An Independent School is a school that is independent in its finances and governance; it does not rely upon the government for financing its operations, nor is it dependent on taxpayer contributions. Independent schools are funded by a combination of tuition charges donations and endowments. They are governed by an elected board of directors and have the freedom to operate, to a considerable extent, outside of government regulations.
Independent schools are also called Private Schools and the more confusing term, Public School can also apply. In the UK, 'Public School' is now a somewhat archaic term for the oldest and more famous boys' independent secondary schools including Eton, Rugby and Harrow. In a nutshell, Public schools are independent schools but not all independent schools are public schools! Oh and just to confuse matters further, public schools in many countries outside of England are actually state schools. Still with us?
For more information, visit the Independent Schools Council http://www.isc.co.uk/