Wandsworth Council Make Over £50,000 Advertising Private Schools

Revenue from their Chose an Independent School brochure declining

Council Under Fire for ‘Promoting’ Private Schools
Image from the Council leaflet


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November 22, 2019

Wandsworth Council has made nearly £57,000 in revenue from adverts for private schools since 2016.

In a Freedom of Information Request to the Local Democracy Reporting Service it was revealed that each school pays £800 a year to feature in the borough’s Choose an Independent School magazine.

This fee includes a single page entry giving a brief blurb of the school, contact and location details, how to apply, transport details and information about scholarships and bursaries at the schools.

In 2016, 20 schools were featured in the magazine, including Dulwich College which charges termly boarding fees of nearly £14,000.

The magazine generated £16,000 a year in advertising revenue in 2016 and 2017, falling slightly in later years as fewer schools decided to take out adverts.

In 2018 only 18 private schools decided to take out adverts, dropping to just 13 this year, generating a revenue of £10,400 for 2019.

In 2019 23.2 per cent of children educated in Wandsworth attended a private school. That’s 10,465 out of 44,921 pupils in total.

More House School, Kingston Grammar School, St Paul’s Girl’s School, Streatham and Clapham High School, Sutton High School, Sydenham High School and Wimbledon High School have recently stopped buying advertisements in the magazine.

Earlier this year, Labour councillor Aydin Dirkerdem – who supports the national party’s Abolish Eton campaign, said the magazine is unfair and “suggests a different world for a certain number of people.”

The Choose an Independent School brochure has been produced alongside the Wandsworth Secondary School leaflet for more than 20 years, and while it is a Wandsworth Council initiative, it is wholly funded by the schools inside it.

The Council has previously justified the magazine for providing parents with the best choice for their children.

Commenting on the revenue made by the magazine, a spokesperson said all the money raised through these adverts is ploughed back into Wandsworth’s education services.

Sian Bayley - Local Democracy Reporter