PREP schools have moved "light years" in less than a decade, John Hawkins, new chairman of the Independent Association of Preparatory Schools, told its annual conference at Keele University on Wednesday.
They had introduced flexi-boarding and year-round kindergartens to meet the needs of the millennium, he said. But they must continue to reinvent themselves or they would go under.
Numbers at independent day schools are rising, mainly at the pre-school and primary ages. While full-time boarding declines, occasional boarding is booming. And a new survey showed 55 per cent of parents would use private schools if they could afford them.