85% of children in private school in one area of West London

dad and kids Sending children to private schools has long been a popular choice for parents in West London. But in one small area of Westminster the figures are still surprising. 85% of the children aged 4-11 in Knightsbridge and Belgravia ward are absent from the state school roll and presumed to be in independent schools.

The figures were produced by the GLA in its research on demand for school places.

Knightsbridge and Belgravia ward is a neighbourhood of ultra-expensive residential property to the south of Hyde Park. In contrast there are 114 wards in London, around 18%, that have no children of primary age attending an independent school. Many of these areas are in the less affluent eastern boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Newham, Havering and Bexley.

The GLA calculates that across London 12.8% of children aged between 4-15 are in independent schools, and this is most prevalent in south west and central London, particularly Westminster, and Kensington and Chelsea.

Data from the Department for Education shows the rate is 10.6% if children 16-18 are taken into account, and the rate has been steady for the past 4 years. Across London 146,000 children are being educated privately.

When mapped at borough level the east/west divide becomes clear, with the exception of the City of London where there is just 1 state primary and 4 independents.

6 boroughs, Wandsworth, Richmond, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster and Camden account for 40% of the children in private education.

Private school uptake map


Boroughs on the eastern edge of the capital have little private education. In Barking and Dagenham it is less than 1%, just 115 of the 40,000 school-age children in the borough.

Only the South East matches London for the proportion of children in independent schools. Nationally the rate is 7%. Many parts of London are well below that rate underlining the contrast between rich and poor in the city.

Source data

See also

105,000 extra secondary pupils pose huge challenge for capital’s schools

Fight for reception gets tougher as more kids swell primary school demand

Schools data reveals ethnic mix with fall in proportion of white British pupils



Shrinking public sector employment outdone by private sector jobs growth

commuters B&W-2The proportion of jobs in the public sector is shrinking, driven by government cuts under its austerity plans but more largely by the growth in private sector employment.

744,000 people living in London work in the public sector, which includes the NHS, education, central government, local authorities, public bodies, the police and the armed forces. That is 15.3% of the workforce and one of the lowest rates in Britain. The average for England is 16.8% with rates much higher in the North East and in Wales and Scotland.

public sector jobs regional

Since 2010 there has been an 8% decline in public sector jobs. Under government plans heath and education budgets are protected so the cuts have fallen elsewhere. Some of the reduction may be attribute to reclassification. At the end of 2013 Royal Mail was privatized and in early 2014 the Lloyds Banking Group, that had been bailed out by the government and taken in to the public sector, was reclassified as private as the government sold down its share.

During the same period there has been rise of in private sector job, pushing up the proportion of private sector workers from 81% to 85% of the workforce.

This split however is not uniform across London. 27% of the employment in Greenwich is in the public sector. That’s the highest rate of any region in the UK, and neighbouring Lewisham and Newham are not that far behind. At the other extreme, there are just 3% of people in the City working in the public sector.

public sector jobs map

Government pressure to reduce the size of the public sector is likely to lead to it making up a smaller proportion of employment in the next few years. The Office for Budget Responsibility, which analyses public finances, has said that between 2010-18 it expected to see the loss of 1.1 million public sector jobs across the country.

London is fortunate in seeing private sector job growth to compensate, at least in numbers. What is not clear from this data is how successful ex-public sector workers are at finding appropriate work in private organisations.

Source data

See also

Jobs concentrated in just 5 of London’s 33 boroughs

The jobs success and housing failure causing a crisis for the capital

Jobs growth shows changing face of work