Let me speak up on behalf of a British centre of excellence that is succeeding during the recession. The number of pupils in the UK being taught in private schools rose by about 3,000 last year to 514,531.
The reasons are clear. According to the OECD Pisa study British private schools offer the best education in the world and attracts increasing numbers from overseas. About a third of pupils, 168,564, received assistance with fees, up 6.08% on 2008. Nearly 80% of these had financial help from their schools.
Private schools may provide a better introduction into a culturally diverse world, because 78% of their pupils would be classified as white British and 21% from minority ethnic backgrounds, compared with 85% and 14% in state schools.
Demand remains highj because many parents worked in sectors that had not seen many layoffs, and about a quarter were in the public sector, which speaks volumes for the merits of state education.