Wait Lists for Independent Schools in British Columbia's Lower Mainland

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This Fraser Institute survey of independent schools throughout the Lower Mainland found that 57.3 percent of schools reported a waitlist for enrolment in 2011/12. Of those schools, almost 80 percent said that waitlists had been the norm for the past three years. In 2011/12, more than 2,170 students were waitlisted for an independent school in the Lower Mainland, which represents, on average, 14.3 percent of the total number of students attending a school with a waitlist. Schools reporting waitlists also indicated that, on average, there was a waitlist for more than half of the grades in their school, while 27.3 per cent reported a waitlist for every grade. Of the religious schools surveyed, 73 percent indicated they had students attending their school who were of a different religious background or who were non-religious?a telling indicator of parental demand.

One of the principal barriers to independent school expansion is the cost associated with purchasing and developing land for new facilities. Any policy that reduces these costs, even marginally, would help independent schools respond to demand.

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