Most BC independent schools have a religious or alternative teaching approach and don’t conform to the “elite” stereotype, finds a new national study of independent schools released by the Fraser Institute.
“Many British Columbians believe independent schools are all elite university-prep schools, but that’s not the case,” said Deani Van Pelt, director of the Barbara Mitchell Centre for Improvement in Education at the Fraser Institute and co-author of A Diverse Landscape: Independent Schools in Canada.
The study—the first of its kind—categorizes independents school in Canada. It finds that 75,402 (or 12.3 per cent) of all K-12 students in B.C. schools attended an independent school in 2013/14.
Fully 188 of B.C.’s 340 independent schools have a religious affiliation—half (50.0 per cent) are Christian (non-Catholic), 42.0 per cent are Catholic, 3.2 per cent are Jewish, 2.7 per cent are Islamic and 2.1 per cent have other religious perspectives.
Of those, 68 independent schools in B.C. are “specialty schools,” with a special emphasis in the curriculum, distinct approaches to teaching and learning, or an emphasis on serving specific student populations.
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