staff and the School’s suppliers’ staff. 

Headmistress of the Girls’ Division Sue Hincks said: “The impact of independent schools can often be overlooked. Besides offering an outstanding education and stimulating social mobility – over 300 of our Senior School pupils receive help with their fees – we make a significant contribution to the local economy. Directly or indirectly, we account for 0.47% of all jobs in Bolton, the country’s largest town! For every four jobs in school, a further three are supported beyond our walls. The total number of jobs in Bolton supported by our activities is 580 and, across the country, it is 796. Payments to other businesses for goods and services relating to our core school operations amounted to just over £5.5m and 90% of this was spent locally. Last year we paid £12.5 million in tax into the Exchequer’s coffers, which included income tax, NICs, plus indirect and induced tax contributions.” 

Philip Britton, Headmaster of the Boys’ Division said: “Independent schools save the tax payer £3.5 billion every year, through educating children who would otherwise be expected to take up a place in the state-funded sector. Had all independent schools ceased to exist in the 1940s, this new report found that UK GDP would have been 3.6% lower, or £73 billion, than it was in 2017. In the last year alone independent schools contributed £13.7 billion to the UK economy, generating £4.1 billion of annual tax revenues and supporting 303,000 jobs – more than the total number employed in the city of Liverpool. Aside from financial input into the economy, our pupils contribute enormously to the region through their volunteering and work in the community and the School collaborates regularly with local state schools and opens its doors to the public.”  

‘The Impact of Independent Schools on the UK Economy’ was commissioned by the Independent Schools Council (ISC) and supported by RSAcademics.

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