Independents covere a mixture of schools:
- relatively non selective
- highly selective - often former Direct Grant Grammar schools
- Public schools - traditionally admitted at 13, though now many admit at 11 - mixture of boarding / day in assorted proportions.
Why do people choose one or the other? - well many reasons:
1) May choose Indie if no GS around and not happy with the local comprehensive - happens in many parts of the country with no 11 plus - look at for example Nottinghamshire / parts of Yorkshire / Derbyshire / Norfolk / Cornwall etc etc
2) "Wrap around care" - many indies can offer early starts / after school activities / occasional boarding - all of which can help families ... and the kids often like it
3) additional facilities - indies often have nicer sports facilities / drama studios / swimming pools etc etc -
4) Tradition - family always gone to indies.
5) enjoyed the Indie open day
- very enticing, I've been well fed at some. Indies have to attract people and have stunning marketing - can really make you feel wanted!
6) Indies sometimes have smaller class sizes and may be perceived as being more nurturing (my experience of Yorkshire schools would go against that - but that is just one area and a small sample of schools)
7) Indie / GS may offer single gender or co-ed or vice versa..