Independent sector Argument about the independent sector of education is often confused by forgetting that there are many different types of independent schools and by failing to distinguish between three different types of argument. Within the independent sector there are schools as disparate as Summerhill and Eton; there are religious and secular foundations; boarding and day schools; schools where the emphasis is on a traditional academic curriculum, schools which could only fairly be described as progressive and experimental; besides the well-known public schools, there are schools for the handicapped, for the blind and so on. It is conceivable that there might be good reason for adopting a different attitude to different kinds of school within the private sector. The three different questions (and hence types of argument) that must not be confused are: (1) Are independent schools good schools? (2) Are independent schools in principle acceptable? (3) Are independent schools in practice acceptable or desirable in our society? The first of these questions is about the schools themselves, the second about the system of private education, and the third involves consideration of both the previous questions in relation to other features of our society.