An independent school is one which manages its own affairs and attracts its own finance from fees, investments, lettings and other sources. Particular competitors to independent day schools are likely to become the grant-maintained schools which are also free from local authority involvement and receive their funding directly from central government. Independent schools are often equipped with educational hardware, particularly computer hardware, to a standard which few independent schools can afford. Moreover they specialize in developing children of average ability, some of whom might otherwise have joined the independent sector. Whereas politicians tend to take up positions for or against independent schools as a matter of principle, parents tend to view things differently. The challenge for independent schools therefore may be to stress less their traditional characteristics and to think hard about what they are offering. Independent schools are in the enviable position of being able to pick and choose from the good things in the world of education.