Why are privately educated students so employable?
10th October 2016
There is much talk in the press about the disproportionate number of privately educated children in the professions, so what is it that makes these young people so employable? Solid academic qualifications are clearly one factor. Many parents investing in private education for their children are looking for a ‘top’ school and start by targeting schools at the top of the league tables. Pupils in the UK’s top private schools achieve spectacular results, but of course this is never the whole story. High A-Level grades are key to winning a place at a top university but an independent school education equips students with far more than this, and it is that “extra something” that is so valued by employers.
Private schools, and especially boarding schools, are an ideal environment for young people to develop the “soft skills” which will enable them to access those sought-after positions in later life; the ability to get on with people of all ages, a broad general knowledge that makes them good and confident conversationalists, excellent teamwork skills, and most importantly a sense of self-belief and purpose as they step out into the world.
Teamwork and Personal Development
Pupils at the UK’s private schools benefit from small class sizes and extended school days where most of their waking hours are spent in the company of adults whose sole purpose is to advance the development of the children in their care. This may be through supervised clubs and activities, extra learning support or simply time spent together outside the classroom. With a vast range of extra-curricular options children also benefit from the chance to develop skills in a multitude of sports and creative areas, fostering discipline, commitment and a sense of personal achievement. Teamwork skills are honed on the sports pitches and in the staging of performances and productions which are part of the fabric of private school life.
The Art of Conversation
Boys at Winchester College have regular, timetabled “Div” lessons in subjects of general academic and cultural interest, not so that they can gain an additional qualification, but to ensure they become genuinely well-educated young men, confident to converse on a range of issues with anyone they meet.
Confidence and Networking
Couple this excellent, all-round education with the opportunity to form close friendships with children of the global elite and it is easy to see why parents consider their £30,000 + per year a great investment. The cultivation of academic excellence, combined with outstanding social skills and an abundance of self-confidence can’t be measured in a league table. It is ultimately statistics showing the high representation of privately educated pupils in top jobs that demonstrates the real value of these exceptional schools.