Are public schools in London free?
You’d be forgiven for assuming that public schools in England are state-funded institutions for all – but you’d be wrong. Confusingly, these schools educate students for a fee, making them independent of the state system regarding both endowment and administration. For this reason, they are sometimes referred to as independent schools.
So, why are they called public schools when only some families can afford to send their children to them? The term public school was coined in the 18th century when the reputation of some grammar schools extended beyond their surrounding area. Consequently, they began accepting students whose parents could afford residential fees, becoming known as public, in contrast to local, schools.
All children in England between the ages of five and 16 are entitled to a free place at a state school. These schools receive funding through their local authority or directly from the government.