Commenting on new Department for Education figures that show a small drop in the numbers attending independent schools (1,910 fewer than in 2015), HMC Executive Director Mike Buchanan said:
“The figures show that loyalty to the independent sector remains very strong. But the economic climate is much more difficult for everyone, and that includes parents who choose fee-paying schools.
"Typically parents bend over backwards to keep their children in great schools – but in the end some can't afford to do so.
“The danger is that the pressure will grow on independent schools to increase their fees because of the hike in pension contributions and other punitive financial measures. This may drive other parents into the state sector".